The suits are an attempt to stop the gushing flow of lost revenue, estimated at $700 million a year. Proponents of file sharing claim that the music industry is an outmoded paradigm indifferent to the complaints of artists and listeners alike. But so far, the law seems to be on the side of the industry.
Few would argue that the future of music distribution is on the web and the success of a few legal file sharing sites, such as Apple's iTunes store which has sold over 10 million songs in four months, underscores that belief.
Click the "Listen" link to hear about the future of music distribution and whether the big five record companies will adapt or be left behind.
Thomas Dolby Robertson, Grammy nominated electronic music artist and founder of "Beatnik", a digital audio company
Wayne Rosso, President of Grokster, an online file sharing distribution company
Rick Karr, cultural desk correspondent, National Public Radio
This program aired on September 12, 2003.