Napster Documentary: The Music, the Battle, the Revolution

“Downloaded” is a new documentary that examines the rise and fall of music file-sharing service Napster. The film tells the story of Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker while providing details of the service’s launch in 1998 through its eventual 2011 acquisition by Rhapsody. It examines the downloading generation, resulting changes to the music industry, piracy and legal arguments, and the impact of services such as Spotify and iTunes.

“A documentary that explores the downloading revolution; the kids that created it, the bands and the businesses that were affected by it, and its impact on the world at large,” reads the trailer description on YouTube.

“It’s about the music and the bands, the fans and the moguls, and the brilliant young minds that ignited the biggest youth revolt since Alan Freed hit the radio,” explained director Alex Winter, better known to many as an actor in films including the “Bill & Ted” franchise and “The Lost Boys.”

“The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest and features interviews with both co-founders, Billy Corgan, Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “The film will be available for online stream and video on demand beginning July 1. VH1 and AOL are distribution partners, and the documentary is scheduled to be broadcast on VH1 later this year.”

The WSJ post includes the documentary’s 3-minute trailer, which features some compelling news clips, interviews and sound bites from musical artists such as David Bowie, Lars Ulrich, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Henry Rollins. For more information visit the “Downloaded” Facebook page.