Metallica and Dr. Dre have settled long-standing legal disputes over alleged infringement of their copyrighted music against online file-swapping service Napster. No specific details about the settlement were immediately available, but it is understood that both acts have agreed to make some of their music available on Napster “once an acceptable model is in place that insures payment to artists and publishers for the use of their works,” according to a statement.
“Metallica has taken a courageous stand and a tough and principled approach to the protection of its name and creative output, and that of other artists,” Napster interim CEO Hank Barry said in a statement. “They brought to our attention essential artists’ rights issues which we’ve addressed in our new technology. We respect what they’ve done and regret any harm which this dispute may have caused them.”
“I think we’ve resolved this in a way that works for fans, recording artists, and songwriters alike,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich added. “Our beef hasn’t been with the concept of sharing music; everyone knows that we’ve never objected to our fans trading tapes of our live concert performances. The problem we had with Napster was that they never asked us or other artists if we wanted to participate in their business. We believe that this settlement will create the kind of enhanced protection for artists that we’ve been seeking from Napster. We await Napster’s implementation of a new model which will allow artists to choose how their creative efforts are distributed. It’s good that they’re going legit.”
“I work hard making music — that’s how I earn a living,” Dr. Dre said in a separate statement. “Now that Napster’s agreed to respect that, I don’t have any beef with them.”
As reported earlier today, Napster remains out of service until its filtering technology can comply with a previous ruling that restricts access to copyrighted material. The company plans to launch a legal pay subscription service this summer.