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Word Count: 1,119
Napster is the worlds leading file sharing community The Napster software httpwwwnapstercom launched early in 1999 allows internet users to share and download MP3 files directly from any computer connected to the Napster network The software is used by downloading a client program from the Napster site and then connecting to the network through this software which allows sharing uploading and downloading of MP3 files between all users connected to the network While Napster does not condone copyright infringement there is no opportunity in the software to stop this or for royalties to be paid to artists whose songs are being duplicated for free Unlike similar file-sharing applications Gnutella Freenet Napster limits users to uploadingdownloading of MP3 files only These files are compressed wave wav files The advantage of MP3 files is that they are approximately one-tenth the size of the corresponding wav file and can be close-to-CD-quality It is for this reason that many artists record labels and other music industry stakeholders are concerned by the MP3 file format and applications like Napster that simplify the sharing of copyrighted material What Napster tries to tell its users is that they are not supposed to use the files on Napster for any unauthorized copying distribution modification public display or public performance of copyrighted works is an infringement of the copyright holders rights What has happened to Napster is a Federal Judge in San Francisco issued an injunction against Napster effectively shutting down the popular song sharing service The Recording Industry Association of America RIAA and the National Music Publishers Association NMPA sued Napster in December 1999 alleging that the service encourages copyright violation since Napster allows users to share music files for free In their motion the entertainment industry presented evidence demonstrating ongoing harm to CD sales and harm to the emerging legitimate market for downloading music Slightly controversially they also claimed that Napster leads to a devaluing of music as Napster teaches
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