Napster Gets Its List; Competitor Plans Launch
The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) said Friday it had delivered the first batch of 135,000 songs owned by its member labels to Napster, Billboard Bulletin reports. Under a federal coThe Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) said Friday it had delivered the first batch of 135,000 songs owned by its member labels to Napster, Billboard Bulletin reports. Under a federal court injunction, Napster has three business days to block access to the songs on its service.
The site began to filter copyrighted files last weekend, after promising to do so at a federal court hearing on March 2. Among the first artists to have their files blocked were Metallica and Dr. Dre, both of whom have filed copyright infringement suits against Napster. Mediation is ongoing in the RIAA's own suit against the site.
In the meantime, rival companies are moving forward with Napster alternatives. Among them is Minneapolis technology company J. River, which says it has made a $3 billion offer to the five major record companies for authorized use of their copyrighted music. The company is trying to build a list of 3 million people who would be interested in paying for a legitimate file-swapping service.
J. River developed Media Jukebox, a popular application that plays more than 70 file formats, including MP3. Spokesman Peter Sohal says the application also has networking capabilities and that the company is working on technology that would allow it to function as a Napster-like file-sharing service, but one that could be policed with more authority than Napster.
Sohal says three majors have agreed to talk about the proposed service. New-media representatives for Sony and EMI told Billboard Bulletin they had not been contacted by J. River. BMG and Warner Bros. executives could not be reached. A Universal Music Group spokesman said he was unaware of efforts to contact company executives.
"We have all learned that the Napster model works for distribution, but we want to make it work as a business model as well," Sohal says.