"And he believed in it because his idea was so simple: a program
that would allow computer users to swap music files with one
another directly, without going through a centralized file server
or middleman. He'd heard all the complaints about how frustrating
it was to try to find good music on the Net, how so many of the
pointers on websites offering current (which is to say copyrighted)
music seem to lead only to dead ends. But Fanning figured out that
if he combined a music-search function with a file-sharing system
and, to facilitate communication, instant messaging, he could
bypass the rats' nest of legal and technical problems that kept
great music from busting out all over the World Wide Web."
"All he had to do was combine the features of existing programs:
the instant-messaging system of Internet Relay Chat, the
file-sharing functions of Microsoft Windows and the advanced
searching and filtering capabilities of various search engines. He
reasoned that if he could write a program that included all those
features, he'd have a pretty cool piece of software."
"But there was a huge leap of faith involved. Nearly everyone he
mentioned the idea to believed it wasn't workable. 'It's a selfish
world, and nobody wants to share,' snorted his older, more
experienced buddies from the IRC chat rooms. Fanning, an
inarticulate teenager at the time, couldn't adequately explain
himself. He insisted that people would do it, because, like... just
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