Instead of mourning Napster's last day on this Internet planet, we thought we'd point out Napster's many deaths. Most things get one life, die, get one overly kind eulogy and then stop living, forever. Death is kind of final like that. Not Napster, though. The Internet relic has been dying and living and dying pretty regularly over the last decade. We're just going to make the bad joke: It's no coincidence that its logo was a cat.
First Death: February 2001 After a long drawn out lawsuit, a judge ruled that Napster in its original form was illegal. "Ding, Dong, Napster's Dead" proclaimed the New York Post.
Third Death: September 2002 A year and a half after the original ruling, Napster proclaimed itself extinct, posting the words "Ded Kitty" over its logo. The company, which had declared bankruptcy earlier that year, had what could have been a life-saving sale blocked by a Delaware judge.
Fourth Death: May 2003 A more existential death, "Napster" would continue to exist under Roxio. But as a paid service that totally eliminated the peer-to-peer aspect, Napster as we once knew it: Dead.
Fifth Death: July 2005 Death by irrelevance. The Times of India proclaimed the service deceased, as Torrent sharing had replaced the type of MP3 swapping Napster had pioneered.
Sixth Death: March 2010 After launching a free version of its service (again) in March 2006, that died, after getting shutdown in March 2010.
Seventh Death: December 1, 2011 As a result of the Rhapsody deal, today Napster will no longer exist on the Internet. At all. And we mourn. But we wouldn't be surprised if it came back two more times.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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