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CNET News.com: Napster wildfire: Music may be only the beginning of grassroots piracy

May 15, 2000, 14:48 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland, Mike Yamamoto, Evan Hansen)

"So far, the file-sharing software program and others like it have been used primarily to download digital music. However, as the Net overcomes today's size and speed barriers, these technologies could be used to trade everything from full-length movies to computer operating systems--basically, anything that can take a digital form. "

"Moreover, opponents say Napster-like technologies are proving far more pernicious than previous forms of piracy, as underground programmers work to create diffuse networks providing safe harbor for the burgeoning trade. Industry countermeasures such as encrypted locks have touched off a virtual arms race that cannot guarantee lasting security"

"Already transcending music, Napster's wildfire popularity is forcing whole industries to reconsider their business models. Companies are realizing that the last shelter for the digital economy may be imaginative strategies that make use of widespread file-sharing rather than fight it, just as most content companies abandoned online subscriptions for free Web sites years ago."

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