Napster Moment: A definition.

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Napster Moment: A definition.

In reading the news, I ran across the term 'Napster Moment' several times when describe the moment someone realizes their information, secrets or IP have been widely distributed throughout the Internet. I looked on Urban Dictionary and other dictionary sites there is no definition yet for this phenomena. Here is what I came up with for a definition:


1. The moment an industry realizes its intellectual property has been distributed widely throughout the Internet. Any ability to sell this property in the future has been severely compromised due to the ease of piracy.

2. The moment a government learns its secrets have been leaked to Wikileaks or learns that stories of it abuse and corruption have been reported by users of social media web sites(Facebook, Twitter).

3. The moment an individual or entity realizes their personal information, damaging reports, embarrassing photos or videos are widely available.



1. The first 'Napster Moment' occurred when the music industry first realized its songs had been widely distributed throughout the Internet by the file sharing program from Napster. The genie was out of the bottle and the industry has not been able to stop online piracy. Similar moments occurred for the porn industry(Youporn) and book publishing.

2. When the Pentagon realized many of its secrets had been published by Wikileaks.

3. When Middle Eastern governments realized videos and stories of state sanctioned abuse had been uploaded to social media web sites.

4. When Erin Andrews first learned that a hidden camera video of herself naked had been uploaded to the Internet.

5. When Facebook users discover their personal information has been sold to marketing companies.


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