I was talking with a good friend yesterday about Napster, and how awesome it was. She remembered it fondly, as did I. It had cool features like listing the other files being shared by a user who had files you wanted, which was a great way of finding new music. After all, a user that had one file you wanted might have similar taste. It turned me on to a number of artists I'd never head of before.
Similar things exist here and there in the P2P world but not so much with Bittorrent, the predominant method of filesharing at the moment. She was Bittorrent naive and I was explaining to her how it worked. Then she asked a shocking question--how are the Bittorrent sites still up, when Napster was taken down?
Indeed, how? Simple answer--they are hosted in other countries than the U.S. of A.
So let's run through the types of content that are illegal to host and share (read "speak") in the U.S.A.:
Does that make sense to you? I understand that there are real and proper limits to free speech, but does entertainment media really need to be censored the way kiddie porn and military secrets do? In America?
This is also why the FBI is trying their damnedest to arrest and imprison a German national in New Zealand--as opposed to catching terrorists and kiddie porn producers. I wonder how many FBI agents find their calling fulfilling when doing this stuff?