The History of Internet Piracy

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The History of Internet Piracy and its Impacts Internet piracy and copyright infringement have become major issues around the globe. Internet piracy has also evolved significantly since its beginnings. The effects are particularly felt by multiple industries, including the music, movie and software industries. As a result of the overwhelming effects of piracy, many pieces of legislation have either been proposed or passed in the United States. Piracy has significantly impacted the Internet as a result of government policy implemented over several years to combat piracy. Several different events and technologies have acted as stepping stones for Internet piracy. One of the first events to occur was the release of RealAudio 1.0 by RealNetworks Inc. in 1995. This technology allowed users to stream audio by clicking a link instead waiting for a whole song to download, but resulted in poor sound quality and the inability to save the streamed audio for later listening. From this came the innovation of the MP3 which is an audio format that uses compression to keep file sizes small while maintaining sound quality. Sameer Hinduja, Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University, explains that the MP3 became the industry standard “because of its widespread acceptability, comparatively fast download speed, minimal storage requirements, near-CD quality of sound, ease of use, and flexibility” (18). The convenience of the MP3 lead to
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