The 50 Most Important People on the Web

Important People #11 through #15

Kevin J. Martin
11. Kevin J. Martin
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

He may look innocent and unassuming, but Martin is arguably the most powerful bureaucrat on the Web. He took over the reins of the FCC in 2005, and to date he has encountered minimal controversy and none of the scandals that predecessor Michael Powell suffered. But that doesn't mean he couldn't cut off your Internet connection like that if he really wanted to.

Brad Templeton
Photograph: Courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation
12. Brad Templeton
Chairman of the board, Electronic Frontier Foundation

If you've ever found yourself on the wrong side of an electronic copyright or privacy scuffle, you know that Brad Templeton and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are your friends. They've defended file-sharers sued by the Recording Industry Association of America and filed complaints against America Online for disclosing subscriber search terms; currently they're fighting to unmuzzle bloggers who published leaked documents related to Eli Lilly's alleged misrepresentation of side effects of the drug Zyprexa. Templeton's passion about copyright and free speech is not surprising. The Web publishing veteran got his start back in 1989 when he founded ClariNet, a company that published what Templeton calls "the Net's first newspaper."

Henry Chon
13. Henry Chon
CEO, Cyworld

Don't call Cyworld a Korean MySpace; MySpace is an American Cyworld. In South Korea, an estimated 25 percent of the population (and 90 percent of people in their teens and twenties) have Cyworld accounts, where individuals design miniature animated avatars to represent them in its unique online space. In 2006 CEO Henry Chon brought Cyworld to U.S. shores. Though Cyworld hasn't yet achieved comparable success here, MySpace shouldn't rest easy if Chon's track record is any indication of future competition.

14. Shana Fisher
Senior vice president for strategy and M&A, IAC/InterActiveCorp

IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman and CEO Barry Diller loves his online enterprises. After a buying binge, IAC now owns Ask.com, Citysearch, Expedia, Match.com, Ticketmaster, and a host of other service-oriented Web businesses. But who tells Diller where to plunk down the cash? That would be his mergers and acquisitions advisor, senior VP Shana Fisher, who determines exactly where and when IAC should invest. Her control over IAC's purse strings makes her arguably the most powerful woman on the Internet.

15. Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis
Founders, Skype and KaZaA

It seems like Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis just can't stop themselves. First they built the popular (though malware-addled) peer-to-peer file-sharing network KaZaA; then they followed that endeavor up by building the amazingly popular VoIP software Skype. After selling Skype to eBay (see #28) for $2.6 billion, the duo has gone back to the drawing board to produce Joost (formerly "The Venice Project"), a P2P video distribution service that is currently in private beta form. Will Zennstrom and Friis pull off a trifecta of killer apps? After being forced to settle an RIAA lawsuit over KaZaA for more than $100 million, they are negotiating directly with content providers as they prepare for Joost's official launch.

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