Feeds

Napster nears deal with music industry

But does anyone care anymore?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.