FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

File-Swappers Stay One Step Ahead of RIAA

At times, the battle between file-swappers and the recording industry (RIAA) seems like the never-ending chase between Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner. No matter how clever Wiley thinks he is or how hard he works, Road Runner remains perpetually out of reach.

Despite the RIAA's legal and educational efforts, file sharing continues to rise, especially among college students. The RIAA has attempted to flood networks such as Kazaa with spoofed files, but file-swappers' response has simply been to migrate to newer networks such as eDonkey that remain beneath the RIAA's radar. As long as smart people can create new networks, file-swappers will stay a step ahead of the RIAA.

Even more underground -- and more basic -- than new networks is the time-honored method of manually exchanging music by directly copying CDs and MP3 players. The kids today call this "hot-swapping," and in theory it's little different than the taping of LPs to cassettes that folks did in my college days (yes, I'm dating myself here). The difference is that our way was time-consuming, and unless you had a state-of-the-art system and used top-quality cassettes, the end product usually sounded like crap. Today's file-swappers can download an entire high-quality music collection within minutes.

Beep! Beep!

Sources: CD Freaks, Lockergnome