Feeds

Bertelsmann settles over naughty Napster

AT&T goes free with 'Napster the Good'

High performance access to file storage

The large music labels today received a three-pronged reminder of what could have been.

First off, EMI and Bertelsmann settled a long-running dispute over Bertelsmann's investment in the naughty Napster – aka the Napster people used. Neither party released details about their arrangement, but, as a point of reference, Bertelsmann settled last year with Universal over a similar Napster matter for $60m.

Bertelsmann escaped admitting liability in both cases.

The labels were upset with Bertelsman's investment of close to $100m in the old Napster, claiming that the media giant helped the P2P site and its users infringe on their tunes.

As you all know, the naughty Napster was scrapped in favor of a new, much less successful legal Napster, which brings us to the two other items.

Desperate times demanding desperate measures, Napster has teamed with AT&T to give away access to its music service. AT&T customers will receive free, fettered access to Napster's To Go service – a $180 “value” we're told. The program will cover PCs, cell phones and music players, excluding the iPod.

“This move further blurs the line between communications and entertainment as well as wireless and wireline services,” the companies bragged.

It also blurs the already drunk line around what constitutes a music service business model these days.

The AT&T service goes live April 1.

All you have to do to get the $180 value is shell out for a two-year wireless agreement on Samsung's SYNC or BlackJack phones, while also agreeing to the data plan and a Music Kit/Card. You can read more of the fine print for other plans here.

Elsewhere in the phone kingdom, Sprint Nextel has moved to cut its per song download price to 99 cents in a bid to become competitive with iTunes. That's quite the discount from the unrealistic $2.49 per song Sprint had been charging. Sprint managed to sell all of 15 million songs over the past 18 months under its previous wallet-busting plan.

Ah, if only the music labels had joined forces around Napster instead of suing the company into oblivion. They might have had actual online businesses of their own now. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.