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Napster@20: Reflections on the Internet’s Most Controversial Music File Sharing Service

Part of the Cyberlaw Clinic 20th Anniversary Event Series


College student Shawn Fanning launched the Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing service twenty years ago, in June of 1999, from his dorm room at Northeastern University.  Napster radically changed the landscape with respect to all aspects of content distribution.  It raised questions about legal liability where technology allows sharing of pristine digital files without a copyright owner’s permission.  It prompted re-examination of decades-old business models premised on the manufacture and distribution of physical media.  And, it divided artists and creators, with some seeing the potential of direct fan engagement and others lamenting revenues lost to piracy. 

This panel discussion addresses the topic of “Napster @ 20,” looking back from our vantage point in 2019 and examining the direct and indirect legacy of Napster over the past two decades. The panelists are Christopher Bavitz, Nancy Baym, David Herlihy, and Jennifer Jenkins.

The event was co-sponsored by the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology and the Recording Artists Project at Harvard Law School

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Past Event
Nov 18, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ET
Harvard Law School, Wasserstein Hall
Milstein East B (Room 2036)
Cambridge, MA 02138 US

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