The Wrongs and Rights of Copyright

By Jeffrey Izzo

On June 1, 1999, the world of music experienced a cataclysmic revolution. It was one that would forever change how fans consumed recording music, which eventually motivated the recording industry to alter the way in which they sold and distributed music. On June 1, 1999, Napster was born.

Napster was a free online file-sharing service that allowed listeners to download and share recorded music with other Napster users. The trouble was, it was illegal, violating the record labels' rights of duplication and distribution. Following numerous lawsuits, in which the Recording Industry of America (the RIAA) and several record companies sued not only Napster but also many of its users for copyright infringement, the service eventually closed its doors (but years later re-emerged and continues to operate in a legal capacity to this day).

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