Napster

For Napster, Inc. (formerly Roxio), and the paid Napster music service see Napster (pay service).
Napster logo: Cat wearing headphones.

Napster is an online music service which was originally a file sharing service created by Shawn Fanning. Napster was the first widely-used peer-to-peer music sharing service, and it made a major impact on how people, especially college students, used the Internet. Its technology allowed music fans to easily share MP3 format song files with each other, thus leading to the music industry's accusations of massive copyright violations. Although the original service was shut down by court order, it paved the way for decentralized P2P file-sharing programs, which have been much harder to control. The service was named Napster after Fanning's nickname.

Origins

Shawn Fanning first released the original Napster in the fall of 1999. Fanning wanted an easier method of finding music than by searching IRC or Lycos. John Fanning of Hull, Massachusetts, who is Shawn's uncle, helped him incorporate the company. The final documents gave Shawn 30% control of the company, with the rest going to his uncle. It was the first of the massively popular peer-to-peer file sharing systems, although it was not fully peer-to-peer since it used central servers to maintain lists of connected systems and the files they provided, while actual transactions were conducted directly between machines. This is very similar to how instant messaging systems work. Although there were already media which facilitated the sharing of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and USENET, Napster specialized exclusively in music in the form of MP3 files and presented a friendly user-interface. The result was a system whose popularity generated a large selection of music to download.

At the time Napster was released, there was a general perception that the quality of new albums had decreased. Many people said that albums contained only one or two good songs, along with many low-quality "filler" songs. People praised Napster because it enabled them to obtain hit songs without having to buy an entire album (or indeed, pay at all). Napster also enabled people to obtain older songs, copies of music they had already paid for in another format, unreleased recordings, and songs from concert bootleg recordings. With the files obtained through Napster, people frequently made their own compilation albums on recordable CDs for free, without paying any royalties to the artist/composer or the estate of the artist/composer.

Legal challenges

Napster's facilitation of illegal activity raised the ire of several major recording companies, who almost immediately — in December 1999 — filed a lawsuit against the popular service,[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_amrecords) already called a "a huge grassroots effort" by MP3 Newswire.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_grassroots) The service would only get bigger as the trial, meant to shut down Napster, also gave it a great deal of publicity. Soon millions of users, many of them college students, flocked to it.

Heavy metal band Metallica discovered that a demo of their song "I Disappear" had been circulating across the Napster network. This eventually led to the song being played on several radio stations across America. The band responded in 2000 by filing a lawsuit against the Napster service. The lawsuit was a failure, but 300,000 Napster users were banned from the service for sharing Metallica mp3s. Later that year, Madonna became irate when one of her singles leaked out on to the web and Napster prior to its commercial release, causing widespread media coverage.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_madonna) Napster use peaked with 26.4 million users worldwide in February 2001.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_peak)

At the time, the lawsuit puzzled Napster users and supporters. To them, it seemed that file sharing was inevitable on the Internet, and it was not Napster's fault that people used the service to share copyrighted files. These users viewed Napster as a simple search engine. Many argued that any attempt to shut down Napster would simply lead to people using a different medium to exchange files over the Internet. Similarly, many supporters of Napster were concerned about the media's constant use of the word "site" to describe the service, a word which seems to imply that Napster was distributing files itself rather than facilitating their exchange.

Shutdown

After a failed appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, an injunction was issued on March 5, 2001 ordering Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_injunction) In July 2001, Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction. On September 24, 2001, the case was partially settled. Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, as well as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million. In order to pay those fees, Napster attempted to convert their free service to a subscription system. A prototype solution was tested in the spring of 2002: the Napster 3.0 Alpha, using audio fingerprinting technology licensed from Relatable. Napster 3.0 was, according to many former Napster employees, ready to deploy, but it had significant trouble obtaining licenses to distribute major-label music.

On May 17, 2002, Napster announced that its assets would be acquired by German media firm Bertelsmann AG for $8 million. Pursuant to terms of that agreement, on June 3 Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under United States bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_blocked) Most of the Napster staff were laid off, and the website changed to display "Napster was here".

