Articles & Notes — January 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

“Downloaded”: A Napster documentary to premiere at SXSW Film Festival

napsterA new documentary on the rise and fall of Napster, the peer-to-peer file-sharing service that revolutionized the music industry, is set to debut at South by Southwest Film Festival.

South by Southwest Film Festival is being held annually, and takes place every spring (usually in March) in Austin, Texas, United States.

SXSW began in 1987, and has continued to grow in size every year. In 2011, the conference lasted for 10 days, with SXSW Interactive lasting for five, Music for six, and Film running concurrently for nine days.

“Downloaded” will have its world premiere on March 10 at the Texas festival, according to VH1, which financed the film.

A panel including director Alex Winter, as well as Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, will follow the screening on March 12.

The film focuses on the birth of digital-media sharing, and charts Napster’s tumultuous journey from its founding in 1998 to its acquisition by online music store Rhapsody in 2011.

It also looks at how the service paved the way for iTunes, Spotify and other online music services.

“After more than a decade of declining sales of recorded music and imperfect attempts to present a licensed alternative, the influence of Napster continues to be felt,” according to a SXSW description of the service.

Fanning and Parker teamed up again in 2012 to launch Airtime, a social video network that’s reportedly suffering from a stagnant user base.

Parker, a major investor in Spotify, recently shared the stage with Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, who famously spoke out against Napster.

The two parties have an acrimonious history, with Ulrich filing a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Napster in 2000.

The drummer also testified in front of the U.S. Congress, condemning online file-sharing at large.



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