Meet the Napster

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DAN LOH--AP

The Napster Kid: Shawn Fanning terrorized an industry. Will he be able to go on?

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Meanwhile, there is another big idea he is dying to work out, another program he has been thinking about and tinkering with that, he says, could be bigger than Napster. What he is seeking to recapture, he will tell you, are those days back in Hull, when it was just Fanning and Napster. When there were no lawsuits and no one to answer to and he was left alone to work on this little program of his, this idea that he would launch into the world.

Back then, he thought he would just write the application and set it free--his name would be embedded deep in the source code and known only to the other hackers and programmers who care about such things. He misses that simple time, before magazine covers and TV interviews and Britney Spears and having to put on a goofy black suit and necktie to appear in court.

"I'm going to get back there, to that office, to where I'm just alone and able to work something out," Fanning vows. And then he picks up his guitar again and starts strumming. He shrugs. He has another idea, he keeps saying; he has this idea that he needs to work out.

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