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osOpinion: Has the MP3 business been pushed too far?

Aug 31, 2000, 08:27 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russell Joy II)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"Within the last few months, the RIAA and Napster have been locked in a feud which has made headlines all over the world. Because of a simple file called an MP3, which is a music file of any track on any compact disc (CD) played on a computer with perfect CD quality, these two companies are fighting a war over copyright infringement. With all the legal hype that is occurring between these two companies, it strikes curiosity in me; has the entire MP3 business been pushed too far? After much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that this business has done just that."

"The trading of MP3 files has happened for almost three to four years before Napster was even created. Internet users would use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites to share their MP3s with other users. These sites would be shared with other users through the use of chat rooms and programs such as Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and ICQ. The IRC and ICQ programs could also allow a user to download MP3s directly from another users computer onto their own. So what is it that makes Napster not only special, but also the center of attention to the world, and the target by the RIAA? Simple. It is the way the Napster program was created. Unlike FTP sites, where numerous users set up numerous sites making it virtually impossible to find all of them, and unlike IRC and ICQ, which both use multiple clients across the entire globe also making it virtually impossible to track the users, Napster uses one client and one client only for all its users. This makes it much easier to track the program and how many users are on at one time, thus making the program easier to be stopped."

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