History of Napster
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History of Napster
Angelo State University
For centurys people had dreamed of capturing the sounds and music from the environment. Many had attempted it but no one had succeeded until Thomas Alva Edison discovered a method of recording and playing back sound. What had started out as an apparatus intended as part of an improved telephone led to the development of an instrument which would change the world, making it a happier, even a better, place to live. As time went by, more technological advancements came in to play. Throughout the 1900s technology advanced and people came in touch with new devices. After the computer was invented, the world changed again. No one could ever foresee how this great pieces of machinery would ever change the world. The Internet was later created and set loose to the people. With modern revelations and technology booming, a file sharing program was invented. It is known as Napster and has changed the way we look at file sharing today.
A revolution in the music industry surfaced in 1999, when Shawn Fanning, a Northeastern University undergraduate, and a few of his friends came up with an ingenious idea. They would create a program that would allow them to transfer songs and other data from each others computers via the internet. It seemed like a crazy idea but he thought to himself that it could work.
It took Shawn a little over 60 hours to write a small MP3-sharing software application known as Napster. It was originally designed for the exchange of Fanning and friends own recordings, but soon spread thought the campus and town. Napster quickly became a conduit for mainstream MP3s, and an MP3-sharing community was built overnight as the beta version of the shareware program quickly caught on. New songs could be found and downloaded at the touch of a button. Entire albums could be exchanged in minutes for free. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) contends that the service Napster provides is just a high-tech shortcut to music piracy. But in recent “friends of the court” briefs, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents tech giants like AT&T, Yahoo and Oracle, said the courts need to reinterpret and revise some of the “overprotective” models for guarding intellectual property. However, Napster still had to go to court and Shawn Fanning had to prove his point that he was just trying to spread the wealth of music to everyone.
Online piracy, through sites such as Australian-owned KaZaA, Audio Galaxy, Lime wire and Napster, are blamed for chopping more than 10 percent off record company annual revenues, which are about $600 million in Australia. This was proven wrong against the facts that video games and Dvd sales have gone through the roof in the last few years. With the introduction of new game consoles like XBOX and PlayStation 2, a lot of the revenue that was going to cds, is now moving over into new video games. With the increase in demand of DVDs and not VHS, revenue has also moved over. Advancements of DVD players in cars and portable DVD players, cds have taken another step back in the major picture. People only have so much expendable income and with new things to spend them on and the prices of these objects being so high, cds have to move back some. However, it is predicted that by the year 2007, the digital music revues would be worth $2 billion if there was no flat subscription fee. “They needed some volts up their backsides and the internet gave it to them,” one veteran music pirate says. “Most pirates are not teenagers, but a normal person in the mid 30s who wants to find rare and exotic files that major companies over look and neglect. The major problem is when people copy brand new Cds and make copys of them for their friends. That is the real piracy. When Lars Ulrich (drummer for Metallica) lead the suit after Napster, he turned against what he had done years earlier. Before Metallica was a huge success, they were handing out bootleg tapes that they had made at other bands shows. This was the only way that they could get the exposure that they needed in order to get fans to come to their shows. What that is can be included as piracy. They were taking attention away from another group in order to help themselves. Nevertheless, Napster lost the suit against RIAA, and was shut