Logos Quiz Level 3-3 Answers
The name Napster refers to two separate but related online music businesses.
In its first iteration, Napster was a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing service specializing in MP3 music files. It was founded by programmer Shawn Fanning and entrepreneurs John Fanning and Sean Parker. Shawn Fanning developed the framework for Napster in 1998, and the site went live in June 1999. Napster quickly became popular around the world, though it had heavy competition from services such as Usenet and internet relay chat (IRC) platforms.
Napster was especially popular among music fans who were seeking rare, unreleased, or bootleg versions of songs. Many users used the service to find digital copies of songs they already owned on vinyl or cassette, as the compact disc had not yet become the norm for music sales. Users were easily able to download individual songs rather than full albums, which directly contributed to the end of album-centric music marketing.
In 2000, heavy metal band Metallica filed a lawsuit against Napster after discovering a demo version of their track “I Disappear” on the service, along with a sizable portion of the band’s back catalog. Rapper and producer Dr. Dre also filed suit after a similar experience, noting that Napster would not honor his personal request to have his material removed. Though Napster settled both lawsuits, A&M Records and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued Napster later in 2000 for copyright infringement under the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The suit went to the Ninth Circuit of the US Court of Appeals, and Napster was found culpable of infringement. Soon after, Napster declared bankruptcy.
Napster was subsequently sold to a number of different companies. Roxio bought Napster in 2002 and combined it with the Pressplay music service, which it bought one year later. Roxio combined the two services as Napster 2.0, a music subscription service. The service had various tiers costing between $5-15 USD per month. Napster was then sold to Best Buy in 2008. In 2011, the subscription service was scrapped after Napster was sold to Rhapsody. Napster and Rhapsody now operate as a joint subscription service for $10 USD per month.