X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The song-swapping service is reportedly hours away from entering an agreement with a licensing venture that represents three of the five major music labels. Song-swapping site Napster is close to signing an agreement that could pave the way for its relaunch as a subscription-based service this summer. Sources say Napster is hours away from announcing the completion of a deal with MusicNet, the nascent music-licensing venture formed by Bertelsmann’s BMG Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Group and RealNetworks. The deal would be the first sign that Napster may be able to reinvent itself as a paid service before it evaporates under the heat of a court injunction that has rendered the site practically useless. Since the injunction went into effect in April, downloads from the Napster site have dropped more than 50 percent. So much music has been blocked from Napster’s system that Monday the search term “funk” yielded no results. The agreement would be the best news for Napster since it received a $60 million investment from Betelsmann in November, but it would not end Napster’s legal travails. None of the Big Five major labels have dropped their suits against Napster, though Bertelsmann has pledged to pull out of its suit once Napster’s conversion to a paid service is complete. If the MusicNet deal is consummated, it would unlock about 40 percent of the global music market to Napster users. The largest block of remaining songs is owned by Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group, which formed their own music licensing service, Duet, this year. Vivendi Universal Chairman Jean-Marie Messier told an audience of analysts in March that Duet would license its catalog to Napster and other services like it, provided that the sites’ systems “respect copyright” and that their “technology is reasonably secure.” “We will license Napster with urgency when those two criteria are met,” he said. A MusicNet-Napster alliance would be a major coup for Seattle-based RealNetworks, which is fighting to make its streaming technology the industry standard. Napster, more than any other application, popularized MP3, making it the format of choice for digital music. If the system can regain its popularity using the MusicNet platform, RealNetworks would gain a leg up in its battle against Microsoft’s Windows Media Player. A new version of Microsoft’s streaming software with CD burning capabilities will be released with the next version of the software giant’s operating system, Windows XP, scheduled to be released Oct. 25. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: Kicking and Streaming MSN Takes Aim at AOL’s Customers Best of Enemies Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.