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The case that never was : an analysis of the Apple iTunes case presented by the Commission and potential future issues

Farrand, Benjamin (2009) The case that never was : an analysis of the Apple iTunes case presented by the Commission and potential future issues. European Intellectual Property Review, 31 (10). pp. 508-513. ISSN 0142-0461

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Abstract

The popularity of downloading music on the internet has largely coincided with, and is also partly responsible for the widespread popularity of the internet. One of the first examples of popular music downloads came in the form of the website http://www.mp3.com/ created in 1997 by Michael Robertson and Greg Flores as a legal means for independent musicians to share their music in a way that would have been highly difficult before digital distribution. This service went public in 1999, allowing internet users to freely and legally download full songs and samples uploaded to the website by artists. In the same year, the infamous peer-to-peer file sharing software Napster also became available, allowing for the illicit exchange of copyrighted works. However, it was not until April 2003 that the first successful online music store was opened, the Apple's iTunes Store (then the iTunes Music Store, available only in the United States). Sony had tried in 2000 to open its own music store, known as 'The Store', but for various reasons including a price of US$3.50 per song downloaded, 'The Store' quickly failed. In comparison Apple, as of June 2008, has sold more than 5 billion songs and is currently the largest online digital music retailer.