Illegally Downloading Music

If you've ever used LimeWire to illegally download a very low quality MP3 of Akon's 'Smack That'

that's actually Afroman's 'Because I Got High'

but also the file is mislabeled as Sandstorm by Stan, with Eminem in parenthesis

and oh! No wait, nevermind, it's actually just twelve viruses in a trench coat disguised as a song,

I have one question to ask you!


The year is

and I am five years old.

Aw! Look at his giant head!

As I play Space Cadet Pinball on my father's very heavy-set

Windows 98 off-white desktop computer, while farting and-and cumming,

over in Massachusetts, Sean Fanning and Shaun Parker,

portrayed by Justin Timberlake obviously,

launch a little application called Napster.

And Napster says:

"Hi music industry,

I'm Napster and um,

I'm gonna set you on fire".

For the very first time there is an easy-to-use tool available to the masses

that lets you download all of the music, in all of the lands,

and for

[bad British accent] Oh my god, that's crazy.

And this is pretty monumental because music had existed

since the- the first time Adam was like, "everybody clap your hands"

and Eve was like, "stop it, what is happening? S- cut it out!"

And now, thanks to the

a.k.a. the MP3 if you didn't go to college,

you didn't have to buy a physical record or cassette or CD just to listen to one song.

CD? More like do you see these songs on my computer?

Ya know what I'm sayin'?

Now Napster is super important

not just because it lets you download "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down

really slowly and for free,

but because it introduced peer-to-peer or

P2P file-sharing to the masses.

What peer-to-peer means is that instead of one person

uploading a file to a central server and then another person

downloading that file from a central server,

peer-to-peer takes out the middleman

and just lets people share files

and dirty little secrets directly with each other,

dirty little secret

obviously being a reference to the All-American Rejects' smash hit

uhh, "Move Along" *awkward laugh*

moving-moving along!

p2p can be used to transfer all sorts of files, not just MP3s and eventually it will!


a l-like a lot

Laa.. Like a lot of porn.

But Napster only let you do MP3s, and Napster gets crazy popular,

eventually reaching like, 80 million registered users at its peak,

which if you know simple math, you know that that's more than four!

But the

AKA RIAA, isn't having any of that shit.

On December 7th, 1999,

only months after the launch of Napster,

RIAA filed suit on Napster's buttcheeks on behalf of the 5 major record labels:








Between it's launch in 1999 and its shutdown in 2001,

basically everyone and their dog tried to sue Napster.

A&M Records,

Metallica, Dr. Dre, who is- uh he famously said;

But this was a ton of publicity for the app and it only led to more and more people

sprinting towards Napster to take advantage of the service before

it would inevitably be taken down.

The service finally shut down on July 11th, 2001,

but dog, it was too late - the effects were irreversible.

The entire internet had done a sick-ass Superman seat grab and completely transformed almost overnight.

But with no Napster where did people turn?

Allow me to introduce you to my friend Kazaa.

Oh, have you met Limewire?

This is my very lightweight, tiny friend who's eventually gonna kind of be a huge deal...

And his name is BitTorrent!

While Kazaa and LimeWire were the apps that were the most popular

immediately after Napster's death in 2001,

both of them were a little bit...

goofy - um uh-, a lil', a lil'

Lil', lil' A little drunk.

Maybe, maybe they were hitting grandma's bottle cabinet.

I don't know.

LimeWire was released in May of 2000 by a dude named

Mark Gorton, who has degrees from Harvard, Yale and Stanford

and apparently all of them meant nothing when he made LimeWire.

And Kazaa was released in 2001 and was developed by some Scandinavian dudes

whose names I'm not even gonna attempt to pronounce,

but they also would later go on to help develop Skype.

What is this, the fucking History Channel? I don't look like an ice road trucker.

But also more extra importantly, both of these were absolute garbage for your computer.

I want to talk specifically about Kazaa first.

