The Internet music file-sharing application declares file-swapping "common, legal and accepted"...

Napster, the controversial Internet music file-sharing application, are claiming that CD sales are increasing as a result of their controversial music-downloading software and have declared file-swapping: “common, legal and accepted”.

In a statement posted on their site, Napster[/a] and its users are not breaking copyright law.

Napster claim that music fans have the “absolute right” to create and swap digital music “for non-commercial purposes”. They refer to a case in 1984 when the entertainment industry was up in arms claiming that Betamax would be the death-knell for movies, and say the result of that case means that they cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.

Elsewhere in the statement, Napster claim their users are going out and buying CDs after sampling music through their site, and that using the software is no different: “Visiting a listening station or borrowing a CD from a friend, in order to decide whether to make a purchase.” They add: “Five independent studies have all confirmed Napster‘s substantial positive effect on music purchases and a sixth finds no significant reduction in CD purchases.”

To read the full statement from Napster and previous press reports about the debate, Click here.