Napster yesterday announced an effort that will bring it one step closer to offering what its opponents — the major record labels — might consider a legitimate business model.
A link to the CDNOW e-commerce engine is now prominently displayed in the upper right hand corner of Napster Beta 9, the newest version of the free peer-to-peer file sharing system. It gives Napster users the ability to search for and buy music or any of CDNOW’s 500,000 offerings.
Through this, CDNOW’s parent, the Bertelsmann eCommerce Group, a division of recording industry heavyweight Bertelsmann AG, can be compensated for its intellectual property rights holdings.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act establishes as law that record labels own the intellectual property rights to the songs their artists compose.
“We are pleased to offer the Napster community the opportunity to easily purchase music they discover on Napster. The CDNOW integration brings instant online purchasing convenience to the largest aggregation of music fans ever assembled,” said Milton Olin, chief operation officer, Napster Inc., Redwood City, CA.
Bertelsmann AG, a major player within the Recording Industry Association of America, is the first record label to make an attempt to patch the rift created when the association brought mass copyright infringement charges against Napster a year ago.