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"The Heavenly Jukebox," by Charles C. Mann (September 2000)
Recent coverage of the spread of "contraband" music on the Internet has missed some basic points. Chief among them: the fight against Internet piracy is being led by a peculiar and grasping business -- the recording industry -- that should not be allowed to set the rules.

Discuss this article in the Technology & Digital Culture conference of Post & Riposte.

WEB-ONLY SIDEBAR | September 2000

Navigating the
Heavenly Jukebox

A selective guide to the new world of music on the Net

Napster and Related Sites
"Join the largest, most diverse online community of music lovers in history by downloading and installing Napster. It's fun, simple and free."

NapsterMP3.com: Napster Revolution Headquarters
Napster news, links, message boards, and more.

The Ultimate Napster Resource Site
Articles and general information about Napster, and links to downloadable software.

"Gnutella is a fully-distributed information-sharing technology. Loosely translated, it is what puts the power of information-sharing back into your hands."

"Freenet is a peer-to-peer network designed to allow the distribution of information over the Internet in an efficient manner, without fear of censorship. Freenet is completely decentralized, meaning that there is no person, computer, or organisation in control of Freenet or essential to its operation. This means that Freenet cannot be attacked like centralized peer-to-peer systems such as Napster."

A clone of Gnutella.

"A Web-based client, interfaced to the Gnutella networks," enabling people to search Gnutella from the Web.

Another Web based search engine for Gnutella content.

Scour Exchange
"Your tool to search, download, and share multimedia files from the Web and our rapidly growing community." A Napster-like service that lets people search for other media. It, too, has been sued by record companies.

"Log in to the community and learn how easy it is to locate files, stream music, preview movies, view graphics and more."

Originally a joke, now a serious effort to create Napster-like software. "This project was inspired by the recent legal actions taken against Napster. Currently, we are in the initial design stages and our team welcomes any suggests regarding the future development of the system."

"Searching by an artist's name at angrycoffee.com using the Percolator engine results in both hits from Napster's network of links to mp3 files, as well as music by Angry Coffee's unsigned, independent artists." Also hooks up to third-party Napster servers.

"DailyPhat brings you a web-based frontend for Gnutella, allowing anyone with a web browser to use the powerful search features Gnutella offers." Also has a Slashdot-clone news-and-comment section on digital audio.

Calling itself "the accurate search engine," Surfy is a miniature version of Yahoo and AltaVista combined, which also hooks up to Gnutella.

"Your Navigator To Nap Servers And Internet Audio." A site that allows users to choose which music-swapping server they connect to -- one of Napster's, or a third party's.

An open source version of Napster server software.

Naphoria! Network
A Web clearing house for third-party nonprofit Napster-like services.

A search engine that specializes in finding images, movies, and MP3s.

A Napster-like system with encryption to make identifying users and exchanges more difficult.

Direct Connect
"Direct Connect allows users to share multiple directories from their local and mapped disks with other users over a TCP/IP network. All users' shared files are available to all other users; no passwords or hassles are required."

Oth Net
A tool that searches FTP sites for music, videos, etc.

A forthcoming, supposedly legal version of Napster.

The Napster Suit and Controversy
RIAA Lawsuit Against Napster
The plaintiff's legal filings. Posted by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Napster Legal Documents
The defendant's legal filings.

The judge's preliminary injunction ruling
Posted on August 11, 2000, by the Northern District of California's official Web site.

Napster: Preserving the Future of Digital Openness
An overview of the Napster controversy, and links to articles and university policies regarding Napster and Gnutella.

Petition for Support
"We have come together collectively to sign this 'petition' in support of Napster. We all agree to stop supporting record companies if they refuse to accept Napster."

General information about Napster and the Napster controversy, with frequently updated news briefs, message boards, related links, profiles of pro-Napster musicians and bands, and lists of bands to boycott.

Boycott RIAA
An activist site with resources and suggestions for sending a pro-Napster message to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Boycott the RIAA
Petitions, articles, message boards, related links, and more.

Stop Napster -- Artists Protecting Artists
"This site is funded by independent artists to help educate the public on the hazards Napster poses for musicians."

Artists Against Piracy
"Artists Against Piracy is an artist-driven coalition created to give artists a voice in determining how their music is presented, marketed and distributed on the Internet."

Coalition for the Future of Music
"No longer will corporate media and big money be able to frame the discussion of music solely in terms of their industries, as we draw together the strongest voices in the technology and independent music communities to address questions of music in the marketplace with a clear-eyed focus on the interests of the artists."

Secure Digital Music Initiative
"The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) is a forum that brings together more than 180 companies and organizations representing information technology, consumer electronics, security technology, the worldwide recording industry, and Internet service providers. SDMI's charter is to develop open technology specifications that protect the playing, storing, and distributing of digital music such that a new market for digital music may emerge."

MP3 Sites and MP3 Players
"MP3.com is the premier Music Service Provider (MSP), offering new ways for music fans to discover, manage and listen to their music collection from anywhere using any computer or device with Internet access. We also offer exceptional opportunities for artists through our Artist Agreement."

"By popular demand, MP123 is proud to launch our service by offering members the only site on the Net where you can swap MP3 music files. MP123 is here to help you get your MP3s quickly and legally."

CuteDoggy Directory
A directory of legal MP3 sites.

MP3 Tools
An index of MP3 coders and decoders. Posted by AngryCoffee.com.

CNet Consumer Electronics: MP3
A guide to MP3 players. Posted by CNet, a site that provides comprehensive "information and services relating to computers and technology."

Pine Technology USA
Genica MP3/CD Products

Net-Music News Sites
MP3 Newswire


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Copyright © 2000 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; September 2000; The Heavenly Jukebox Related Links; Volume 286, No. 3; page .