Promotional power

With all the accusations that Napster was destroying the record industry there were those who felt just the opposite, that file trading on Napster actually stimulated, rather than hurt, sales. Proof may have come in April 2000 when tracks from Radiohead's album Kid A found their way to Napster three months before the CD's release. Unlike Madonna, Radiohead never hit the top 20 in the US. Furthermore, it was an experimental album that received little promotion and almost no radio airplay. As Richard Menta of MP3 Newswire described,[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_kida) it was a perfect vehicle to test this theory as the effect of Napster was isolated from other elements that could be credited for driving sales.

By the time of the record's release Kid A had been downloaded by millions of people worldwide. The record industry braced for the worst, but then came the big surprise. Kid A not only broke the top 20, it captured the number one spot on the charts in its debut week. The record beat out the CDs of some of the most heavily marketed artists of the time including Madonna and Eminem. In the absence of any other force that could account for this success Menta declared this was proof that Napster was a promotional power.

Final fate

After a 2.4 million dollar offer by the Private Media Group, an "adult entertainment company",[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_porn) Napster's brand and logos were acquired at bankruptcy auction by the company Roxio, Inc. which used them to rebrand the Pressplay music service as Napster 2.0. As of 2005, this new service has met with moderate success.

Although the central servers used by Napster made it a convenient legal target, the record industry failed to capitalize on the power vacuum left in its wake. The years between Napster's demise and the emergence of the iTunes Music Store as the first popular pay-service were squandered as the five major labels bickered amongst themselves, launching the user-unfriendly, restrictive, and mutually incompatible subscription services Pressplay and MusicNet.[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_musicnetpressplay)

In the meantime, the peer-to-peer filesharing (or P2P) trend Napster started soon resumed, with new programs and networks picking up the torch. Unofficial Napster servers proliferated, aided by a program known as "Napigator", and a second generation of P2P protocols (including FastTrack and Gnutella) were quickly developed. Designed as decentralized networks, these have been much more challenging for copyright owners to pursue in the courts (see MGM vs. Grokster, decision currently pending).

The ever-widening availability of broadband has made file sharing even more prevalent, since with increasing download speeds mean the distribution of entire movies and other large files is possible. An emerging and cryptographically strong third generation of P2P protocols will likely be nearly impossible to interdict. In a very real sense, Shawn Fanning can be called the man who opened a Pandora's Box.

Cultural references

In the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, a flashback depicts Shawn Fanning stealing the program from a computer expert played by Seth Green while the latter is napping, depicting a humorous folk etymology of the name.

The suffix "-ster" has become a popular component of the brand names of many internet products, suggesting a peer-to-peer model, such as Grokster, Aimster (later Madster), Blubster. This has also been extended to Friendster, a site which vaguely recalls Napster's community-building features.[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_blogster), [11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_sxsw)

References

  1. ^  A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 114 F. Supp. 2d 896 (N.D. Cal. 2000), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001)
  2. ^  Menta, Richard: "RIAA Sues Music Startup Napster for $20 Billion (http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/napster.html)", MP3 Newswire, (December 9, 1999)
  3. ^  Borland, John: "Unreleased Madonna Single Slips On To Net (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-241341.html?legacy=cnet)", CNET News.com, (June 1, 2000)
  4. ^  Jupiter Media Metrix (July 20, 2001). Global Napster Usage Plummets, But New File-Sharing Alternatives Gaining Ground (http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?id=249). Press Release.
  5. ^  2001 US Dist. LEXIS 2186 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2001), aff’d, 284 F. 3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2002).
  6. ^  Evangelista, Benny: "Napster runs out of lives – judge rules against sale (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/09/04/BU138263.DTL)", San Francisco Chronicle, (September 4, 2002)
  7. ^  Menta, Richard: "Did Napster Take Radiohead's New Album to Number 1? (http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/2000/radiohead.html)", MP3 Newswire, (October 28, 2000)
  8. ^  "Porn company offers to buy Napster (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-957784.html?tag=fd_top)", CNET News.com, (September 12, 2002)
  9. ^  Dube, Ric. (February 2002). MusicNet, PressPlay Fall Short (http://www.icemagazine.com/digital/dd_179.shtm). Ice Magazine, (179).
  10. ^  Grimmelmann, James: "Blogster (http://www.laboratorium.net/archives/Blogster.html)", The Laboratorium, (July 18, 2003)
  11. ^  Abrams, Jonathan. SXSW Interactive Keynote Speech (http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2004/03/16/what_the_heck_is_social_networking.html#more). South by Southwest Festival. Austin, TX. March 16, 2004.

