Shawn Fanning (born November 22, 1980) is an American computer programmer, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor. He developed Napster, one of the first popular peer-to-peer ('P2P') file sharing platforms, in 1998. The popularity of Napster was widespread and Fanning was featured on the cover of Time magazine. The site in its initial free P2P incarnation was shut down in 2001 after the company's unsuccessful appeal of court orders arising from its encouraging the illegal sharing of copyrighted material. A paid subscription version of the site followed, and was purchased by Rhapsody on December 1st, 2011. Following his involvement with Napster, he joined, and invested in, a number of early-stage technology startup companies. In 2002, Fanning was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. In 2003, he opened a new company, Snocap, along with Jordan Mendelson (Napster's Chief Architect), and Ron Conway.
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