The new Napster documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the software that changed the music industry forever.
The new documentary "Downloaded" chronicles the rise and fall of Napster, the file-sharing app that flipped the music world upside-down. In one scene, premiered below, musicians such as Metallica's Lars Ulrich and the Byrds' Roger McGuinn show just how deeply digital music had divided the industry with testimony on the Senate floor.
"I think that what we've witnessed was an internal conflict, not just one guy on one side," "Downloaded" director Alex Winter told Billboard.com, citing artists' twin needs of wanting their work heard and needing to make a living -- a situation that continues to evolve. "Metallica put their entire catalog on Spotify."
The film addresses Napster from multiple angles -- from its legal and ethical components, including artist and RIAA criticism and its numerous legal battles, and from the personal side, the communities the site built and the friendship of collaborators Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. The project began life in 2002 as a narrative film that Winter says wound up in turnaround at a major studio. Eventually, he decided a documentary would be a better fit to explore wounds that, over a decade later, are still fresh for many.