Gary Susman
October 02, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Did they pay for the story or just download it? According to the Hollywood Reporter, MTV is planning a made-for-TV movie on the life of Napster founder Shawn Fanning. The 21-year-old, who launched an online music revolution from his college dorm room when he created the pioneering file-sharing service three years ago, is coproducing the movie and may even star in it, an MTV exec tells the Reporter.

Fanning is one of many prospective actors for the role of himself, MTV vice president of original movies Maggie Malina tells the Reporter. ”We really want to capture the adventuresome and pioneering spirit he brought to Napster in a way that is not the ordinary biopic,” she said. ”We really want to take a look at what it was like to live and breathe that roller coaster ride with Napster while indicating what happened in his past and future — not just for him, but for everyone who loves music.”

Directing the movie will be Alex Winter, best known for his acting work opposite Keanu Reeves in the ”Bill and Ted” movies. As for Fanning, his own excellent adventure included serving as a poster boy for MP3 swapping and Web entrepreneurialism, at least until crippling copyright-infringement lawsuits from the major labels bankrupted his company. One of the labels, BMG, tried to buy Napster’s assets, only to see the deal fall through over regulatory restrictions, effectively killing Napster. These days, Fanning is about to start his own record label, one of whose first releases will be the soundtrack to his biopic.

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