Curtains for Napster?
The Register is reporting that Bertelsmann may be considering ceasing funding for Napster, which has become an irrelevant and obscure curiosity since it tried to go legit. The Napster name hasn't meant much for some time, and its own web site seems to perpetually claim that something big is coming, so some final closure is probably appropriate. Napster may indeed continue without Bertelsmann funding, but in a world rife with P2P alternatives, I think this is it for the file trading pioneer.
Napster's size and speed are still unrivaled, and it's doubtful the file trading network's popularity will ever be equaled by a single successor. And though the RIAA may whine about lower CD sales in this year or that, Napster may be remembered more for its ability to simplify and legitimize MP3 "sharing" for millions of mainstream PC users who otherwise had no clue what a P2P network was.