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This has also been extended to Friendster, a site which vaguely recalls Napster's community-building features.[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_blogster), [11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_sxsw).
. The suffix "-ster" has become a popular component of the brand names of many internet products, suggesting a peer-to-peer model, such as Grokster, Aimster (later Madster), Blubster.
. In the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, a flashback depicts Shawn Fanning stealing the program from a computer expert played by Seth Green while the latter is napping, depicting a humorous folk etymology of the name. She is planning to release an Unplugged album in April 2005. In a very real sense, Shawn Fanning can be called the man who opened a Pandora's Box. on September 24, 2004.

An emerging and cryptographically strong third generation of P2P protocols will likely be nearly impossible to interdict. Keys became an Honorary Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha  (http://www.aka1908.com) Sorority, Inc. The ever-widening availability of broadband has made file sharing even more prevalent, since with increasing download speeds mean the distribution of entire movies and other large files is possible. She eventually went home with 4 Grammys (Best R&B Album for The Diary of Alicia Keys; Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "If I Ain't Got You"; Best R&B Song for "You Don't Know My Name"); and Best R&B Duo or Group ("My Boo" with Usher). Grokster, decision currently pending). At the 47th Annual Grammy Awards ceremonies held on February 13, 2005, she gave a powerful solo performance of the single "If I Ain't Got You", and then joined Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones in a stirring rendition of the Hoagy Carmichael song made famous by the late Ray Charles, "Georgia On My Mind". Designed as decentralized networks, these have been much more challenging for copyright owners to pursue in the courts (see MGM vs. In late 2003, Keys released her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, which shot straight up to the top of the Billboard R&B charts, selling over 610,000 copies its 1st week.

Unofficial Napster servers proliferated, aided by a program known as "Napigator", and a second generation of P2P protocols (including FastTrack and Gnutella) were quickly developed. Some critics went on to accuse her of outright plagiarism, especially in the case of her single "Fallin'", which interpolates James Brown's "It's A Man's World" right down to the string arrangement. In the meantime, the peer-to-peer filesharing (or P2P) trend Napster started soon resumed, with new programs and networks picking up the torch. Keys' work had a sound similar to 1970s soul singers like Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, with hip hop influences like those apparent in neo soul artists like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo. The years between Napster's demise and the emergence of the iTunes Music Store as the first popular pay-service were squandered as the five major labels bickered amongst themselves, launching the user-unfriendly, restrictive, and mutually incompatible subscription services Pressplay and MusicNet.[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_musicnetpressplay). Critical reviews were mostly positive. Although the central servers used by Napster made it a convenient legal target, the record industry failed to capitalize on the power vacuum left in its wake. As such, she established a large fanbase of devoted fans, making her one of the most popular artists of the early years of the twenty-first century.

As of 2005, this new service has met with moderate success. Because she wrote her own songs and played several instruments very well, consumers saw Keys as an original voice at a time when the musical marketplace was flooded with pop bands that were little more than an attractive front for the creative energies of others. which used them to rebrand the Pressplay music service as Napster 2.0. With it she won five Grammy Awards in 2002 (see 2002 in music). After a 2.4 million dollar offer by the Private Media Group, an "adult entertainment company",[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_porn) Napster's brand and logos were acquired at bankruptcy auction by the company Roxio, Inc. Songs in A Minor was a commercially successful album. In the absence of any other force that could account for this success Menta declared this was proof that Napster was a promotional power. Following her mentor Clive Davis to his newly-formed J Records label, she released her debut album Songs in A Minor, the title being a reference to both her classical aspirations and to the fact that she wrote most of the songs while still being very young.

The record beat out the CDs of some of the most heavily marketed artists of the time including Madonna and Eminem. She briefly attended Columbia University on a scholarship before devoting herself to a full-time musical career. Kid A not only broke the top 20, it captured the number one spot on the charts in its debut week. Keys graduated as valedictorian from the Professional Performing Arts School, a public high school in Manhattan at the age of 16 years old. The record industry braced for the worst, but then came the big surprise. Keys's mother was the one who most supported her during the time when Keys was developing her talents. By the time of the record's release Kid A had been downloaded by millions of people worldwide. She wrote her first song "Butterflyz" at the age of fourteen; the song can be found on her debut album.

