Internet File Sharing and the Music Industry Imagine millions of songs accessible in one place. Today songs are just a few clicks away since the introduction of the internet and file sharing. File sharing is simply taking a file and allowing other internet users to download and use the file permanently. The accessibility and use of file sharing programs has devastated the music industry financially. The fact that almost every song recorded today is accessible through a free program encourages most consumers to download rather than buy.
Whatever the final outcome of the lawsuits may be, the one conclusion that can be drawn from all the arguments and debate is that the current system, Napster, will have to change if it is going to continue to survive. In May of 1999, an Internet service by the name of: Napster, Inc. began operation by providing online users a cyber highway to free music. An individual simply could upload a song from a purchased CD onto their hard drive, and with the use of Napster, millions of others could have access to that exact file. Everyday millions of people log onto the Internet in search of what is called "free music." They can download a song of choice, and by... ... middle of paper ... ...e has succeeded.
When Napster first came out, millions of internet users worldwide were illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted music, videos, images, and software for free. After being vilified by the entertainment industry, which claims that Napster and any similar programs could make piracy of almost any digital work unstoppable, and many court battles, Napster was ordered by court to be shutdown in 2000. The technology has been praised as a revolutionary development for the Internet—unaware of the problems that would arise from such practices. However, the termination of Napster was not enough, months later, dozens of new, like programs were being developed and used. And since Napster, not much has been done to stop these latest downloading programs.
All the person needs to do is put the desired file or folder into the 'My Shared' folder and millions of people can download it onto their computers free of charge, whether it is copyrighted or not. This act is highly favored by people since they can get practically anything they want for absolutely nothing. Many people download music, videos, programs, and images because they do not have to go out and buy the fifteen-dollar CD, twenty-dollar DVD, or three hundred dollar plus programs. Downloading can be examined in three areas: the amount downloaded, the amount of money involved, and the actual damage to the entertainment industry. The amount of music that is being downloaded is slowly dropping because of the lawsuits that the industries have filed against hundreds of people relating to copyright infringement.
When you download any illegal media you are getting something for free that everyone else is required to pay a fee for. DVDs and CDs that cost others anywhere from 15 dollars to 60 dollars or more are being distributed for free as long as you have a download client. If you have programs such as Bittorent or Kazaa, you only have to find someone that already has the media on their computer, in which they either paid for the copies or they too downloaded the media illegally from someone else. On most of the “real” media (the cases), it states that you are not to distribute or copy the material because it is an illegal act, and you will be punished if caught. Not only is downloading this media illegal, it is also morally wrong.
Such as television, magazines and news papers, pushing to buy sell or trade on the Internet. Yet how much do we know about what happens when you buy something or E-mail someone, who sees all this information. Could some Internet criminal get my credit card numbers, or bank account information. Many people in to days world do a great deal of their finical business on the Internet. Yet who is to say that people who the message is being sent are the only ones who will be reading it.
This is the intent that the internet was founded on; that all people could come together to exchange ideas freely, without fear of rebuke or prosecution. However that time seems to be a small scratch on the long wall of history, for a few years ago a simple file-sharing program called Napster sprung up on the internet, and in doing so opened up a whole can of controversy . File-sharing became such a complicated issue as many files are, at their root, simply information. However that information has copyrights and ownership attached to it, a fact that cannot be overlooked by the world no matter how much they would like. Thus, those users around the world who choose to share files are now being pursued by huge corporations with ridiculous threats of a $15,000 fine per song downloaded (and they haven’t even began to pursue the infringements of movies or software yet).
Napster is an online trading program that allows users to look into another persons hard-drive in order to trade music. “Napster and similar software provides users with a method of searching thousands of other users computers to share thousands of high quality music, music that is stored in the compressed .mp3 format.”(Internet). Music of the popular artist is traded through the Internet at no cost. In other words instead of having to pay market price for music users of Napster receive the music for free. Napster has caused major controversy throughout the music industry.
Most of this kind of pornographic content is available through World Wide Web pages. The Internet also makes it possible to discuss sex, see live sex acts, and arrange sexual activities from computer screens. There are also sex related discussions on the Internet Relay Chat channels where users in small groups or in private channels exchange messages and files. (Akdenis, 1997) There are millions of different pornographic sites on the internet, so there is almost no way of regulating every site unless there was some type of a universal censorship required for every site. Nearly every one of these millions and millions of sites is accessed daily.
People began trading music over the internet through peer to peer file sharing, and next thing you know, everyone could have thousands and thousands of songs. Napster had shown a society a method for getting what they wanted, for free. It was only a matter of time until users started trading a lot more than just music; movies, software, and games were all in demand. Napster was formulated off of a simple concept of sharing music, but it turned out to be revolutionary by becoming a catalyst to a much larger peer to peer pirating system. Napster helped computer literate users share music through a system of indexing.