Inside Napster

How the music-sharing phenom began, where it went wrong, and what happens next

"Go Napster! Woo-hoo!," screams a 25-year-old woman who goes by the name Netmixia. She is standing outside the office of Napster Inc. in Redwood City, Calif., holding up Napster placards while wearing pink sequin shorts, a skimpy black tank top, and a translucent white cape with a mask. Netmixia is here with her friend Jacob Lawrence, 27, who is in a T-shirt, shorts, and sunglasses. The two drove 35 miles from Berkeley, Calif., to show their support for the embattled music-sharing site. Two vans from local TV networks are parked outside the company's headquarters, their anchors preparing to shoot live stand-up for the evening news. "I've got 3,000 songs on my hard drive," says Lawrence. "I'm the biggest fan around."

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