Feeds

Napster signs away its soul

It was good knowing you...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.