2.2 The Internet

In the September of 1969 started the history of the Internet with the installation of the ARPANET. The name was given by the concerned section in the American Department of Defense, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Contributing to the idea of a computer network was a project-paper of the Research and Development (RAND)-group in Santa Monica that presented a communicational commando-network without a central control unit, which could endure a nuclear attack. A first study was published in 1964[26]. But the actual idea of a network of distant computers was provided by members of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) two years earlier - it was in August 1962, when J.C.R. Licklider & W.Clark of the MIT published their article "On-Line Man Computer Communication" which included the idea of a galactic network concept encompassing distributed social interactions.[27] The widespread myth that the Internet was generally a military-driven project is not the plain truth. Even within the ARPA the foremost idea was to use data of distant computer systems and enable the supported research institutes to use the same information resources. [28]

More and more especially nonmilitary organizations showed their interest in this project, and by 1977 the ARPANET comprised 50 sites worldwide. With the technological development new standards were introduced in the eighties, like the Internet Protocol (IP) and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). They connected the different computer networks of universities, corporations, research institutions or just computer enthusiasts all over the world to the network that is today known as the Internet.[29]

Many people think of the World Wide Web (WWW) when they speak of the "Internet". But actually the WWW was not introduced before the 90s, protocols like Gopher, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and the use of e-mail were the most important factors of computer-connected communication. In March 1989 Tim Berners-Lee of the European Lab for Atomic Physics in Geneva (CERN) presented the idea of such a network. In the following years first prototypes and experiments were run, on different conferences the concept was publicised, and the first Hypertext markup language (HTML)-sites were written by a scientific community without the idea of a new commercial medium in mind. By the beginning of 1993 existed 50 WWW-servers, and the first graphic browser, Mosaic, was published. In the same year the HTTP-traffic and the amount of servers increased by the factor of ten and this year can be seen as the first big step for the World Wide Web on a global scale. In 1994 the W3-consortium[30] was formed, which develops the net by defining new standards. It consists of the CERN, the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambrigde, Massachusetts) and the INRIA (Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, Le Chesnay Cedex, France). The process of setting new standards, called "Requests for Comments" (RFC) explains the dynamic structure of the WWW; before creating a new standard, an "Internet Draft" of the idea has to be published and can be discussed and criticised by the whole Internet community. In how far those standard will be used depends on the acceptance on the Internet and the support of the two market-leading browsers, the Netscape Navigator and the Microsoft Explorer.

The year 1995 is seen as the breakthrough of the WWW, corporations made use of it as a commercial marketplace, organizations started using it as a tool, and the public accepted it more and more as an arena of the public sphere and a possibility to publish own material.

The music industry also made the step into the World Wide Web. All major labels have their own homepages with news, many independent labels see their chance to reach a bigger audience through the Internet, thousands of people started their own fan-sites, and artists created their own pages to get in touch with their fans and provide extra information and material. The development of compressed music-formats lead to a boom in the transfer of music on the Internet.

In the beginning of 98 the Forrester Research group estimated 25000-75000 musicrelevant sites on the WWW with a few hundred pages of downloadable music.[31] And a growing market it is: Forrester projects that in the United States, intercompany trade of hard goods over the Internet will hit $43 billion dollars in 1998 and will surge to $1.3 trillion by 2003 -- an annual growth rate of 99%.[32]

[part 2.3: mp3]