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Napster Timeline

Line   Feb. 12 – A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the music-swapping service Napster must stop trading in copyrighted material and may be held liable for "vicarious copyright infringement."

Line   Oct. 31 – Napster announces partnership with German media giant Bertelsmann AG to develop a membership-based distribution system that would guarantee payments to artists. Under the deal, Bertelsmann agrees to drop lawsuit against Napster and make its music catalog available to Napster, while gaining the right to buy a stake in the service.

Oct. 2 – Appeals court hears oral arguments regarding the injunction and the judicial panel takes the matter under submission.

July 28 – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stays the lower court injunction, ruling that "substantial questions" were raised about the merits and form of Patel's injunction.

July 26 – Patel grants the RIAA's request for a preliminary injunction and orders Napster to shut down.

May 5 – U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel rules that Napster is not entitled to "safe harbor" under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

May 3 – Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and the band's attorney hand-deliver list of more than 335,000 Internet user names of people the band says are illegally sharing their songs using Napster.

April 13 – Heavy metal rock group Metallica sues Napster for copyright infringement and racketeering. Rapper Dr. Dre files suit two weeks later.

Line   Dec. 7 – Recording Industry Association of America sues Napster in federal court in San Francisco for copyright infringement.

May – Napster Inc. founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The dorm room file-sharing project soon explodes in popularity.

© 2001 Washington Post Newsweek Interactive