Feeds

Napster nears deal with music industry

But does anyone care anymore?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Napster has almost reached agreement over a licensing deal with three of the big five record companies.

AOL Time Warner, BMG Entertainment and EMI are hoping to turn the infamous song-swapping service - which was all but shut down by a blizzard of lawsuits - into something that, surprise, surprise, they can make a huge amount of money from.

The basic structure of the new Napster is fairly simple and bears no relation to its original form. People will download files over a secure connection and pay for each one they download. The companies may just come up with a more imaginative approach but we're not holding our breath.

Napster is essentially little more than a brand name at the moment, but how strong a brand name? Say Napster to someone and the first reaction will most likely be "failure" - because Napster failed in its attempt to revolutionise the way music is distributed and has been overrun by the status quo.

Also, have you actually been on Napster recently? There's nothing there. And every week that it's pointless visiting Napster, the "brand name" is damaged still further.

Not that any of this bothers the record companies. Like victors stepping over the maimed body of a once feared enemy, they have no real interest in keeping Napster alive and putting it in charge of a new army. Instead, the new general MusicNet will take over.

MusicNet is backed by the three big companies mentioned above and has an ally in RealNetworks. MusicNet will have an uneasy ceasefire agreement with Duet - the company set up by the other two main record companies - Sony and Vivendi - for online music sales.

Whether the five companies that effectively control music in the modern world will make good use of Internet technology is yet to be seen. ®

Related Stories

Napster adds audio fingerprint filter code
Napster looks to audio fingerprints to monitor MP3 shares
Napster ponders Microsoft as technology partner
Napster judge disappoints record industry
Judge threatens 'disgraceful' Napster with closure - again

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.