A writer for the New York Times cites analysts who believe that victory over Napster will ultimately hurt the recording industry. A Stanford University scholar says, “My view is that the RIAA loses the battle and loses the war, because they become the bad guys… With every song they tell Napster to remove, the political resistance to this extreme view of copyright law will grow stronger.”
Moreover, the community of Napster users is investigating alternatives such as Gnutella and Freenet that lack a central server subject to being shut down by court order. While Gnutella is considered by many to be too complicated and too bandwidth hungry, new variations such as Gnotella, Newtella, BearShare, Gnocleus, LimeWire and ToadNode address these issues. Freenet’s key feature, total anonymity, may prove critical if the music industry decides to go after those who make files available to the network. The complementary Espra allows users trading files to donate money directly to the musicians, bypassing the labels.