Why not an academic Naptser?

I can readily understand why music is a popular, even logical, commodity for a tool such as Napster. Each song demands a relatively large amount of memory, and even with streaming technologies waiting to hear a song can demand great patience. As opposed to text and pictures, saving music is complicated and time consuming. Of course mp3s are available in great quantities via the web, but too much of what is available is determined by market demand. In other words, just about any popular song you can think of is out there somewhere on the web, but not much else. The idea of side-stepping the web and going straight to material saved on someone else's computer is thus an idea with great potential and promise.

But why just music? Disregarding any ethical issues that might arise due to copyright violations (these issues, after all, are more or less the same whether we're dealing with music or with text, or any other format) why shouldn't a tool such as Napster give access to digitized versions of professional articles on the hard drives of academics connected to the service? Data bases of professional journals are available for a (usually quite high) price, with the profits going to the publishers and the distributors, not to the authors. If I have access to these data bases I can usually find an article I'm looking for and download it, though the use of a data base such as this isn't for locating an article someone is familiar with, but rather finding out what's available on any given subject. If, however, I know what it is I'm looking for, why not connect to the acamedic Napster and run a search. Chances are good that I'll discover that someone, somewhere has a copy on his or her hard drive which I can copy to mine. Numerous times I've come across titles of articles that interest me in the bibliographies of web-published articles I've read, only to discover that the URL listed is no longer active. I have a growing list of articles which I'd like to read but haven't been able to find, even though they were once published on the web. Surely someone downloaded or copied these when they were still available, and via an academic Napster I would be able to find them.

Go to: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!