Development of legal music download from the Internet

By | April 6, 2021


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 updated and appealed previous copyright laws signed in 1976. DMCA prohibits the copying and distribution of copyrighted material online without the permission of the copyright holder.


The original Napster operated from 1999 to 2001. Shawn Fanning’s file sharing technology enabled users to share music files for free. In 2000, Metallica and Dr. Dre Napster for copyright infringement. Major labels came with similar features. with the plaintiff in 2001 and returned as a legal download service after the name was purchased by Roxio.

In 2000,’s sister site allowed users to stream copies of songs they purchased online. The courts decided on the record labels provided by the service for unauthorized duplication of digital music. was subsequently sued by publishers and could no longer afford to stay.

Grokster and Streamcast

In 2005, the United States Supreme Court of MGM ruled that Grokster and Streamcast could be liable for copyright infringement for peer-to-peer file sharing software marketing. Grokster was forced to pay $ 50 million to music and film companies.


Kazaa, a trade union file-sharing network, debuted in 2001. In 2006, Kazaa settled lawsuits with record companies and paid over $ 100 million in damages to allow users to infringe copyright laws using the Morpheus software. After other legal battles, Kazaa continued to become a legal download service.

Legal Digital Downloads

Apple’s iTunes Music Store debuted in 2003 after the arrival of the iPod two years earlier. Within 5 years, iTunes became a legal download service, as Apple established relationships with the music industry.

RIAA vs Music Fans

In September 2003, the RIAA launched a public awareness campaign on copyright issues by suing 261 Americans who illegally shared music files on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, the RIAA had tuned over 35,000 music fans. The record industry then made agreements with Internet service providers to discontinue the service for copyright infringers. From the late 1990s, music fans discovered themselves from a series of record industry goals that consumers are limited to what they can do with recorded music, whether they bought it or not. These cases led to legal digital downloads being coded using Digital Rights Management technology, which limits the use of purchased digital files.