On Wednesday, March 14 at the Austin Convention Center, as part of the 2012 SXSW Festival, Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker are going to be interviewed by Alex Winter, the director of a brand new VH1 Rock Doc called Downloaded. The Downloaded documentary explores the rise of the digital music era, and specifically the role that Napster played in dragging the music industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
As the legend goes, Shawn Fanning launched Napster from his dorm room when he was enrolled at Northeastern University, and shortly thereafter, met up with the controversial Silicon Valley figure Sean Parker, who helped turn Napster from a project and into a real company. (You might recognize the name Sean Parker from the award-winning film The Social Network, where he was portrayed by Justin Timberlake.) Downloaded will look at the way in which Napster, as one of the first file sharing devices for music to gain a foothold in the culture, essentially paved the way for digital music consumption today, making it possible for online file sharing to be realized without all the legal controversy that Napster faced (and which ultimately led to its demise).
Downloaded is scheduled to premiere on VH1 in mid to late 2012. That said, we’ll be down in Austin in March covering the 2012 SXSW Festival, so we’ll be sure to keep you abreast of how this panel conversation goes! You can check out more information about this exciting event on the official SXSW website.