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on 21 July 2003
Personally, I was looking forward to reading about Shawns accomplishments and the techical aspects of developing Napster and keeping it online. Instead it deals only slightly on this subject, moves onto trying to gain investment and onto the various court cases. Whether you are into the music industry, a lawyer, software developer or previous user of Napster - you will probably find this book interesting, but you will be left wishing a better slant had been put on it rather than just trying to get all of the history stuffed into the book...covering each aspect without providing any real meat or depth.
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on 4 July 2014
Remember Napster? I think just about anyone who wasn’t in diapers or a wheelchair at the turn of the millennium would be lying if they said they didn’t. I certainly do. And like most twenty-somehtings with a passion for music at the time, I was more or less oblivious (can you say: statute of limitations?) to the circumstances of the age.

In many ways this is also the story of the internet mania that ground to an unceremonious halt in 2001, an era defined by mismanagement, easy investor money and misguided optimism all around. But Napster took it even a step further when it turned a blind eye to nine tenths of the law and invited the world to tag along.

This book is a truly captivating look behind the scenes at the personalities, conflicts and reckless abandon that turned what might have been the digital music revolution into a six-lane courtroom pileup through a combination of greed, megalomania and reluctant innocence. Well written and thoroughly researched, it provides a convincing account of both the mindset and disposition of the key players in this tragedy of errors. Incidentally, it also does a good job of mapping out the underlying evolution in technology that made it all possible in the first place.

As for the argument about file sharing in general, it’s a tricky one, even with the clear-cut legal case against it. As the book makes clear, the corporate interests so antagonistic to the practice weren’t just leading a crusade for the rights of the artists affected, but fighting to maintain it’s own very lucrative, and often grossly unfair, hold over them. Thus it should perhaps come as no surprise that many of them stood behind Napster, at least initially.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the subject from either a historic, legal or technical standpoint, as it caters well to all three.
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on 21 July 2003
Personally, I was looking forward to reading about Shawns accomplishments and the techical aspects of developing Napster and keeping it online. Instead it deals only slightly on this subject, moves onto trying to gain investment and onto the various court cases. Whether you are into the music industry, a lawyer, software developer or previous user of Napster - you will probably find this book interesting, but you will be left wishing a better slant had been put on it rather than just trying to get all of the history stuffed into the book...covering each aspect without providing any real meat or depth.
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