Sometime in early 2000, Napster, an online peer-to-peer MP3 file sharing service, went down after facing copyright infringement charges. Artists including Metallica, Dr. Dre and Madonna filed similar suits as their songs were made available for download on Napster even before their official release. Recording companies including A&M records likewise filed charges. Although it did not end well for Napster, it has definitely changed the music industry, the net and the way we see intellectual property rights. The ever-persistent question lies, just because we can download all the music we want for free, should we?
I'm thankful for all the free music and information the internet now makes available for us. Its all very revolutionary, changing the very way we do things. But there's always a part of me that wonders whether there's something wrong somewhere. If I physically hand my Michael Buble CD to a friend for free, that's perfectly legal. But If that friend uploads all the songs and shares it to another friend through an online service, somehow it gets complicated. Right now, I dont feel any guilt in having an ipod full of christmas songs I never paid for. But it makes me think, should I?
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