Toronto – A world without downloading, file sharing and iPods seems inconceivable today. But this digital age was ushered in a mere 10 years ago with the creation of Napster, the music sharing software. It opened a Pandora’s box.
Today, The Globe and Mail launches The Download Decade, an in-depth editorial series examining the profound societal, economic and cultural changes resulting from these new digital technologies. The series will examine: Napster’s critical role in the resurgence of Apple; the growth of ISPs; new business models and how they are faring; the fundamental transformation of the music industry; the debate about downloading and whether ISPs should be forced to hand over information on heavy file sharers; copyright law impact; and what the future holds.
“Technology has given the average consumer the ability to determine where, when and how they want to consume digital media,” said Michael Snider, editor of Globetechnology.com. “Before Napster, file sharing was a geeky subculture that required a certain degree of tech savviness. That little app brought it all out in the open and we’re still seeing the effects today.”
The five-part multimedia series will run in several newspaper sections including Report on Business, Focus & Books and News, and online at The Download Decade hub. Interviews, documentaries, photo galleries, podcasts and more will be available. Audiences can also participate through live online discussions.
In the next two weeks, The Globe’s technology reporter Matt Hartley and online culture and urban affairs columnist Ivor Tossel will examine:
– how a 19-year-old university dropout changed the world
– how Apple helped lead the download revolution, which is now transforming the arts and entertainment businesses
– the ethical and cultural implications of downloading
– how Canada’s policy on copyright measures up against other nations
– what the brave new download world will hold