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{album, band, music}
{system, computer, user}
{company, market, business}
{law, state, case}
{film, series, show}
{school, student, university}
{city, large, area}

Napster was an online music peer-to-peer file sharing service created by Shawn Fanning while he was attending Northeastern University in Boston. The service, named after Fanning's hairstyle-based nickname, operated between June 1999 and July 2001.[1] Its technology allowed people to easily share their MP3 files with other participants, bypassing the established market for such songs and thus leading to massive copyright violations of music and film media as well as other intellectual property.

Although the original service was shut down by court order, it paved the way for decentralized peer-to-peer file distribution programs, which have been much harder to control.

Napster's brand and logo were purchased after the company closed its doors and continue to be used by a pay service.



Shawn Fanning, the creator, and Sean Parker, his business partner, first released the original Napster in June 1999.[2] Fanning wanted an easier method of finding music than by searching IRC or Lycos. John Fanning of Hull, Massachusetts—Shawn's uncle—ran all aspects of the company's operations for a period from its office on Nantasket Beach. The final agreement 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 distribution 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.

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