THE FILESHARING WEB SITES Megaupload and The Pirate Bay have hit the headlines again this week as the battle over online copyright enforcement continues to rage.
Whether you view them as internet 'pirates' stealing and illegally distributing others' content or filesharing saviours offering a way around extortionate charges from the entertainment industry cartels and alternate routes of communication, they certainly cause heated debate.
We've taken a look at the 10 web site takedowns that have had the biggest impact on the online downloading controversy, from those still battling it out in the courts to those that have disappeared or decided to go on the straight and narrow.
During the early 2000s, while Napster drew all the headlines, Audiogalaxy popped up and quietly went about letting web users access tons of music completely free with absolute ease.
The web site was, to many, better than Napster as it was all web-based, pleasant to look at and featured articles on both classic albums and up-and-coming artists hosted on its web site. This have it more of a community feel, even allowing users to interact in forums below artists' pages.
Alas, it could never last and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) soon took action against the web site, demanding that the owners pay fees for the artists allegedly being abused there.
Audiogalaxy tried in vain to appease the RIAA by blocking the sending of copyrighted songs and eventually signed an out-of-court settlement. It valiantly tried to continue by offering artists the chance to opt in to making their music available on the web site, but this never really took off and eventually it closed.
However, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, the company recently returned, this time as a music streaming service that allows you to access the music stored on your computer on your smartphone.
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