Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
For the latest member of its all-star legal defense team, embattled song-swap service Napster has tapped Jonathan Schwartz, a former deputy to former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno who cut his teeth battling independent counsel Kenneth Starr. Schwartz joins Napster as general counsel, reporting to interim CEO Hank Barry. He is charged with managing Napster’s legal defense and its compliance with an injunction issued in March by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, chief judge of the Northern District of California. It’s the first time Napster has employed internal counsel. Napster’s legal fight against the five major record labels and the organization that represents them, the Recording Industry Association of America, is still being led by David Boies and the firms of Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Fenwick & West in Washington, D.C. The copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Napster by the so-called Big Five that was combined with similar suits filed by the rock group Metallica and several music publishers is currently on appeal. The need to hire additional legal firepower has become apparent as Napster has confronted the legal complexity of implementing a music service that must compensate various constituencies such as the labels, publishers and songwriters. “I look forward to managing the company’s legal efforts, especially as Napster enters the exciting new phase of a membership-based service,” Schwartz said in a statement. Even the deal Napster signed Wednesday with MusicNet, which is aimed at helping Napster go legit, has complex legal implications. The record labels involved — Warner Music Group, EMI Group and BMG — are not obligated to release music rights to Napster until it can operate in a “legal, non-infringing manner.” But as Napster’s ongoing legal saga illustrates, that goal is very much a moving target. No one has ever implemented a service like the one Napster is proposing, and the commercial framework for it will have to be built from scratch. Schwartz will head any settlement negotiations between Napster and the labels, should the case end like the one that saw MP3.com pay millions in order to get licenses to operate its My.MP3.com service. At the Department of Justice, Schwartz helped managed a $21 billion agency with more than 125,000 employees. He was instrumental in defending the agency against the onslaught of independent counsel Starr, and conducted depositions of Secret Service officers on the department’s behalf. Schwartz also served on the department’s five-member death penalty review board. Before the Justice Department, Schwartz was a prosecutor in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. There, he helped prosecute the notorious Bronx crack-dealing crime syndicate, the C&C Gang. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: Loudeye Makes a Comeback Napster Settles on Loudeye for a Song-Identification Pact Stony Silence From Napster, RIAA on Their Latest Court Meeting Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

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

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


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 © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.