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History Of Peer To Peer File Sharing. Technology To Prevent It, And The Future Of It.

981 words - 4 pages

Peer-To-Peer File SharingThe rise and fall of Napster in the late 90's brought file sharing over the Internet, and peer-to-peer technology, to the attention of the world. Napster's demise led to the creation of companies such as KaZaA, Morpheus, and Audio Galaxy, whom all learned a valuable lesson from Napster. Avoid copyright infringement and elude record companies. So far they have been pretty successful, but record companies are getting closer and closer to putting these new companies out of business. Record companies are looking to software companies to beat these file sharing organizations at their own game, creating software that would elude the copyright laws but contrary to downloading copied files, they seek to eliminate sharing.One reason the growth of peer-to-peer file sharing has happened is possibly for one reason alone, the constant expansion of the capabilities of the ordinary PC computer. Top of the line PC's have the capabilities of a supercomputer ten years ago. The dramatic growth of local storage resources allows PC users to store data in multigigabyte storage facilities, something unthinkable only a few years ago. Also the expansion of network bandwidth and the increased mobility of computing resources have provided the hardware capabilities required to send these files via peer-to-peer. This expansion of hardware meant people and their devices could connect to the Internet anywhere they want, and connect at blistering speeds. After all this hardware was in place it was just a matter of creating the vision of peer-to-peer connections and the software to implement it. This is where Napster made its fame. Napster focused its attention on sharing music over the Internet, not publicly, but in end-to-end connections between two personal computers. Record companies and recording artists were soon filing suit against Napster for infringing their copyrights. After months of litigation Napster failed to prove that their actions were lawful. The victorious record companies thought they had eliminated this copyright threat, but many new companies would emerge.One tool these record companies are using to put these new companies under is a new technology known as Content Protection for Recordable Media, or CPRM. This technology allows content producers to specify how many times a consumer can copy a given file. By making this number very low it could eliminate almost one hundred percent of the files being mass copied everyday. CPRM works by creating a unique key for every piece of data downloaded on a users hard drive and attaching this key to the end of the file. For example, say a person downloads the latest Metallica CD, the front-runner for putting Napster out of business, from Columbia House Records. Columbia House would use the rights protection system to send an encrypted key with the album. Once the album makes its way to the downloading machine the key is then decrypted and the key is now a part of the...

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