Internet

Obscure rock band urges dirty deeds against Napster

A San Francisco Bay Area rock band has launched an anti-Napster Web site that encourages people to sabotage the music-sharing service.

A San Francisco Bay Area rock band is waging an unconventional war against Napster.

The band, The Tabloids, has launched a Web site, Stopnapster.com, that urges people to sabotage the controversial music-sharing service by mislabeling songs posted to Napster's site. It also calls for releasing songs to Napster that have anti-piracy speeches inserted randomly in the music.

The Oakland band, which describes its music as "Lou Reed meets The Clash," insists the Web site is not affiliated with the major recording companies and instead represents lesser-known artists and small labels.

"Just think of the reaction you'll get from users who think they're downloading the new Beastie Boys track but instead get four minutes of dogs barking, sirens going off, etc.," the band said on its Web site. "You may be one minute into Eminem's new release when suddenly Charlton Heston begins reading a public-interest message opposing song theft."

The site also calls for government regulation of Napster.

"Musicians and songwriters need the help of Congress to keep Napster and its adherents from robbing them blind. A national surcharge on CDs may be required," the band said.

The war against Napster largely has been waged by the major record labels, which are suing the San Mateo, Calif., company in federal court in an effort to shut down the site. The Recording Industry Association of America and record labels contend that Napster contributes to copyright infringement because its members trade songs through the service.

Last week, Napster said it plans to forge a series of relationships with unsigned artists and independent labels to make their music available through its software.

From a philosophical perspective, The Tabloids said, "it's important for artists and others involved in creative pursuits to speak out on this issue because of the overwhelming threat posed by Napster to intellectual freedom in the U.S."