A thrown melee weapon is considered a ranged attack.
However, the Net has a throwing range, is listed as a Martial Ranged Weapon, but doesn't inherently state that it requires you to throw the net in order to use its effects, only that it hits.
Additionally, the Thrown feature refers to using the same attribute that you would use for the weapon if you were to use it for a melee weapon attack.
This implies that a melee weapon attack is possible with the net, but doesn't express how. If a melee weapon attack wasn't possible, then that would, RAW, indicate that no attribute is used for the Net to throw it.
What would happen if I tried to make a melee weapon attack with a net?
- Would the net be treated as an improvised weapon?
- Would it still be able to capture a target?
- If it was an improvised melee weapon, but couldn't capture anything, would it still inflict standard improvised weapon damage?