As Richard Menta of MP3 Newswire described,[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_kida) it was a perfect vehicle to test this theory as the effect of Napster was isolated from other elements that could be credited for driving sales. She learned classical music by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin, who was her favorite composer. Furthermore, it was an experimental album that received little promotion and almost no radio airplay. She began playing piano when she was seven. Unlike Madonna, Radiohead never hit the top 20 in the US. Alicia's maternal grandmother is Puerto Rican. Proof may have come in April 2000 when tracks from Radiohead's album Kid A found their way to Napster three months before the CD's release. She was born to a Italian mother, Terri Augello, and a Black father, Craig Cook and was raised in the Hell's Kitchen section of New York City.

With all the accusations that Napster was destroying the record industry there were those who felt just the opposite, that file trading on Napster actually stimulated, rather than hurt, sales. Alicia Keys (born Alicia Augello-Cook on January 25, 1981 in Manhattan, New York City, USA) is a popular R&B/soul vocalist and pianist. bankruptcy laws.[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_blocked) Most of the Napster staff were laid off, and the website changed to display "Napster was here". 2004 "Karma" #20 US. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. 2004 "My Boo" (with Usher) #1 US, #5 UK - Platinum certification. Pursuant to terms of that agreement, on June 3 Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under United States bankruptcy laws. Tony! Toni! Tone!) #8 US.

On May 17, 2002, Napster announced that its assets would be acquired by German media firm Bertelsmann AG for $8 million. 2004 "Diary" (feat. Napster 3.0 was, according to many former Napster employees, ready to deploy, but it had significant trouble obtaining licenses to distribute major-label music. 2004 "If I Ain't Got You" #4 US, #18 UK - Platinum certification. A prototype solution was tested in the spring of 2002: the Napster 3.0 Alpha, using audio fingerprinting technology licensed from Relatable. 2003 "You Don't Know My Name" #3 US, #19 UK. In order to pay those fees, Napster attempted to convert their free service to a subscription system. 2002 "Girlfriend" #24 UK.

Napster agreed to pay music creators and copyright owners a $26 million settlement for past, unauthorized uses of music, as well as an advance against future licensing royalties of $10 million. Alicia Keys) #2 US, #6 UK. After a failed appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court, an injunction was issued on March 5, 2001 ordering Napster to prevent the trading of copyrighted music on its network.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_injunction) In July 2001, Napster shut down its entire network in order to comply with the injunction. On September 24, 2001, the case was partially settled. 2002 "Gangsta Lovin'" (Eve feat. Similarly, many supporters of Napster were concerned about the media's constant use of the word "site" to describe the service, a word which seems to imply that Napster was distributing files itself rather than facilitating their exchange. 2002 "How Come You Don't Call Me" #59 US, #26 UK. Many argued that any attempt to shut down Napster would simply lead to people using a different medium to exchange files over the Internet. 2002 "A Woman's Worth" #7 US, #18 UK.

These users viewed Napster as a simple search engine. Alicia Keys and Eve) #37 UK. To them, it seemed that file sharing was inevitable on the Internet, and it was not Napster's fault that people used the service to share copyrighted files. 2002 "Brotha Part II" (Angie Stone feat. At the time, the lawsuit puzzled Napster users and supporters. 2001 "Fallin'" #1 US, #3 UK. Later that year, Madonna became irate when one of her singles leaked out on to the web and Napster prior to its commercial release, causing widespread media coverage.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_madonna) Napster use peaked with 26.4 million users worldwide in February 2001.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_peak). 1).

The lawsuit was a failure, but 300,000 Napster users were banned from the service for sharing Metallica mp3s. 2003: The Diary of Alicia Keys [4x Platinum--U.S.] (2 weeks at No. The band responded in 2000 by filing a lawsuit against the Napster service. 1). This eventually led to the song being played on several radio stations across America. 2001: Songs in A Minor [6x Platinum--U.S.] (3 weeks at No. Heavy metal band Metallica discovered that a demo of their song "I Disappear" had been circulating across the Napster network. Longest Note:.

