"If anyone needs more convincing that Internet time is a quantum
leap past ordinary time, just check out the rapid growth of Napster
among computer users of all stripes. Napster is an application that
searches for MP3 files across the Internet and transfers songs or
albums from one user to another, and there's almost half a million
Napster users offering songs via the Internet. Both users need to
be using Napster, but there's no intervening server that stores the
MP3 files: all files are stored locally, and technically it's one
user lending a personal copy of a song to another user, akin to
making a mix tape or CD for a friend."
"Yes, it's probably illegal as hell: there's no way someone
could interpret a personal license to any intellectual property and
stretch it to the point where they're allowed to give away copies
on the Internet to anyone for the asking. But the music industry,
which has aggressively pursued legal action against Internet
bootleg sites, now faces the daunting task of going after one user
at a time...."
"In many cases, bootlegs were superior to the crud being put out
by the major labels: John Lennon's wistful, original recording of
Strawberry Fields Forever (which later resurfaced on The Beatles
Anthology) was clearly superior to the official version, while live
bootlegs from Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen showed a passion
that was sometimes lacking in the more antiseptic studio releases.
And let's face it: without bootlegs, the Grateful Deal and Phish
would be playing the blues in some dumpy bar in South San
Francisco. Indeed, with the band's official support of sharing
performances, it could be argued that the real source of everything
Open Source is the Grateful Dead."
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