Napster a pioneer of digitalization movement

napster.jpgI find it hard to believe that next year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) lawsuit against music sharing giant Napster.  

Think about all of the advancements that have been made over the last decade in the way we listen to and discover music, through creations like the iPod, YouTube and social networking sites like MySpace and Purevolume

Before Napster, there wasn’t any other means — besides a computer– to store thousands of digital songs.

That’s why many critics and industry executives point to Napster as one of the pioneers of the digitalization of music.

If you haven’t kept up with the legal battles since the Napster filing, the RIAA has continued to get its hands dirty.  The group has sued about 35,000 people for pirating music since 2003. 

But just last week, the RIAA announced it would nix its policy of suing individual file sharers due to the legal costs exceeding the settlement money the practice brought in.

Call me a traditionalist, but I still carry my Discman with pride and I have not succumbed to buying an iPod. 

But I am clearly in the minority.  In 2007, U.S. album sales fell 9.5 percent, but digital music tracks soared for the first time past the 1 billion mark this year.

RICHARD SIMON, Multimedia Reporter

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