Warner & Bertelsmann Finalize Napster Suit
Warner Music Group has finalized a $110 million settlement with Bertelsmann AG related to BMG’s investment in the original Napster, a file-swapping service that Warner said violated copyrights. Bertelsmann, which invested in Napster in 2000, didn’t admit liability.
The original Napster, which allowed users to download digital music for free, was widely criticized by the recording industry and hit with lawsuits from several major media companies, including Warner Music, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and EMI Group. The settlement with Warner Music follows similar settlements with EMI earlier this year for an undisclosed amount, and Universal Music for $61.22 million last year. The original Napster site shut down in 2001, but rights to the Napster name were bought by Roxio Inc., which created the current legal online music service.