A Final Farewell to Napster

Most people thought that Napster, the infamous peer-to-peer filesharing Web site, came to an end when it settled its highly publicized lawsuit with the Recording Industry Association of America, but it lived on as a pay site, first owned by Roxio (after bankruptcy auction) then as a subsidy of Best Buy, finally merging with Rhapsody.  The company known as Napster officially ended last week, marking the end of an era.

The legacy of Napster is still a hot topic for debate.  Its demise has not seen the end of illegal downloads or copyright infringements.  I still believe that record labels would have been better suited by cooperating with Napster and developing a mutually beneficial business model, but now all of that is hindsight what-ifs and speculation.

Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, is now on the board of directors for Spotify, and if you've seen the movie The Social Network, you know he played a part in advising Mark Zuckerberg about his little Facebook idea.  New media technology continues to change, but history should not forget the impact that Napster had, for "good and evil," on how people search for, consume, share, and distribute electronic content.