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San Francisco, April 2007 // Categories: DRM, Decentralization, Web2.0 

From its inception in 1999, Napster was pursued by the music industry who succeeded in shutting it down. By doing so, they drove users towards decentralized methods of sharing with no centralized point of weakness. This was made possible network architecture or the so-called 'end-to-end principle'. Swartz outlines how thereafter industry tried other approaches such as digital rights management, which collided with the essential nature of computers as copying machines, and legal threats. While none of these strategies succeeded in stopping sharing, they have impeded the further development of p2p technologies (ion this see also Fred von Lohmann's interview). Arguably these events have encouraged a shift towards web 2.0 sites where users hand over control of their work to centralized sites based on advertising models. Could this trend be reversed in the future?