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Editorial Discussing The Controversy Of Downloading Music. Gives A Quick Overview Of The History Of Music Downloads And Goes Into Opinions From Teens And Adults.

1421 words - 6 pages

Ever since the Internet was created many issues about copyright laws have surfaced. Every form of information has been at risk of being pirated from a computer. Music downloading has had a huge effect on people and generates many opinions and views on the issue. Every 9 out of 10 kids download music and over 2.6 billion songs are downloaded each month. Downloading music has a huge effect on the public and the music industry. To understand how all this is possible you need to know about the technology behind it. The Web was first launched in 1993. Since then, it has been getting faster and faster, allowing us to download bigger files in shorter periods of time. This is particularly significant when dealing with large audio and video files. Downloading them took forever until MP3 and other compression-technologies were developed. When the music was put into these compressed formats transferring music files became much faster and therefore more practical. Broadband connections and MP3 format make viewing video and listening to music 100 times easier. What was an hour download only a few years ago now takes minutes or even seconds. The earlier music sites, MP3 and Napster, allowed people to upload music files and store them at a central site. Then others could search for a particular song and download it from the site. These sites were sued by the music industry, and were shutdown for copyright infringement. Around the same time, the large recording industry members began cooperating on sites that charged subscription fees for listening or downloading music. But people had already started getting free music downloads and resisted paying for music. The technology that was created is known as P2P. P2P (or peer-to-peer) allows your computer hard drive to act as a server for someone else to access files stored on your computer. It bypasses the need for a centralized network that stores the content for all users by connecting your computer to someone else's directly. Unlike Napster these knew programs like Kazza had no direct connection to any person, anywhere so they couldn't be connected to copyright laws. It was the perfect crime and because of it everyone became a criminal. The RIAA has taken legal action against many people involved with downloading music. Over the past 9 months children and adults ranging from the ages of 12 to 35 have been arrested or issued subpoenas. The R1AA is seeking as much as $150,000 per alleged violation. That figure is steep because it is meant to intimidate, and copyright attorneys say RIAA is hoping to settle the bulk of these cases for about $3,000 each. Engaged in a war against children, RIAA has gone so far as to bust a 12-year-old pirate who "illegally" downloaded 1,000 songs, and forced a struggling mother to pay $2,000 for alleged illegal downloading by one of her children - an act of the sort the recording industry claims has led to the loss of billions of dollars in lost revenues. RIAA justifies...

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