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Napster
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Internet Service Provider
    (June 1, 1999- )
    Stable release was September 3, 2002
    Computer-to-computer music sharing system
    Co-founded by Shawn Fanning, John Fanning, and Sean Parker
    Provided audio file sharing services; usually music files, encoded in MP3 format
    Sued on grounds of contributory and vicarious copyright infringement under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (2000)
    Ceased operations on court order in July 2001; eventually was acquired by Roxio
    Merged in an acquisition with the online music store, Rhapsody (Dec. 1, 2011)
    Subject of the Alex Winter documentary 'Downloaded' (2013)
    Yeah, its hard to imagine - 'you mean I can download ANY song I want... for FREE?!'
    Its peak came at a time when cable and dial-up modems were still crap.
    Downloading any content came with the risk of also downloading a virus that would destroy your computer.
    It inspired several imitation knock-offs (Scour, Grokster, Madster).
    It was shut down after very public lawsuits with Metallica. and Dr. Dre (and basically the whole of the music distribution industry).
    Lars Ulrich was booed at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards by angry fans for his role in shutting down the file-sharing-system.
    At the same show, Fanning trolled Ulrich by appearing as a presenter to the music of 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' wearing a Metallica T-Shirt which he claimed 'a friend' of his had 'shared with him' (Ulrich pretended to be sleeping).
    High-speed network connections on college campuses resulted in its being blocked on college dormitories due to its excessive use by students (over 60% of external network traffic tended to be MP3 transfers).
    Its being shut down didn't really resolve the dispute as users merely hopped from one 'illegal file sharing' system to the next over the years (Kazaa, LimeWire, etc.)
    They tried to come back as a pay service several years later, but by then nobody cared anymore.
    That's one bad-ass looking logo...
    Shawn Fanning, was reportedly teased with the nickname 'Napster' in high school.
    At its peak, it had close to 80 million registered users.
    Back when no one but computer geeks and deadheads knew what an MP3 was...
    It received support from Prince, Zack De La Rocha, and Rage Against the Machine.
    It dealt the fatal blow to the Album Era in popular music.
    It enabled users to download songs that weren't easy to obtain otherwise (e.g. older songs, unreleased recordings, concert bootleg recordings).
    Shawn Fanning filmed a commercial joking about at his file-sharing legal trouble for Volkswagen (2008).
    While the concern about copyright infringement was a very legitimate one, its hard to think how downloadings songs like 'We Got a Bill of Sale Right Here' or the 'Gremlins' theme was screwing over virtually anybody...
    It opened the door for not only for more music-sharing services like iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube, but even for social media venues like Facebook (Sean Parker would later be involved in its development).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 1 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 3 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 11 Votes: 54.55% Annoying
 
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