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Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2001 

Created by 19-year-old Shawn Fanning in 1999, Napster is an application that gives individuals access to one another's MP3 files by creating a unique file-sharing system via the Internet.

Napster lets users view and download the contents of MP3 directories from other Napster users' hard drives. Type in the artist and/or song to receive a list, compiled by Napster's servers, of all the files currently available. Double click on a song to download from user's hard drive.

Because Napster searches individual hard drives, the number and variety of MP3 files vary. Not all Napster users are online at the same time; therefore, what you may not find one day, may, in fact, be there the next.

Macintosh faithful who want to benefit from Napster can download Macster, which works the exact same way as Napster. And, for all you open-source nuts, look into GNapster.

Napster has been under fire from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who interprets Napster as copyright-infringement software. But, because the MP3 files do not reside on Napster's servers, nor does Napster charge a fee for the service, critics felt the RIAA had a weak legal leg to stand on. Napster simply allows individuals to share music, as does tape recorders and CD burners. However, in March of 2001, due to a court order, Napster blocked the trading of over 100,000 files of copyrighted songs. The court ruled that Napster's technology was an infringement on the copyrights of published music.

Many feel that Napster is revolutionizing the consumer music market, and it is up to the Music industry to adapt.

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For pages about Napster . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Napster Catches RIAA Asleep
The popularity of Napster is growing by leaps and bounds among MP3 music lovers all over the Internet. This review checks out the reasons for all the hype.

Napster Home Page
Here's where to find the ubiquitous and free Napster download, as well as info on the company and a library of news articles covering Napster.

Napster Never Said it Would Be Easy
Under the watchful eye of the press and recording industry, Napster this week said it has blocked 115,000 music files sweeping some 26,000 copyrighted songs per a court order issued last week.

Napster on Linux:From a Whisper to a Scream
Who need a middleman anymore, when Napster gives you the power to download MP3 files directly from another user? Kevin Reichard explains Napster and explains how to implement Napster on your Linux system.

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