Feeds

Napster signs away its soul

It was good knowing you...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Napster has become a distributor for the music industry's MusicNet venture, putting it on a par with corporate beasts AOL and RealNetworks.

MusicNet is backed by three of the main five record companies: AOL Time Warner, EMI and BMG Entertainment. It will be a music streaming and download thing, and is expected to launch near the end of summer. The deal will see Napster relaunch in name only as a subscription-based service.

Napster is also reportedly talking to Microsoft over fee-charging software. How much, if any, of the original Napster free file-swapping software will remain is open to question.

Despite the deal only being done to remove all the legal threats and court orders hanging over Napster, Napster's chief exec and MusicNet's chief exec decided to ignore history and reality in their prepared quotes:

"We are pleased to be able to offer Napster members access to the MusicNet service," said Hank Barry (Napster).

"Today's announcement is great for consumers, for artists and for the recording industry," said Rob Glaser (MusicNet and, incidentally, RealNetworks).

Despite the deal, Napster is still expected in court for a "compliance hearing" today to make sure it has removed all "banned" songs. The court order still holds but it seems unlikely that even if Napster has failed to remove such songs that it will go any further.

The other two main record companies - Sony and Vivendi - have set up 'rival' company Duet for online music but are in talks with MusicNet to make it all one happy duopoly.

EMI gets in there first

And part of the future of controlling music in the digital age has already been announced by EMI. It will team up with Roxio to set up a CD-burning system that keeps copyright intact, EMI announced yesterday.

Roxio intends to write software that will allows users to download music off the Internet from EMI and then burn this onto a CD. This CD can then be played in any normal device. However, the system will incorporate encrypted data on the CD that prevents it being copied or ripped into MP3, at least that's what euro chief of Roxio Harm Meyer said.

Harm went on to say: "It would all be transparent to the user - they would go to the EMI site and buy songs on a pay-as-you-go basis, download those to their computer, listen to them there and, if they wanted, they could then burn it on to a recordable CD and listen to it wherever. However, in between the tracks we would encode a scrambled digital signal that would prevent it being copied."

Let's hope that Roxio does a better job with the software than it did with the latest version of Easy CD Creator which has caused widespread difficulties due to several components clashing with Windows OSes. ®

Related Stories
Napster nears deals with music industry
Easy CD Creator affecting Win9x machines as well
More woe over Easy CD Creator
Microsoft posts warning over Easy CD Creator
Easy CD Creator problems just won't go away
Roxio replies over Easy CD Creator problems
Easy CD Creator saga continues
Stop! Don't install Easy CD Creator 5 til you read this story

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?