The stories that made IT headlines in 2000

By , IDG News Service |  Government

BOSTON -- LOOKING back, 2000 was the year when common sense made a comeback.

Most of us were sensible enough not to start the year holed up in a bomb shelter with our loved ones and a ton of canned food awaiting the end of the world as we knew it thanks to the Y2K bug. Most of us wondered how long you could keep a stock price high when you ran an Internet business that just lost money. Most of us figured that it was pretty dumb for a software company to think that faking demos would work in a federal antitrust case just because it fooled the marks on a trade show floor. But there are limits to common sense: most of us thought, "What's this e-mail -- he/she loves me? He/she is sending me a love letter attached? This I've got to read!"

Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 IT news events of 2000

Dot-com deathwatch

It turned out that old-economy values like sustainable business models -- offering products and services for which a reasonable number of people are willing to pay money -- still hold true in the new economy. One after another, companies that had burned through venture capital and IPO (initial public offering) funds found that they couldn't go back to the well for more, and without the cash they couldn't stay in business long enough to get money the old-fashioned way, by earning it. So, farewell eve.com, boo.com, furniture.com, pets.com, mothernature.com, and.on.and.on.com.

Music on the 'Net meets copyright law

Music available in digital form on the Internet emerged as a serious threat, not just a theoretical worry, for the big record labels this year. Thanks in large part to Napster's wildly popular service, free music-sharing on the 'Net exploded from campus cult into courtrooms where industry lawyers tried to stuff the genie back into the bottle. The lawsuit against Napster filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in December 1999, made headlines before even coming to trial as the plaintiffs sought an injunction to shut down the popular peer-to-peer song-swapping service. While that case won't come to trial until next year, MP3.com lost its court battle with the RIAA in May. Regardless of the outcome of the Napster lawsuit, the music industry is now painfully aware that the Internet has changed its business model forever.

Love Bug virus

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