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talks being singled out [RealVideo]
talks future [RealVideo]
IN THIS FEATURE:

Shawn Fanning on...
"I didn't get much sleep"
what upsets him most about the ruling
is shutting down the only solution?
reaching out to record companies
the Napster "buy-cott"
"it does seem surreal..."
sharing the technology
making improvements
using Napster to help new artists
is this the dark side of success?
do they just not "get it?"
"file-sharing is what the Internet was created to do..."
Watch Shawn Fanning...
talk injunction [RealVideo]
talk "buy-cott" [RealVideo]
talk Metallica [RealVideo]
talk being singled out [RealVideo]
talk future [RealVideo]
headlines
MTV: And creatively, you've been more aggressive in terms of getting new artists on the site and promoting them to people who might not have ever heard about them. Is that important to you?

Fanning: Yeah, absolutely. There's a new artist program that we launched. I believe we've received 18,000 or so posts from artists who are interested in getting some promotion using the system. We think that Napster can provide a great vehicle for them to interact and communicate with their fans. We want to help them as much as we can to get familiar with the technology and give them the opportunity to reach as many people as possible.

MTV: Do you feel like you're being singled out because of your success? There are so many different ways to download music on the 'Net right now, and yet you guys, we all know who you are, and it seems like you're becoming the whipping boy for the whole future of music on the 'Net. Do you feel that way sometimes?

Fanning: I guess. I mean, we were the first into the space. It was the first application out there that demonstrated file sharing, so I suppose I'm not surprised that it is directed toward us. We are the largest file-sharing community. But it is surprising to me to see a technology that is based on fundamental Internet principles of exchanging information and search engine technology and chat technology be attacked like this. That's definitely surprising. [RealVideo]

MTV: I've heard this figure: 20 million users. How does that make you feel? You created something that 20 million people use.

Fanning: I try not think about it. It's a bit overwhelming. It's funny -- we went to a show a few weeks ago, and I think, like, 14,000 or 15,000 people went. We were sort of thinking of the number of people on Napster at the time, and we were just... it just blew us away. It's hard to comprehend. And we're sort of sheltered from it too, because they're just numbers here. You know? We're working, and we're getting a lot of great feedback, but I can't imagine what 20 million people in one area would... I mean, it's just... I can't even comprehend.

MTV: Do you get the feeling sometimes that a lot people who just don't get this technology yet are making important decisions about what its future will be?

Fanning: Yes, I do. And that's part of what's really frustrating. But I think ultimately, as I said, it will become clear that it is very beneficial. Twenty million people have adopted it and love it, and it's going to be difficult to sort of get rid of that. I think many people will begin to understand how it can be incorporated into their business model or something like that, but I also think that -- in just the numbers alone and the fact that it's been adopted -- [that's] really powerful, and [that's] going to convince many people.

MTV: The idea that they can put the genie back in the bottle is kind of na´ve, isn't it? Given how many different ways now, with Gnutella and everything else, you can get this kind of stuff. Even if they shut you down, they're certainly not going to end free downloading of music on the 'Net.

Fanning: Well, yeah. What's interesting to me is, as I said earlier, file-sharing is kind of what the Internet was created to do. I mean, the Internet was created to share information with other people. Even Napster itself is sort of based on many existing technologies. The ability to transfer a file has always existed. The ability to go and search for content has always existed. The ability to interact with people and communicate... it's just sort of a combination of technologies. So to me, it's obviously something that people really like. It's something that will continue to exist. [RealVideo]




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