In 1999, Shawn Fanning created a peer to peer file sharing program called Napster that let people share files by sharing and swapping files from a centralized server using the client software. It became the hottest P2P network on the planet, especially for music, and took the internet world by storm. By Feb 2001, it boasted 50 million users and was slammed with lawsuits by the Recording Industry Association of America and several artists. In Jan that same year, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Napster must stop it’s activities. The golden days of the P2P file sharing boom were over. In Feb the company offered a $1 billion settlement to the music industry, and has since re-emerged as a monthly subscription service.
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