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Peer 2 Peer

Author:  Wes Harbaugh
Date:  2005.10.13
Topic:  Other

Untitled Document

P2P, or Peer to Peer, is one of the web's largest industries, despite it mostly revolving around illegal practices. It is the seed of; legal fees, advertisements, program development, fake P2P networks, and other large revenue sources. P2P is when peers, or users, connect together, sharing bandwidth and computing power to distribute the contents of their hard drives to other people. If you're reading this then you are probably yourself one of these "peers" connected on one of your favorite file sharing programs.

But, for those of you who have been in a closet for the last 6 years. Napster began the pioneering of P2P technologies by allowing music to be downloaded for free. Eventually they were shut down by many artists who did not like their music being given out for free cutting then out of their royalties. Finally, in early 2001, an injunction was filed by several record labels to shut down Napster. Napster later returned as a pay service and has had moderate success. Alas, the damage was done, Napster's creator Shawn Fanning had created a completely new cyber underground except he had made it easy to find. Within months of Napster's servers shutting down other P2P applications came out, the two most memorable, Morpheus, and Kazaa. People all over the world downloaded these and for time, it was good. New versions sprung out of both of them after some of the very first major spyware made itself public inside these two programs, but that's a whole different story. People immediately flocked to these, especially younger listeners whom could not afford the new music. As it became easier to use, it became more popular and drew more attention. One by one more networks appeared, more clients appeared, and some have shut down due to legal issues.

Eventually the RIAA got a whiff of these new programs, and tried to stop the distribution of music by planting corrupted versions all over networks of popular files. Finally in 2003, the RIAA began what would be a long campaign of lawsuits against users, irregardless of age, social status, or income. IP addresses were taken from connections on P2P clients and then details of each IP were subpoenaed from the internet service provider (ISP) of the user. People ranging from age 12 onward have been sued, the parents of course have to take the bill. As of October 5th, 2005, there have been 14,800 suits filed against users of P2P clients for illegal downloading of music.


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