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Napster Revolutionary Program or One-Hit Wonder Illegally copying and distributing copyrighted material is against the law This law is widely known but rarely enforced However in recent months an Internet program called Napster has come under fire for aiding in the illegal distribution of music The Recording Industry Association of America RIAA representing 18 record labels has sued this California-based company for copyright violations The controversy surrounding Napster is that the program itself does not illegally distribute copyrighted music The people who use the program are the ones responsible for this illegal distribution Another problem facing Napster is that universities around the country are beginning to block the program because it takes up too much bandwidth Despite these problems Napster continues to go strong adding new users every day What will be the future of this hot new company Napster is the nickname of its creator 19-year-old Shawn Fanning Fanning wrote the program and obtained a large cash donation from a family friend This donation allowed him to quit college and move from Harwich Massachusetts to San Mateo California to start a company with two of his friends That was a little over seven months ago Today Fanning and his company have become the talk of the Internet The program runs on personal computers and allows a user to share his or her collection of MP3 files MP3s are the Internets most popular form of digital music A song off of a CD can take anywhere from 60 to 70 megabytes of hard drive space on your computer These files are way too large to transfer over the Internet However MP3s condense these CD files all the way down to 4 to 6 megabytes without losing sound quality This makes transferring songs over the Internet much faster and is where Napster comes in Napster allows all MP3s on a users hard drives t o be available for both searches and downloads over the Internet
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