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This chapter introduces the dispute between Napster Inc and the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA the copyrights issue the subsequent effects on todays music industry sales and the abuse of such software on college campuses across AmericaNapster Inc was founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker in 1999 Shawn was only 19 years old when he wrote the program Napster at Northeastern University Napster is a software program that allows individuals to freely trade sound files in MP3 format using the InternetMP3 stands for MPEG Audio Layer 3 MPEG is the Moving Picture Experts Group working under the joint direction of the International Standards Organization ISO and the International Electro-Technical Commission IEC MP3 is in short a compression system for digital music It helps to reduce the number of bytes in a music selection without hurting the overall sound quality The goal of MP3 is to compress a Compact Disc CD-quality music file by a factor of 10 to 14 without sacrificing sound quality Napster has attracted a lot of attention because the files that Internet users happen to be trading are illegal copies of songs that have been recorded in the wildly popular MP3 format Since MP3 format files are greatly reduced in size they are much easier to store in the users computer making transporting and trading of such files virtually hassle freeNapster offers an alternative way to distribute MP3 files Instead of storing songs physically in a central computer on the network the songs are stored in the users computerAn Internet user would visit wwwnapstercom and download their free software and install it into hisher computer The new user would then choose their desired user name and password When heshe signs on the software optionally searches the users computers hard drives for any MP3 format files and catalogues them into a list This list then becomes the users library This library will eventually become a part of the searchable libraries available
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