Copyright refers to the owner of the original work's excusive rights. The concept of copyright was first established in Britain after the development of the printing press. In 1557 the Stationers' Company received a Royal Charter establishing a monopoly over the printing industry and was given the right to enforce its copyright. Starting in 1603, anyone to violate the Royal Charter was labeled a "Pirate".
Online piracy based on the copyright infringement through the use of the internet, emerged with the commercialization of the World Wide Web starting in 1996, the availability of high speed internet and the mp3 file format, which enabled the compression of data to a much smaller file size. Piracy ranges from unauthorized download of music to software, movies, pictures and games. International treaties vary in their content, so that for example, the unauthorized download of foreign music is legal in the U.S.
Napster, infamous and groundbreaking, was the first file sharing service to enable users to download and share recorded files.
It paved the way for other decentralized Peer-to-Peer ( P2P) file sharing programs. Some of the most famous file sharing clients and programs include: KaZaA, Limewire, iMesh, Morpheus, eMule, BearShare, FastTrack, eDonkey, Gnutella and Morpheus. Shaun Fanning founded Napster in 1999, during his freshman year at Northwestern University in Boston, with the sole purpose of easing the process of finding digital music. Napster soon flourished and reached its user peak in February of 2001 with 26.4 million users.
Like Madonna and her song 'Music', musicians found their music circulating on Napster before the official commercial release. Metallica's entire back catalogue was found on Napster, never even intended for publication. Their song 'I Disappear' was even played on the radio after the music was found on Napster, and still before the official release. As a...