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Napster signs indy labels

Subscription service's artist roster grows

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Napster does have some friends in the music industry: the UK-based Association of Independent Music and the Independent Music Companies Association, AIM's European opposite number.

Both have licensed songs from artists whose labels are affiliated to either organisation to Napster for inclusion in the controversial MP3 sharing company's upcoming subscription service.

Since almost no one will have heard of either AIM or IMCA, perhaps a list of some of their better known bands will provide some context: Moloko, Moby, Tom Jones, Stereophonics and Ash.

Napster CEO Hank Barry said the deal will help the company's subscription service gain critical mass. We suppose it will, but not half as much as the deal with MusicNet, allowing it to distribute music from big five labels EMI, Warner and BMG, will.

Oddly, all three companies, represented by the Recording Industry Ass. of America, beat Napster in court again yesterday. The Court of Appeal upheld a District Court ruling that Napster must eradicate copyright music from its system. ®

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