At the turn of the millennium, Napster became a symbol of progress and a pioneer in the distribution of streaming music. But this music streaming service was not destined to climb to the top of the musical Olympus and become the leader of the global music streaming industry. And the reason for this was numerous lawsuits from record companies and musicians who felt that this service violated their copyrights.
In particular, the well-known rapper Dr. Dre, having understood from the example of the Metallica group that disconnecting users convicted of piracy from Napster is ineffective, decided to change tactics.
Deciding that blocking users does not bring the desired result (they can register again), Dr. Dre demanded that the company block access to his songs. To do this, he sent Napster a list of 935,500 (according to another version – 239,612) legally protected music recordings discovered by NetPD during the monitoring of Napster’s file-sharing network.
So rapper Dr. Dre sued Napster, a music sharing software maker, to block free access to his work. The lawsuit comes three weeks after heavy metal band Metallica demanded the company withdraw more than 300,000 users from the free service, saying they were illegally trading the band’s music.
André “Dr. Dre Young on Wednesday emailed Napster a list of 935,500 pirated copies of his music shared by users through the MusicShare service and asked the company to block or remove MP3 songs.
But from a practical standpoint, it was extremely difficult to block the songs, as they are stored in an endless and ever-changing collection of computers, and Napster said it only provides access to these songs.
Mega-popular American rock band Metallica sued Napster on April 13, 2001, and on May 3 personally transferred 300,000 usernames to the company, asking these people to lose access to the program. Napster blocked access after a week. Somewhat later, representatives of the music streaming service said they would return access if Metallica did not treat each user individually.
Dr. Dre and his label Aftermath Records sued Napster on April 25, saying the company built its business on “large-scale piracy” and copyright infringement. Lawyer Howard King, who also represents Metallica, said Dr. Dre wants his music removed, but not necessarily for users to disconnect from the service.
The Napster music streaming service itself considered the rapper’s application, but reiterated that the company would not provide access to MP3 music, but only software to access it.
The result of the trial was a decision in favor of the rapper, but he did not receive any material compensation. The American rapper’s lawsuit is yet another blow to the music steaming pioneer that Napster has been since its inception. But the development of the music streaming industry, as history has shown, has not been contained by traditional music business figures.