Often times new technology enables completely new activities, discoveries, and ways of living, once not possible without that particular technology. An example of this would be the microscope and telescope, which now allow us to see things not possible before. Other times, new technology allows us to do things which we did before, but in a different way.1 A good example of this is electronic file sharing over the Internet. Unauthorized file sharing was possible before the Internet, but on a much smaller scale. One person might have physically borrowed a music cd from another person and made a copy. With the Internet, it became possible for a single person to share (more like distribute without authorization) with the whole world with ease. This has allowed for the much more significant financial damage to the parties being taken advantage of, in this case, the music industry. In my view, this is wrong. Unauthorized file sharing is bad for all parties, whether they know it or not, and should not be allowed.
There are a couple of technologies that have really helped facilitate electronic file sharing. The first one is the MP3 file format. MP3 is a file format (like JPEG, DOC) which is used to store audible data (songs). It is a file compression format that reduces the size of files by 10-12 times. This compression is very valuable in that it allows quicker transfer of songs over the Internet.2 The second one is peer-to-peer architecture. The main characteristic of a pure peer to peer architecture is that peers interact directly with other peers without any centralized servers. This is different from most web applications (like amazon.com), which are client-server architectures. In c...
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...on Post, 24 Jan. 2004, <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/washpost/20040121/tc_washpost/a35281_2004jan21>.
15. David McGuire, A Winning Strategy on Internet Piracy?, 2004, Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2004, <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/washpost/20040121/tc_washpost/a35281_2004jan21>.
16. Santa Clara University, Chapter 6. Ethics, 3.
17. Santa Clara University, Chapter 6. Ethics, 3.
18. Santa Clara University, Chapter 6. Ethics, 3.
19. Santa Clara University, Chapter 6. Ethics, 3.
20. Santa Clara University, Chapter 6. Ethics, 3.
21. BBC, EMI Boss Defends Music Industry, 2003, BBC, 24 Jan. 2004, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3079908.stm>.
22. BBC, Strong Debut for iTunes for PCs, 2003, BBC, 24 Jan. 2004, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3079908.stm>.
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