Induce Act Paper, With Background, Pro, Con, And Conclusion, And Works Cited.

2882 words - 12 pages

Do Companies Induce Crime?The Disagreement on the Inducing Infringement of Copyrights ActBackgroundFrom the invention of the first floppy disc, to the file transfer protocol, to Napster, there have always been ways to transfer and share files. Moreover, following these innovations, there have always been copyright holders trying to receive their rightful earnings.In the early days of the Internet, the most popular file sharing method was the file transfer protocol (FTP). An anonymous FTP server is a server in which a user can login with an anonymous account to upload or download files. The user can search the entire server for the files that they want, and usually could find everything that they needed from one server. From 1995 to 1997, FTP file sharing became the most common way to share files.Starting in the late 1990s, messenger programs became the common way to share files. Although originally intended for merely chatting, these programs could be used to share music and other illegal files. The first of these programs was Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC was a moderately complex program to use, and thus it did not attract many followers, save for a select few. Later, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and "I Seek You" (ICQ) came out, creating a relatively easy alternative for sharing files. However, without blazing fast Internet speeds, a massive shift to piracy was not triggered. It was not until programs specifically tailored to file sharing came out, that many more individuals started to download and share files.In 1999, Napster became the universal way to share files. Napster changed the way of sharing files with others, because the service let peers download music files from one another, and had a centrally located server that coordinated all of the searches being executed by users across the globe. However, this feature of Napster would eventually cause its downfall. The fact that Napster had a central server provided enough evidence for a district court to order an injunction on most searches.This move would spawn dozens of replacements, all trying to help the user download whatever he/she wanted. The first program to emerge was WinMX, which first appeared in 2001. WinMX differed from Napster, in that the indices were not stored on a central server. They were, in fact, stored on user's computers, which solved the problem of liability of the company that produced WinMX. The company reasoned that it only provided a medium for sharing files. It neither advocated nor condoned the sharing of illegal files, and since it had no control over the files being shared, it was not responsible for any damage caused by the program. File sharing has created such an impact that numerous laws have been passed and many important court cases have been decided. The first of these landmark cases occurred in 1984, well before the advent of the Internet, as we know it, when only scientists and universities had the capacity to be online. In the case, Universal...

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