Napster has made its first business connection with a Bertelsmann-owned property since the two companies announced a strategic alliance last year, Billboard Bulletin reports. The free file-swapping si

Napster has made its first business connection with a Bertelsmann-owned property since the two companies announced a strategic alliance last year, Billboard Bulletin reports. The free file-swapping site has added a link to Bertelsmann-owned e-tailer CDnow as a part of Napster's Beta 9 upgrade, which debuted yesterday (Jan. 10) and includes an instant messenging service, chat rooms, and song sampling.



Napster's deal with Bertelsmann included an unspecified loan to the Web service to develop a membership-based model that will provide payments to rights holders. It also includes a warrant for Bertelsmann to acquire a stake in Napster. Bertelsmann music unit BMG remains a party in the copyright-infringement suit filed by the majors against Napster in 1999.



In other news, Napster has signed a deal with Beverly Hills, Calif.-based 4 Play Records to offer CeCe Peniston's single "Lifetime To Love" as a free, "sanctioned" download. The radio version of the track-No. 5 on the Hot Dance Music Club Play chart-will be available through Jan. 19.



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