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Peer To Peer Piracy

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Peer To Peer Piracy Everyone loves good tunes, and that’s okay. In this media heavy society, everyone has a favorite type of music, or a favorite artist. However, expanding one’s horizons in music beyond mainstream was terribly expensive, until Napster. Napster, Shawn Fanning’s brainchild, was a revolution. 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. When a user logged on, the user’s computer would send data with which mp3s, or songs, were in their predestinated “shared folder” to the index computer. The index computer would then tell that user where other files were stored over the network, on other user’s computers. With this system, a user could download an entire album of Jimi Hendrix from another user either two states away, or two doors down. Since Napster only dealt in mp3 files, it was targeted by the music companies, who sued until it Shawn had to take down the Central Index Server. It was replaced though, by networks like Gnutella which use a referral system. When one computer comes onto the Gnutella network, it finds another computer on the network, and introduces itself. Then, like a spreading rumor, the word gets around the network. The computer that just learned tells 8 others about the new one, then those 8 tell 7 more about the new one, and so on. This way, each client has a larger number of other clients who know it is online and what content it has available (Wikipedia). However, without a main server to regulate, users could distribute whatever they wanted. Software piracy was very prominent. Any user could punch in the search terms “AutoCAD” and download a thousand dollar program for free.
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