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Canadian paper buys Napster in Sealand story

'We got our own Shawn Fanning'

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Young Canadian computer science student Matt Goyer claims to be preparing to set up a Napster clone with HavenCo, which operates out of the ludicrous principality of Sealand, to evade recording industry lawyers, according to a story in Monday's Globe and Mail.

Sounds like a killer solution: a Napster clone run offshore by a Shawn Fanning wannabe, but we wonder if the G&M hasn't run this story a bit prematurely. The scheme doesn't appear quite fully baked to us.

Regarding the fledgling's financial backing, we learn that Goyer "hopes to collect an estimated $15,000 yearly HavenCo rental fee from music fans. If that doesn't work out, he plans to sign up with other renegade services."

"There's enough irate people out there, I think I can get many to chip in $10 each," Goyer is quoted as saying.

So the whole thing depends on how much lunch money Goyer can get diverted to his bank account. It's not a news story, but a pipedream looking for an investor.

Still, the Globe and Mail publicity may have set the venture capital machine in motion. And if young Goyer should end up with the goods, we look forward to interviewing him then. ®

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