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Napster Napster is an integrated browser and communications system provided by Napster Inc to enable individual Internet users a directory of Internet files created named and controlled by other Internet users This system allows the user to select files and download from the other users hard drives In December of 1999 Napster received an indictment from the Recording Industry Association of America RIAA which informed them that Napster Inc was being sued for copyright infringement The date of the final hearing has been set for the first of October If Napster loses the suit it will be forced to shut down and at least 45 jobs will be terminated or it will be forced to pay 100 million The forced shut down of Napster would also imfringe on the users First Amendment rights of the users and the company Historical Background Napster Inc was founded by Shawn Fanning He developed the original application and service in January of 1999 while he was a freshman at Northeastern University Encouraged by two of his friends and with a cash donation from a family friend he quit college and moved to the Silicon Valley and started the company in May of 1999 The company instantly blossomed on wwwdownloadcom and received 300000 hits in one day Shawn realized the commercial potential and pursued the development further into an individual site Napster is now the worlds leading file sharing website Not only does it enable users the ability to file share but it also provides instant messaging chat rooms and Hot List user bookmarks The service has since amassed 20 million registered users who have downloaded the free software This software enables the users to swap MP3s with each other while the MP3s are never stored on the site The company doesnt own or sell any music The company employs thirty-nine people with
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