Feeds

Bertelsmann settles over naughty Napster

AT&T goes free with 'Napster the Good'

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
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
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
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.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.