A discussion of whether napster should be prosecuted for its free music sharing software

Description[ edit ] The middle computer is acting as a "seed" to provide a file to the other computers which act as peers. The BitTorrent protocol can be used to reduce the server and network impact of distributing large files. The protocol is an alternative to the older single source, multiple mirror sources technique for distributing data, and can work effectively over networks with lower bandwidth. Using the BitTorrent protocol, several basic computers, such as home computers, can replace large servers while efficiently distributing files to many recipients.

A discussion of whether napster should be prosecuted for its free music sharing software

But with or without Napster, on-line sharing is not about to disappear. Sharing of digital goods among Internet users has existed long before Napster was conceived, and it is likely to keep on troubling music companies, film studios, book publishers, and other owners of digitizable content.

Over the past few months we have all heard a great deal about Napster. None of these descriptions is fully correct. At the same time, you define which parts of your hard drive are open for sharing. In fact, whatever you share quickly becomes a public good. In fact, it is very similar to the technology that was used to create the Internet in the first place.

This is not a coincidence. The Internet was built in a collective effort, and content was meant to be free and accessible to all users —and this is the reason that on-line security is so problematic.

Only in the last few years, as the Internet has been opened to the general public, has it become known as a platform for profit-making potentially, at least ventures. But in spite of the hoopla around e-commerce, most of the Internet is still free for all. Just search the Internet; some good soul has probably put it up somewhere.

First and foremost, this is a social phenomenon. This is voluntary, not-for-profit sharing of digital goods among complete strangers.

And this is also what separates on-line sharing from buddies who exchange music cassettes, from Web sites that offer free music paid for by advertising, and from small time crooks that duplicate CDs to sell on a street corner.

On-line sharing should be seen for what it is — an almost instinctive behavior of many Internet users. In fact, the belated attempt to monetize its popularity forced Napster to become a corporation, thus making it an easy target for the music companies.

Music industry executives, blind to the social trends behind the phenomenon, have been quick to draw the legal gun, and they have won temporary relief from Napster. The distributed nature of the Internet, however, makes it tough to enforce any court ruling, and the movement towards on-line sharing, just like the mythological Hydra, is likely to grow two heads for each one that is stricken down.

Whether Napster survives is secondary. On-line sharing will clearly remain a strong trend among savvy Internet users. Moreover, the music industry might miss Napster soon. Because immediately after the court ordered a practical shut down of Napster, many of its devoted users fled to look for alternatives.

And those were just around the corner. Two prominent alternatives are Gnutella, a program that was written by two mischievous AOL programmers, and Freenet — which was specifically designed for guerrilla operations.

It uses a sophisticated encryption mechanism that makes it impossible to know who offers what, and where the files are actually stored. It is practically impossible to shut down. These two pieces of software were written not for making money, but for supporting the cause of on-line sharing, and they allow users to share anything digital, including DVD movies and electronic books.

Dire straits await the oblivious film studios and music companies, who are likely to lose this battle—not because their case is unjust, but because they do not understand what stimulates this popular movement.

A discussion of whether napster should be prosecuted for its free music sharing software

Now we are about to witness a dramatic development in the market for anything that is digital, or can become digital. Since information that can become digital — music, videos, books — can become free, shutting down web sites, outlawing software, or even selling digital music on-line will not eliminate sharing.

It will not be easy, but it is possible.A centralized service for sharing of millions of music titles, this P2P network of “real-time” file trading also incorporated chat rooms with “instant messaging” and a “hotlist” function and was even featured on Download Spotlight of the prominent rutadeltambor.com But one of them, Soulseek, weathered three of file-sharing’s mass extinctions, and has quietly remained one of the best sources of obscure music.

The lifespan of software is a curious thing. Unless a program is deemed irreplaceable by an industry (like Photoshop), most die out or are succeeded by a better—or cheaper—option a few years later. Issues in American Copyright Law and Practice. by.

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Joseph F. Baugher. Last revised December 4, This work is issued under. a Creative Commons license. In July , Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction. On September 24, , the case was partially settled. Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, and as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million.

Napster had lost its zest. Rudderless and haemorrhaging relevance, it began a series of doomed manoeuvres. After the court-ordered shutdown, bosses flirted with the idea of reinstating free sharing, but with music that had the lo-fi quality of radio.

They gave away free MP3 players. BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) which is used to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet..

BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files, such as digital video files containing TV shows or video clips or digital audio files containing rutadeltambor.com-to-peer networks have been estimated to.

Napster or Not, Online Sharing Will Thrive - [email protected]