Kazaa here was closed source, which means to this day, people don't know like

exactly how everything worked.

For example, the algorithm used to double-check that two files are actually the same thing.

Like if two dudes both upload "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child and it's trying to like

double check that they're both the same thing so we can organize them,

Um, it did not do a good job.

Which means that,

You could download what you thought was "It's Been Awhile" by Staind,

but surprise, fucker, that's Weird Al.

If you're downloading some software or video games that have some ".exe"s in them,

Um, please dot "Ex"cuse me from my computer before I invite

17 really cool viruses into my home.

And hey, you remember our pal RIAA?

They were doing it too, yeah!

They were fighting the war on illegally downloading music by spreading fake ass corrupt files on Kazaa.

Isn't the Internet so crazy!?

Another small, but also like kind of huge bad thing about the app.

Um, it was riddled with adware.

And malware,

and spyw-

Basically every "ware" you could think of it-it had it.


Ace Hardware?

But regardless, Kazaa is popping off hard, from like 2001 to 2004 ish

So hard that in 2003 are our favorite pal RIAA over here says "you know what?"

"Fuck it, if we can't sue Kazaa,

We're just gonna start suing a bunch of Kazaa users directly for a shit ton of money, like college students.

Why? FUCK EM. That's why.

You don't need a fucking business degree!

Society is a lie!

Anarchy! dude, gamers are the government!"

As you could imagine, traffic starts to die down on Kazaa because users are getting afraid of going to jail and while users

scattered to other p2p services like LimeWire,

in 2006 Kazaa's parent company, Sharman is sued by MGM in this huge lawsuit and ends up settling for the little tiny

baby amount of a hundred million dollars,

which is a lotta - I'll - I mean

I'll rephrase it for my younger viewers so they could better understand it.

It's like - it's like if you took four of your mom's credit cards,

yeah, yeah,

like, like

"So - so many V-bucks!"

You get it, i- yeah. I'm proud of you.

Okay, so anyways what Kazaa and LimeWire had in common is...

all of the bad stuff.

Mislabeled files.



A really cool feature where every song is actually just Bill Clinton saying

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman! Miss Lewinsky."

Limewire would even eventually release a version that you could pay for called LimeWire Pro

that promised better search results and faster downloads,

but because life is hilarious and pirates always find a way around stuff,

you could just download LimeWire Pro with LimeWire, which is the funniest thing in the world!

It wasn't perfect.

It was probably gonna require your parents computer to go to Planned Parenthood and get tested for every STD imaginable.

But goddamn it bro.

I gotta download that new Avril Lavigne though!

Even though it was a beautiful disaster,

LimeWire had a good long run from 2000 till it's ordered shut down in 2010.

when the US District Court claimed that

LimeWire and it's Ivy League creator, Mark Gorton were both found guilty of copyright infringement

and unfair competition.

Hey, you remember your super low-key chill friend

who's so hilarious and chill!

Especially when he suggested that LimeWire owes him

72 TRILLION DOLLARS in damages to the music industry which is more money than the Earth had at that time.

Which luckily the judge thought was ridiculous, and they settled for a hundred five million

which is like practically nothing.

And overtime, music, movies, and TV shows

gradually figured things out and evolved with piracy.

Unlimited music for like, 10 bucks a month on Spotify is a pretty beautiful

evolution of the Internet's capabilities,

and it's way better than running the risk of downloading the Soulja Boy

Travis Barker remix on LimeWire

and running the risk of infecting your dad's computer with a funny disease and

also potentially getting sued by RIAA for downloading a Travis Barker production.

So what the fuck is the point of all of this?

Well, okay.

So yeah, people are always gonna want shit for free and that's never gonna change,

but also a lot of people are willing to pay money and support content that they care about

If they feel like there's trust and respect shown on both sides,

but more importantly, you can get LimeWire Pro with LimeWire!

That's it for today.

I really do hope you're doing well, and

please stay tuned for a message from our sponsor.

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