XIBMS – NAPSTER’S REVOLUTION XIBMS – NAPSTER’S REVOLUTION Eighteen – year old Shawn “NAPSTER” Fanning, then a freshman at Northeastern University, dropped out of school and founded Napster Inc. (website was at w.w.w.napster.com) in San Mateo, California in May 1999.  Two months earlier, working in his college dorm room, he had developed both a website that let users locate other users who were willing to share whatever music files they had in MP3 format on the hard drives of their computers and a software program (called “Napster) that let users copy these music files from each other over the Internet.  When an early free version of the program he posted on Download.com received more than 300,000 hits and was named “Download of the week,” he decided to devote himself full time to developing his program and website.  The final version of his version of his program was officially released August 1999, and in May 2000, with more than 10 million people – most of them students on college campuses where Napster was especially popular – signed up at its website, Shawn’s company received $ 15 million of start – up funds from venture capital firms in California’s “Silicon Valley.” Fanning grew up in Brockton, Massauchettes, the son of a nurse’s aid and the stepson of a truck driver, in a family of four half-brothers and half-sisters. He got the nickname “Napster” during a basketball game when a player commented on his closely cropped sweaty head of hair.  Fanning had taught himself programming and had held several summer programming jobs. The company Shawn helped establish gave the Napster program away for free and charged users nothing to use its website to post the URL addresses where personal copies of music could be downloaded.  Nevertheless, a month later, Shawn found himself embroiled in a legal and ethical controversy when two record tables, two musicians (Metallica and Dr. Dre), and two industry trade groups of music companies (the National Music Publishers Association and the Recording Industry Association of America) filed suits against his young company claiming that Napster’s software was enabling other to make and distribute copies of copyrighted music that the musicians and companies owned. On June 12, the two industry trade groups filed preliminary injunctions against the company demanding that it remove all the songs owned by their member companies from Napster’s song directories.  According to the two groups, a survey of 2555 college students showed a correlation between Napster use and decreased CD purchases.  College students were outraged, especially fans of Metallica and Dr. Dre. Supporters of Napster argued that Napster allowed people to hear music that they then went out and purchased, so Napster actually helped the music companies.  Music sales had increased by over $500 million a year since Napster had started to operate, but the music companies claimed that this was a result of a booming economy.  Supporters of Napster also argued that individuals had a moral and legal right to lend other individuals a copy of the music on the CDs that they had purchased.  After all, they argued, the law explicitly stated that an individual could make a copy of copyrighted music he or she had purchased to hear the music on another player.  Moreover, according to Fanning, Napster was not doing anything illegal, and the company was not responsible if other people used its software and website to copy music in violation of copyright law any more than a car company was responsible when its autos were used by thieves to rob banks.  Much of the music that was downloaded using Napster, they claimed, was in the public domain (i.e.not legally owned by anyone) and was being legally copied.  The music companies countered that an individual had no right to give multiple copies of their music to others even if the individual had paid for the original CD.  If everyone was allowed to copy music without paying for it, they charged, eventually the music companies would stop producing music and musicians would stop creating it.  Other musicians claimed, however, that Napster and the Web gave them a way to put their music before millions of potential fans without having to beg the music companies to sponser them. In March 2000, the band Metallica hired consultant PDNet to electronically “evesdrop” on users who assumed they were anonymously accessing Napster’s website.  The following week the band’s lawyers handed Napster a list with the names of 300, 000 people that Metallica claimed had violated its copyrights using Napster’s service and that Metallica now wanted removed from Napster’s services.  Fanning complied with the demand of Metallica, whose drummer, Lars Ulrich, was one of his musical heros.  “If they want to steal our music,” said Ulrich, “ why don’t they just go down to Tower Records and grab them off the shelves ?”  Many young people protested that the bands should not be alienating their own fans in this way.  One fan posted a note on an MP3 chat room : “Give me a break !  I have been dropping 16 bucks an album for Metallica’s music since I was a teenager.  They made a fortune off us and now they accuse us of stealing from them.  What nerve !”  Howard King, a Los Angeles lawyer for Metallica and Dr. Dre, stated that “I don’t know Shawn Fanning but he seems to be a pretty good kid who came up with a sensational program.  But this sensational program has allowed people to take music without paying ………Shawn probably had no idea of the legal ramifications of what he created.  I’m sure the though never crossed his mind.” In August 2000, a federal judge in San Francisco, Marilyn Patel, responded to the suit against Napster.  Judge Patel called Shawn’s company a “monster” and charged that the only purpose of Napster was to copy pirated music without paying for it.  The judge ordered Napster to remove all URLS from its website that referenced material that was copyrighted. Judge Patel’s ruling