- Paul A. Aitken
The practice of exchanging or distributing digital music files through a computer network. Individuals are largely unconcerned with profiting monetarily from the exchange, and artists are rarely remunerated. While all types of digital files have been shared since the formative days of computing, the widespread sharing of music files on the Internet began in earnest in the late 1990s as reduced cost/high bandwidth Internet connections economized the transfer of sizable amounts of data. Peer-to-peer services Audiogalaxy and Napster were among the earliest popular file sharing venues, joined later by others such as Kazaa, Limewire, and the BitTorrent protocol....