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IRC IRC gained international fame during the Gulf War in 1991, where updates from around the world came across the wire, and most irc users who were online at the time gathered on a single channel to hear these reports. IRC had similar uses during the coup against Boris Yeltsin in September 1993, where IRC users from Moscow were giving live reports about the unstable situation there. Napster In 1999, an 18-year-old college dropout named Shawn Fanning changed the music industry forever with his file-sharing program called Napster. His idea was simple: a program that allowed computer users to share and swap files, specifically music, through a centralized file server. Other Services With the rise and fall of the illegal Napster, other services began to pop up over the internet. Programs such as Kazaa , Grokster , Morpheus , Madster , eDonkey , Direct Connect , OpenNap , iMesh , or Gnutella . These programs sparked the political movement that caused avid down loaders to get into serious trouble, see the RIAA Obtains Subpoenas Against File Swappers and House Bill to Make File-Sharing an Automatic Felony for more infromation.
Many electronic works are distributed in encrypted form. The new anti-circumvention and access rules will encourage publishers to distribute digital works online, by CD, CD-ROM, DVD or in other formats, in encrypted or protected form by providing greater assurance that those who abuse access barriers will be subject to severe penalties. Legislators and content owners both hope that the severity of the penalties will discourage widespread piracy.
Most likely, the DMCA will ensure that more works come with licenses and with an obligation to pay for each use or access. This change could hit libraries particularly hard, because it will challenge the way in which libraries functions as the archive of our published history. Libraries must be prepared to review contracts for the acquisition of digital works more closely than ever before and bargain for full access rights. They must be alert to limitations on access and use of works that are licensed. In short, libraries must be prepared --
To bargain for the right to a hard copy.
To realize that digital access means limited access, unless you own a copy of the work.
To be prepared to negotiate terms for fair access for all reasonably expected purposes, in the face of initial licensing conditions and fees that that may be far too high.
To understand that equipment which decrypts works may be illegal to acquire or use .
Digital Rights Management Is a combination of encryption and Internet validation for protecting vendor copyrights to prevent unauthorized copying of digital content (software, music, books, movies, and so on). It’s important to understand DRM because, most legally downloaded music has some kind of security mechanism that may affect you’re decision to purchase a music track
Free legal Download Services There are a number of music hosting services that allow one to find many free downloads all in one place. Be aware though that the fact that a website provides a file for download doesn't imply the file is licensed for sharing. Probably the best known site for downloading MP3s is MP3.com . The Open Directory Project has Bands and Artists and Styles indices. Not all the artists offer downloads, but the site says they list 48,000 artists and I imagine many of them offer downloads. The Narcopop Independent Musicians Directory lists the websites for many artists and provides preview samples for many of them. There are better sites for hosting MP3s than MP3.com. Some of them allow you to buy the band's CD from the same page as the MP3 download.
Free legal Download Services It's difficult to find music that's actually worth listening to. Although many bands offer music on their websites, there's no real way to tell if it's any good without actually downloading it. The labels do serve the (somewhat) legitimate purpose of picking out the good from the bad. But we can do that ourselves with legal downloads by using collaborative filtering , for example by downloading our music with iRATE radio, which you'll find at http://irate. sourceforge .net/ : iRATE radio is a collaborative filtering client/server mp3 player/downloader. The iRATE server has a large database of music. You rate the tracks and it uses your ratings and other peoples to guess what you'll like. The tracks are downloaded from Web sites which allow free downloads of their music.
The Pro’s and Con’s of Free legal Download Services
Music is free
Discovering unknown artists and music that aren’t published through mainstream channels
The ability to sample tracks from an album and take the ones that you want
Free doesn’t necessarily mean that you can make copies or share the music legally (DRM).
Filtering through a lot of amateurish music to find something you like
Chances are you won’t find popular artist albums from these websites.
Paid Subscription Services
There are paid subscription services that don't use DRM, and there are those for which the DRM is not onerous. The advantage of these services is that one can obtain music from artists who don't offer it for free, so you're likely to find music from more well-known bands than by taking advantage of the completely free downloads.
If you use a subscription service that employs digital rights management, you should choose one that offers you these capabilities at a minimum:
The ability to play your downloads on your home CD player and in your car
The ability to back up your downloads and authorization key to secure secondary storage
The ability to play your downloads on a portable player that takes compressed files
The ability to play your music on a computer running any operating system you want
Continued access to your music in the event the subscription service goes out of business or the vendor decides to stop supporting it
One should have all of these capabilities simultanously; many digital rights management systems transfer the authorization key as one moves the music files from one device to another. For example, one could not play one's music on one's computer and portable player simultaneously.
Paid Subscription Services :: Apple I-Tunes The only DRM-based subscription service I know of that satisfies a significant number of these criteria is Apple's iTunes Music Store . While it is presently available only for U.S. residents who use Macintosh computers, it is expected that eventually it will be offerred more widely, and may be available for Windows as well. The digital rights management that iTunes uses is sometimes referred to as "soft DRM" to indicate that most users don't find it objectionable. One can play the music on up to three computers as well as an Apple iPod portable player, and burn standard audio CDs. The iTunes Music Store has done well so far. Users praise it, and a large number of downloads have been purchased in the short time since it went online. The AAC audio file format used by iTunes is more compact and sounds better than MP3. The iTunes Music Store is likely to be a long term success.
Paid Subscription Services :: Napster 2.0 Napster currently has a database of over 500,000 songs from all musical genres. You can purchase tracks for 99 cents a piece or entire albums for $9.95, which in most cases is a bargain for an entire album. Napster, like all music services requires you to register before you can purchase any music. You also are required to download their software to browse their tracks. It has gotten better with it’s DRM policy. Users can burn tracks that they purchased from Napster to a CD. They can make up to five copies of that CD, however, they can not transfer the music from the CD to another portable device.
Paid Subscription Services :: Honorable Mentions
BuyMusic Has an extensive DRM policy. Buyer be careful.
EMusic . The files EMusic provides are standard MP3 files, free of any copy protection. You can copy them to any computer or MP3 player, burn them to any CD and back them up without fear of losing any kind of authorization key.
Download Music Mart - Download Music Store featuring Legal Music Downloads from Independent Artists and Labels
Calabash Music - World Music Downloads
eClassical - the world's largest classical music download shop
The DRM can be a nightmare for some users depending on your musical tendencies and needs.
There new services and technology being developed frequently, so don’t be afraid to research new services and get the best bang for your buck.
You get what you pay for, so buyer beware and happy downloading!