The rapidly growing rate of the internet piracy of music, movies, software and video games has their respective companies sweating bullets. Internet piracy is the illegal copying of a product. .
Music began being recorded and sold when Columbia Records introduced the vinyl LP in 1948. As we know, technology has made many advances since then. The tape was introduced in 1955 and 25 years later in 1980, Phillips and Sony agreed on a standard for the compact disc. Personal computers were not introduced until 1981 but the World Wide Web wasn"t created by Tim Berners-Lee until 1990. The format that downloadable internet music files are in, MP3, was approved in 1992. The combination of all these technological advances have made it possible for internet piracy to be born and take place in today's society. The first major website to make huge profits off of MP3 technology was Napster.
Napster was founded in May of 1999 by Shawn Fanning. Fanning, a freshman at Northeastern University, began peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, allowing users to trade music over the Internet without paying or sacrificing quality. Napster spread quickly, especially among teens, through word of mouth and was soon a must-have on everyone's personal computer. By October 31, 2000, Napster founder Shawn Fanning claimed it had 38 million members at the time. But as Napster grew, it grabbed the attention of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA, on behalf of the record labels it represents, sued Napster in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on grounds of copyright infringement. The RIAA was the first association to sue Napster while Metallica brought a suit against Napster for copyright infringement and unlawful use of a digital audio interface device. And shortly after, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Napster users are illegally copying and distributing copyrighted commercial songs.