File sharing. Anonymous, MegaUpload. MPAA. Lawsuits. Torrents. LimeWire. Usenet. Copy protection. DRM. It all started with the Internet, but is this the end of the Internet as we know it?
Those eight little letters, spawned into a web for the entire world, connecting everyone together instantly, forming entirely new paths of business, communication, research, ways to make money: a virtually unlimited and ever-expanding entity. The Internet is like the Big Bang Theory - an explosion and a continuation of an expansion.
This expansion lead to file-sharing, where in the 80s, Usenet (or newsgroups) and Bulletin Boards were used to not only have open, or closed discussion, but a form of file transfer. Usenet was the precursor to Internet forums we all frequent today. It was, and still is, more of an "underground" thing.
We then had Napster. Napster opened the world's eyes to a new generation of music file sharing. Napster was the death call for the music industry. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a lawsuit against Napster, but it didn't help. It only made Napster much bigger because of the publicity. It wasn't long until Napster was forced to shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction.
Napster was founded as a peer-to-peer file sharing service, released all the way back in 1999. Remember those days? Friends was cool. Jennifer Aniston's hair styles were more popular than her entire career is right now. I remember Napster fondly, I was just 16 at the time, and saw this as the future of the entire Internet.
I was right.