Don Dodge writes about how Napster came and went, but the record companies lost anyway.
Gnutella was an open source program and we were already seeing new variants of it emerge. We told the record labels that we (Napster) had a loyal audience of over 50M users. We had servers that could control distribution. If they didn’t do a deal with us and put us out of business then Gnutella and its derivatives would become unstoppable. There would be no company to sue and no server to shut down. If we worked together now we could convert the market to a paying subscription or per download model. If we didn’t do a deal chaos would ensue. They didn’t believe us and didn’t really understand what this Gnutella threat was. The record labels lost billions of dollars in lost revenue over the next several years, and may never squash the free file trading movement.
. Via Rick.