Unlike most things music-related in the late-90’s, Napster was an incredible leap forward for the art form.  I remember it as a Narnia-style doorway that opened the entire existence of music to me, past whatever MTV or my local radio station was playing at the time.

And now, you can revisit those days through Downloaded, a documentary by Alex Winter (a.k.a. Bill) that looks at the rise and RIAA-spearheaded fall of Napster during the turn of the millennium.  What’s most striking about the whole case is watching it with the past decade’s worth of wisdom under your belt, and seeing just how little many people’s mindset toward “piracy” has evolved since then.

Today, you see technological descendants of Napster everywhere in things like BitTorrent and the myriad of P2P apps that have since been subjected to legal Whack-A-Mole.  But back then, co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker were the first to truly piss off the music industry and begin to flip the music business paradigm on its head, toward a system more favorable to artists and fans instead of archaic-minded record label executives.

You can watch Downloaded in its embedded entirety below. (for free, of course!)


(via AOL On)