Can the use of cyberspace be governed? Until recently, this was a question of no importance. Now, thanks to programs such as Kazaa, Napster, Audio Galaxy and Direct Connect, millions of people are just a click away from receiving plenty of files. Some consider this to be an illegal way to obtain copyrighted material. There is some legal action being taken to try and stop the flow of material from one person to another.
Person to person file sharing has become rather popular online. With programs that can be found on search engines and downloaded, such as Napster, one individual can look at files offered to them by others, as well as share their own. Programs differ slightly in how they can be used, as to make the user seem a bit more comfortable with them. Some can be used by entering a keyword, and receiving the matching results, such as a person might do using a search engine like Yahoo. With others, there is a list of usernames that can be clicked on to view that individuals files, as well as their connection speed, and some other information about them. With over 35 million people now using the internet, over 7 million of them in the US alone, it is easy to find and download anything you would like (Clark 1). Depending on how fast your connection is, it can take as little as thirty seconds to download a song, or half an hour to obtain a full movie. .
Napster was one of the first and one of the biggest file sharing programs. With over 70 million people who downloaded the program, it was at its peak when it got shut down (Napster Dies 13). Once downloaded, a person could acquire songs, movies, and other shared files, just by clicking a username and browsing through their list of titles. Or the little search engine could be used to type in an artist or title, and the closest matching results would pop up. Each time a file is downloaded it would go into the users Media Library where it is then shared with fellow Napster users, unless moved into a different folder.