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Napster film in the works

By | Published on Thursday 25 August 2011


After Napster co-founder Sean Parker’s prominent role in Facebook movie ‘The Social Network’, it was probably only a matter of time before a full-blown movie based on the file-sharing network was in the works. I say “probably”, but a full-blown Napster movie is in the works right now. So, definitely, then.

Actually, director Alex Winter has been working on this project for a decade now, meaning it pre-dates ‘The Social Network’ by some distance. However, having originally been planned as a dramatised version of events, it is now being shot as a documentary.

Winter told Deadline: “The rise and fall of Napster and the birth of peer-to-peer file-sharing technology created by Shawn Fanning when he was a college student, changed music to movies, and made possible everything from Julian Assange, WikiLeaks to the iPod and Facebook. It became an expression of youth revolt, and contributed to a complete shift in how information, media and governments work. And it is a fascinating human story, where this eighteen year old kid invents a peer-to-peer file-sharing system, and brings it to the world six months later”.

He added: “Nobody wanted to deal with this college kid and the music industry took a hard stance and focused on shutting him down. It’s a grey area. I can understand Fanning’s side, but I can also empathise with the horror that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich felt when a single that wasn’t even finished ended up on the radio”.

According to Winter, both Fanning and Parker will appear in the film, as will various music industry execs and musicians.