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Computer Piracy In The Music Industry

952 words - 4 pages

Computer Piracy (The Music Industry)

The music industry has had problems with computer piracy for many years now. There have been many programs devoted to giving out free music. Many of these programs are well know, but still very hard to stop. Napster, Kazaa, and the newest program, myTunes Redux are the most popular programs for music sharing. This essay will explain all about these main programs which allow free music to be shared all over the world.

File-sharing became big right around the time the Napster file-sharing program came out. Napster is an online service which was invented by an 18-year-old college student that allows a user to see song files residing on the hard drives of other users, and to download copies of any of those songs. (DLC.org) Napster started off at a slow pace, becoming popular at colleges and then it just exploded. Everyone was using this program within a year of its creation. (DLC.org) However, it eventually got busted and the idea of free music was shutdown, or so the music industry thought. Napster continues to be around today, but with a legal persona. After Napster was told to stop there illegal program there were many other programs in the making. Programs even more advanced then Napster.

The next program to come along which caused a big stir was a program known as Kazaa. Kazaa took file sharing to the next level by also allowing movie and picture files to be shared rather than just music files. The Kazaa protocol is the brainchild of the Scandinavians Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis and was introduced in March 2001 by their Dutch company Consumer Empowerment. (Wikipedia.org) Like the creators of Napster, Kazaa's owners have been taken to court by music publishing bodies to restrict its use in the sharing of copyrighted material. However, the court ruled in late March 2002 that Kazaa is not responsible for the actions of its users. (Wikipedia.org) The idea of users being responsible became a big deal because now the users were the ones who were getting law suits. In September 2003, the RIAA filed suit in civil court against several private individuals who had shared large numbers of files with Kazaa; most of these suits were settled with monetary payments averaging $3,000. (Wikipedia.org) The idea of the user being responsible caused many other file sharing companies to emerge from being hidden such as Ares and WinMx. There was no need to worry because they could not get sued. This was a big part of history with file sharing. However, there was another legal action that would be held.

On February 2004, the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) announced its own legal action against Kazaa, alleging massive copyright...

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