Napster started a revolution in which music listeners rebelled against the high prices being charged for CDs by paying nothing at all. While music downloading is now common on college campuses and in homes around the country, it is still illegal and it still, technically, cheating. But, it is not only artists who are at risk. Movies, books and software have similarly become targets. The whole purpose of copyrights is to protect intellectual propety and allow those who invent products to make a profit in doing so. Yet, when a piece of information makes it to the internet, those who illegally download products now expect to get them for free. Yet, because everyone is doing it, the idea that it is somehow unethical becomes a mute point.
The feds, however, think differently, and so do the artists who depend on CD sales to make a living. The latest victim of federal prosecutors is Limewire, a company started five years ago that was a key player in the rise of the illegal downloads industry. A federal judge in New York City issued an injunction against the company that will effectively force it to shut down. The case is not over yet, for the owners of company still face multi-million dollar charges over their violation of copyright law.
In response to the case, the company claims that it is attempting to revert to a pay-for-service platform. Seems like they were a little bit too late.