BOB GARFIELD: We hear a lot from Shawn and Sean, Fanning and Parker, in the film. And, on the one hand, we see a lot of them rationalizing Napster, that it’s a peer-to-peer site for cultivating and sharing and, and community, not a piracy site. On the other hand, they’re very straightforward about the effect of Napster, the wanton plundering of copyrighted material. Do you think they, themselves, have ever come to terms with the irresistible force versus immovable object question?
ALEX WINTER: I think they came to terms with it back in the day. I met them in ’02. People have such a cemented perspective on the Napster story, due to the way it was in the media, that they just take it at face value that it was a piracy service and kinda, how dare these kids not acknowledge that. And I think the reality of it is for Fanning and Parker, it was never a piracy service. It wasn't.
A piracy service would be something like Knutella, LimeWire, Pirate Bay, sites that are specifically philosophically constructed with decentralized servers so that they cannot be shut down. They cannot in any way do business with the record industry or the movie industry. They exist outside the laws of capitalism. And that wasn’t Napster, at all. Napster was built on the idea of creating a business model and doing licensing deals with the labels. They never made any money. They didn’t get rich, like a lot of the torrenting site guys did because they were never able to do deals with the record industry.
BOB GARFIELD: It took Steve Jobs to do that.
ALEX WINTER: Yeah, it took Steve Jobs to finally break that wall down. But I don't see those boys, back at that time, as rationalizing. I see them as genuinely having created something that in their hearts was going to create a better, more consumer-friendly system for them and their friends and then subsequently the rest of the world. I think that they believed in that system wholeheartedly, and I believe that they still do, which is why Parker puts so much effort into Spotify...
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