Motion-Picture-Experts Group, Audio Level 3 (or more commonly known as MP3) — this new form of audio compression has become a wide topic of controversy over the past few years. MP3 has caused a wide debate over legal and ethical issues since its release in January 1995. Many court cases and lawsuits have resulted from the release of this new technological innovation and there are sure to be many more. MP3s are highly compressed audio files that can be stored on any computer storage medium. Anyone with a general knowledge of computers and the Internet can make an MP3 file. All one needs is a CD ROM drive, a CD ripper, and an MP3 compressor. CD rippers and MP3 compressors are available free on the Internet. First an audio CD is placed into the CD ROM drive and then, using the CD ripper, any amount of audio tracks can be converted into .wav form and put onto a computers storage medium. A typical audio track in .wav format is 30 megabytes, meaning that a whole CD would take up 360 megabytes of space on average. This is a tremendous amount of disk space to be taken up. This is why the MP3 compressor is used next. The MP3 compressor can take a 30 megabyte .wav file and convert it into a 3 megabyte .mp3 file with only minimal loss of sound quality. The MP3 compressor takes all the 1s and 0s in the .wav file and uses a highly advanced system of compression and encryption to convert the .wav files to .mp3 files which are usually 1/10 the size of what they were. MP3 files have become a big topic of controversy, because their small size and high quality make them very easy to be pirated. Many people get MP3s via pirate websites, mIRC (a chat program which allows users to send files), ftp servers (files on a remote computer that are only accessed with a valid login name and password), and sent to them through e-mail. With the recent introduction of recordable CDs, people have also begun taking their MP3…

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