Today we have application stores up the ying-yang. But 15 years ago, trying to find applications for your computer was a lot harder. We did have two decent sources: Tucows.com and download.com (a CNet company, now owned by CBS). Since then, these two sources have grown to better catalog Freeware, shareware, and paid applications. This week, we say Happy anniversary to Download.com.
While the domain was registered on February 24, 1996, Download.com will officially launch on October 23rd, 1996 (Reference via CNet article). Since then, the website sees almost 10 million downloads of software a week. The top downloads being AVG and Avast antivirus software. A long cry from Hey, Macaroni (the dancing macaroni meme), WinZip 32 and Duke Nukem 3D – which was the most downloaded in 1996. WinZip is still one of the top 5 download pieces of software on the site.
For 15 years, download.com has kept a great archive of software, weeding out the obsolete, malware producing items. They have been sued for some software downloads, most notably the free music download program LimeWire. While download.com did not promote the download of mp3 music or movies, the peer-to-peer software is another way to download legally shared items. Of course, this has always been the conundrum of file sharing.
In retrospect, TuCows has been in operation since 1994, offering the same services. Other services have come and gone, but download.com has stayed strong. So happy 15 years to a source that I’ve personally used many a time from my IT career.
As you may have heard recently, Limewire has been ordered to finally shut its digital doors. Yesterday, a federal judge granted the shutdown request from the RIAA after a ruling in their favor several months ago. All searches, uploads and downloads through the client were ordered to stop. It was, no doubt, quite a shock to users when they fired up their client and were greeted with the this message:
Legal Notice: This is an official notice that Limewire is under a court-ordered injunction to stop distributing and supporting its file-sharing software. Downloading or sharing copyrighted content without authorization is illegal.
So now the RIAA goes along its merry way without anymore worries, right? Right?! Not exactly. In reality, the Limewire shutdown is a blip on the file-sharing radar. Truth be told, the RIAA probably spent more on legal costs to pull this off than they lost from the users of the software. And what do they have to show for it besides one program to point to as an example? Not much, it would seem.
First, there were numerous articles popping up online today touting the alternatives to Limewire. And of course there’s no shortage of those alternatives. Then there’s Usenet which is almost untraceable. And of course bittorrent which is now discovering better ways to hide users with tools like Anomos and Peerblock. If anything, the RIAA may have made things harder on themselves by forcing pirates into more obscure places and making them harder to catch and sue. What a kick in the butt if this shutdown makes the RIAA’s life the one that just became more difficult.
Second, there seems to be a study or survey popping up every few weeks that shows such things as “file sharers buy more music”. I’m actually inclined to believe that too. And not only because countless surveys have shown it, but because in a strange way it seems logical. If you like an artist you feel as if you should support them. They deserve to make a living off of their work, because, after all, if they can’t, then they will look for a 9-5 job and you won’t hear them again. A lot of P2P users seems to be looking to discover new music that they can then support. Obviously there will always be exceptions. A percentage will always just be thieves.
So, the RIAA got their big example with Limewire. They started down this course way back in the 90′s with Napster, so we can see how well it is working for them. They have succeeded only in alienating themselves from their customer base and probably forcing more people into piracy than would otherwise have been there. And with each “example” they also further the technology used to thwart them. Business models can either move ahead with the times or they can die – kicking and screaming in this case.
You have to watch to win! Video link is in the show notes. One more show here in Honolulu before I take the show on the road. It will be a very busy May and June as farmers say you have to make hay while sun shines. No locked in travel plans yet for listener meet-ups but will advise when I can. Tonight’s show has some incredible stories that will cause your eyebrows to raise.
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Show Topic Notes:
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Control your own short url service don’t pay for it!
New Amazon Reader on Wednesday supposed to be Big!
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Nettica suffers DDOS that shuts down thousands of Websites!
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LexisNexis waits 5 years to tell customers of Serious Security breach?
MPAA and RIAA site feature TorrentFreak content through XSS hack!
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16 Drupal Clones which are great if you can find someone to design a template!
The true cost of Bandwidth that the ISP’s don’t want you to know about.
Time to get rid of some space junk with sails!
Limwire tells Congress that Limewire 5 shares nothing without notification.
Hubble repair crew ready to fly!
Can digital paper save the newspaper industry.. In a word NOPE.
Ex RIAA Lawyer at DOJ to work RIAA cases after 1 year?
193 Lasers to Ignite and create Mini Star???????? Why????
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