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Kazaa crisis

            Although the Kazaa network is currently still running, recently many of us have deleted it from our computers. Kazaa is the latest most popular P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing program, which allows users to upload files(including songs, videos, software, etc.) onto the Kazaa network and download files that have been uploaded by other users. For those of us who have taken advantage of this privilege of pirating media from its very start with programs such as Napster and Audiogalaxy, we are used to seeing shutdowns of these networks, only to compel us to seek other file sharing networks. However, there has never been the situation in which the RIAA damaged the network by imposing lawsuits against the network's users. This news of RIAA lawsuits caused many of us, or many of our parents to order us to delete Kazaa from our computers. .
             Yet, there have been some of us who have found the lawsuits ridiculous and irrational, as one upperclass man put it: "There are like 5 million people on Kazaa. What are they gonna do, sue all of us?"(Bobby Zheng, Class II) Also, some people have downloaded only about 40 or 50 songs off of Kazaa, and feel that they won't be targeted. However, 261 people have been targeted, and the RIAA's hit list has been updated to over 911 users. The big question is: Is it right for the RIAA to be filing all these lawsuits?.
             When the RIAA files out lawsuits, they base their targets simply on finding lists of media files on users" computers. This process is flawed in that it doesn't search deep enough into the nature of the file and more important, doesn't consider intent. For example, a few months ago, the RIAA sent a legal notice to Penn State University, allegedly accusing them for establishing an FTP(file transfer protocol) site from which users could download Usher songs. However, it turned out the name "Usher" was not that of the famous singer, but of Professor Usher.

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