He could be the most hated man in the music industry, and he's only 19.
Tech-head Shawn Fanning created Napster while studying at Northeastern University, and in the process, he brought MP3 sharing to the masses. He also managed to put the fear of God into the recording industry, which sees the new technology as an agent of outright piracy. Specific artists like Metallica and Dr. Dre, as well as the industry as a whole, have turned their legal dogs loose on Napster's scent.
The industry seemed to be winning, as a judge granted an injunction on Wednesday, July 26, forcing Napster to keep copyrighted material out of its users hands, effectively putting the site out of business. Napster fought back the following day by filing an appeal to stay (in laymen's terms, delay) the judge's order, and on Friday, that appeal was granted, giving Napster a temporary reprieve.
Hours after the judge's initial injunction was handed down, Fanning sat down with MTV News' Chris Connelly for an exclusive interview about Napster's future, as well as the future of online music distribution.