Entrepreneurial Music Pirate to Nuanced Web 2.0 Social-Gamer

By: Justin Finnegan, AE, and Ben Baruch, SAE – Fusion PR

Scanning the Web earlier, we came across a very familiar name, a name from the past — Shawn Fanning. Though he might not be a household name, it was his site, Napster, which was the buzz word of 1998. Napster, a file-sharing site, completely revolutionized the way music consumers listened and received content, shaking the very foundation of the music and recording industry in the process. Due to the litigation levied at Napster from famous recording acts — Metallica, Dr. Dre, et al, Fanning became synonymous with piracy. Hindsight being 20/20, consumers adapted from the “all you can download” piracy of the late ’90’s to the pay-per-song iTunes model, to Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows pay what you feel distribution.

Well, according to Eric Schonfeld on TechCrunch’s Web site, Fanning and his partner, Jon Baudanza, will join Electronic Arts who acquired their social-network-gaming startup ‘Rupture’ for $30 million. Electronic Arts is buying the company for its technology, since it doesn’t have a lot of users (it was only ever in beta) and never launched the second version of its service. Presumably, creating social networks around massively multi-player video games is a key component of its online strategy. The company has not yet officially announced the acquisition, but it is expected to do so soon.’

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