Soon millions of users, many of them college students, flocked to it. Vocal Range: [approx.]2.5 octaves (C3-E5). Napster's facilitation of illegal activity raised the ire of several major recording companies, who almost immediately — in December 1999 — filed a lawsuit against the popular service,[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_amrecords) already called a "a huge grassroots effort" by MP3 Newswire.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster#endnote_grassroots) The service would only get bigger as the trial, meant to shut down Napster, also gave it a great deal of publicity. Lowest note: C3 (The Life). With the files obtained through Napster, people frequently made their own compilation albums on recordable CDs for free, without paying any royalties to the artist/composer or the estate of the artist/composer. Highest note: E5 (You Don't Know My Name). Napster also enabled people to obtain older songs, copies of music they had already paid for in another format, unreleased recordings, and songs from concert bootleg recordings. Voice type: Contralto.

People praised Napster because it enabled them to obtain hit songs without having to buy an entire album (or indeed, pay at all). Many people said that albums contained only one or two good songs, along with many low-quality "filler" songs. At the time Napster was released, there was a general perception that the quality of new albums had decreased. The result was a system whose popularity generated a large selection of music to download.

Although there were already media which facilitated the sharing of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and USENET, Napster specialized exclusively in music in the form of MP3 files and presented a friendly user-interface. This is very similar to how instant messaging systems work. It was the first of the massively popular peer-to-peer file sharing systems, although it was not fully peer-to-peer since it used central servers to maintain lists of connected systems and the files they provided, while actual transactions were conducted directly between machines. The final documents gave Shawn 30% control of the company, with the rest going to his uncle.

John Fanning of Hull, Massachusetts, who is Shawn's uncle, helped him incorporate the company. Fanning wanted an easier method of finding music than by searching IRC or Lycos. Shawn Fanning first released the original Napster in the fall of 1999. The service was named Napster after Fanning's nickname.

Its technology allowed music fans to easily share MP3 format song files with each other, thus leading to the music industry's accusations of massive copyright violations. Although the original service was shut down by court order, it paved the way for decentralized P2P file-sharing programs, which have been much harder to control. Napster was the first widely-used peer-to-peer music sharing service, and it made a major impact on how people, especially college students, used the Internet. Napster is an online music service which was originally a file sharing service created by Shawn Fanning. March 16, 2004.

Austin, TX. SXSW Interactive Keynote Speech (http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2004/03/16/what_the_heck_is_social_networking.html#more). South by Southwest Festival. ^  Abrams, Jonathan. ^  Grimmelmann, James: "Blogster (http://www.laboratorium.net/archives/Blogster.html)", The Laboratorium, (July 18, 2003).

Ice Magazine, (179). MusicNet, PressPlay Fall Short (http://www.icemagazine.com/digital/dd_179.shtm). (February 2002). ^  Dube, Ric.

^  "Porn company offers to buy Napster (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-957784.html?tag=fd_top)", CNET News.com, (September 12, 2002). ^  Menta, Richard: "Did Napster Take Radiohead's New Album to Number 1? (http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/2000/radiohead.html)", MP3 Newswire, (October 28, 2000). ^  Evangelista, Benny: "Napster runs out of lives – judge rules against sale (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/09/04/BU138263.DTL)", San Francisco Chronicle, (September 4, 2002). 2002).

3d 1091 (9th Cir. 5, 2001), aff’d, 284 F. Mar. LEXIS 2186 (N.D. Cal.

^  2001 US Dist. Press Release. Global Napster Usage Plummets, But New File-Sharing Alternatives Gaining Ground (http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?id=249). ^  Jupiter Media Metrix (July 20, 2001).

^  Borland, John: "Unreleased Madonna Single Slips On To Net (http://news.com.com/2100-1023-241341.html?legacy=cnet)", CNET News.com, (June 1, 2000). ^  Menta, Richard: "RIAA Sues Music Startup Napster for $20 Billion (http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/napster.html)", MP3 Newswire, (December 9, 1999). 2001). 2000), aff'd in part, rev'd in part, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir.

Cal. 2d 896 (N.D. Supp. v. Napster, Inc., 114 F.

^  A & M Records, Inc.

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