The Roundup: RIAA sues Napster anniversary news nuggets

The lawsuit was more of a stake through the heart than a nail in the coffin for Napster MP3 sharing.

Napster face

Today in 1999, just a few days before the start of the new millennium, The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a lawsuit against Napster. If you haven’t heard of Napster, it was a PC/Mac app that enabled users to share their digital music collections using P2P technology. It launched on June 1, 1999. Napster wasn’t concerned about artist or record company royalties’ it was just a platform, and it got very popular very quickly at around the same time ADSL internet connections became mainstream. Napster ceased operations in 2001, filing for bankruptcy in June 2002.

The powerful RIAA wanted millions in compensation from Napster and its creators, alleging the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in music sales for its clients. However, at the time of Napster’s heyday, there were no legitimate alternatives. One would have to fast-forward to the end of April 2003 to be able to purchase music via Apple’s iTunes, for example.

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