Few people know about Napster, a website that was founded by a teenage genius who changed the way the Internet and the music industry work. A young man’s ingenious ideas have given the term “intellectual property” a new meaning. Shawn Fanning (18 years old) wrote the code to create the utility “Napster” in 1999. Shawn Fanning is the nickname Shawn Fanning uses for his hair. It combined three functions into one: a search engine that only found MP3 files; file sharing to exchange MP3 files directly; and an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to allow users to chat and find other MP3 users online Tubidy. It was immediately downloaded to download.com by the user and quickly became a popular download.
Napster MP3 files were saved on the machine of each user, rather than on a single central computer. This was known as “peer to peer sharing” or P2P. Every song that was downloaded from another machine could be found anywhere on the planet. To transfer files (or file sharing), the main requirement was that Napster be installed on each machine. The MP3 files were saved to each computer’s hard drive. These MP3 songs could then be transferred to MP3 players such as the Zen Micros or iPods to be listened to.
This program was very popular because it allowed users to download music online for free, rather than purchasing CDs. However, neither the music industry, nor the musicians, nor even the song authors, were able get paid for their music. The music industry was upset when thousands of songs that were copyrighted were made available for download. Napster was banned by 40% of US universities and colleges after it was made illegal. College students were its largest users. There were several reasons for this. College students love technology more than others. Also, colleges and universities provide high-speed Internet access to college students. MP3.com was sued for not having copyrighted materials that students could download online. This even though they were making royalties on all sales.
Everyone was interested in the Napster lawsuit, no matter which side they were on. It is important to remember that once someone purchases or plans to purchase an MP3 player, they must follow legal guidelines. These song rules can be found on the Internet.
1. Public domain
2. Artists who want to be seen.
3. Record companies release CDs to increase interest in the product.
4. Sites pay for the right to download. Artists or record companies receive royalties.
Although the media companies destroyed Napster’s original version in 2002, Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo re-elect its service. Instant-messaging products allow people to share music, photos, and other files with their friends. Sony also distributes some music via ScourExchange.