Topics: Napster, MP3, Summary judgment Pages: 4 (1224 words) Published: May 9, 2013
In the summer of 1999, a website, by Shawn Fanning, then an 18-year-old freshman computer science student at Northeastern University., was launched in the US, changing the global music industry forever. Napster was a system which enabled persons to locate music available in the MP3, and WMA1 music formats. The website made it possible for its users to freely share their music files through the Internet with other users around the world. however, Napster maintained a database of music files held on the computer hard-drives of other registered Napster users. this allowed a user, looking for a particular song to send a request to Napster, which the software then checked the availability of that song with this database, and if available, sent it to the user who requested it. The service became tremendously popular within a short span of time. The website involved 1.6 million simultaneous users during the height of its popularity in February 2000. Napster's offering of this 'peer-to-peer' technology was however robustly condemned by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group with record labels including, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI Group and Bertelsmann AG. RIAA alleged that Napster was engaging in or assisting others in copying copyrighted music without payment or the express permission of the owners. RIAA also claimed that Napster would significantly damage the sales of the recording industry. In December 1999, the body sued Napster in the Federal District Court for copyright infringements and petitioned the court to shut down the website. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001) was a landmark intellectual property case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that defendant, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing service Napster, could be held liable for contributory...
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