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BMG to Purchase Napster

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the napster-plz-die-thx dept.

News 155

asv108 writes "In a dramatic reversal, Bertelsmann has agreed to purchase Napster's assets. Founder Shawn Fanning and CEO Konrad Hilbers are set to return to the company after announcing their resignation earlier this week."

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fp? (-1, Offtopic)

n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540020)

props to fridays long may 24 weekends beer and weed

This is good but (1)

eyeareque (454991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540021)

Who cares about this anyway? Napster is dead. The reason Napster was so popular will never be the same.

Re:This is good but (5, Funny)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540114)

Well, at least SOMEONE is buying something from napster now.

Re:This is good but (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540486)

One thing about your sig : Caffeine actually leads to a nervous system collapse after several hours, ironically causing extreme tiredness/mental fatigue. The "stay alert" aspect of caffeine is only true for very short periods of time, but extended it inverts and has the opposite effect.

Just thought I'd mention that as it's a common fallacy that sucking back mountain dews (at least the US kind) all day leads to some extra long day, when the reality is quite the contrary.

Re:This is good but (1)

monkeyfamily (161555) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540117)

Well, if they're not totally dead, they might put the Gigaspiral back on line. I loved that thing for finding new bands. Napster bought Gigabeat, who had a nifty site where you enter an artist name & they'd draw you a spiral with similar bands grouped around it - popular on one side, obscure on the other. Now doesn't even resolve. Oh well.

Re:This is good but (0, Troll)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540257)

Besides, with all the security holes in windows and internet explorer, who needs a filesharing app

Napster's assets? (4, Funny)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540023)

Yes, my valuation of Napster is up there with Enron and Global Crossing. :)
So many assets!

Re:Napster's assets? (3, Insightful)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540238)

This is probably the largest source of income napster has ever seen, rather ironic that its comming from their biggest enemy at one time. A modernized napster would be nice, but somehow i dont see bmg sponsoring a true free filesharing app.

Re:Napster's assets? (1)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540342)

Eight million dollars? It probably has eight million dollars worth of servers.


Napster Nostalgia (1)

nsideops (579890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540025)

Unless it means We get the good old napster back for free, does anyone really care?

Re:Napster Nostalgia (1)

Warped-Reality (125140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540096)

Who cares?

There's always Kazaa, Gnutella, etc., and they're much better than Napster was anyways.

Re:Napster Nostalgia (1)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540199)

ah, those were the days, searching for Matallica and cread, and Airosmith

Re:Napster Nostalgia (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540246)

We'll have to start downloading copies of N4p5t3r from kazaa as soon as bmg takes over. ;)

Why? (2, Redundant)

slipgun (316092) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540029)

Just why are BMG doing this? It would seem they've missed the boat - no one is going to pay for something which before they could get for free. Are they just being stupid, or can they see something we can't?

Legitimacy, that's why. (5, Informative)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540132)

BMG, and the rest of RIAA, can sell something that no file-sharing app can get you. Legallity and legitimacy.

There is a price-point where people will pay to have a legal right to the song that's allready illegally on their computer. If BMG can figure out the right price point, they can make a profit selling nothing but legitimacy.

Personally, I'd give them my legal name, home address, and give them permission to track me until the day I die IF I can get a full legal title to the music I buy. I want to be able to get a "replacement media" discount on a new copy of my destroyed CD. I want to be able to download lossless song files to burn me a custom album, and have it be 100% legit.

I won't pay $50 a month to do this. I would pay $5 a year. Somewhere in between those two, I would have to reserve judgement until the offer's been made.

If BMG can provide what I want, I will buy from them.

Re:Legitimacy, that's why. (4, Insightful)

manobes (541867) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540208)

Here's the problem as I see it.

People aren't attached to music labels. Nobody is exclusive to a certianly record label (i.e. I only buy Sony). This is a huge problem for label sponsored download sites.

While I concur with your point that nobodys going to mind paying $5/year to use BMG/Napster, they aren't going to want to do the same form Sony/Napsterclone, Universial/Napsterclone, etc. It's not just the price, it's the hassle. You've got to fill out a separte signup form for each one, and each has a different UI, different media format, different copying policy etc.

CD stores are successful becuase they aren't label specific, that's why Napster was successfull too. You could get anything you wanted there. If all they carry in the future is BMG music, then what's the point?

Re:Legitimacy, that's why. (2)

wurp (51446) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540334)

OK, I'm sure that I must have missed something, and I'll get flamed for this...

the original post wasn't asking why Napster would want to be bought by BMG. It was asking why BMG would want to buy Napster. Writing a file sharing app is easy and cheap. Napster isn't even a great implementation.

I don't think it's too hard to see what BMG brings to the table. The question is, what does Napster have that would make BMG want to pay them for it?

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540341)

1 cent for the first twenty downloads. Then $15 for it each additional MP3, 1 min. per month for the next 40,000 months?

Re:Legitimacy, that's why. (1)

Noobie (516574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540391)

And when cops/*AA/FBI visits you you can proof somehow that all those mp3s (and oggs) you own are legally yours?

Re:Legitimacy, that's why. (1)

Ramss Morales (13327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540407)

Well. I wouldn't pay for legitimate mp3 files for the same reason I don't want free mp3 files.

Have you ever heard a baritone sax solo on mp3?? Sounds like crap. The only way it sounds good is with no compression at all.

The day I can get CD quality downloading files, fast, without having to pay for huge bandwith, I will pay for legitimacy.

But is the RIAA Legitimate? (2)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540443)

I see this as a move by BMG to use the Napster name to push their dated and exploitive business model onto the web.

Re:Why? (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540325)

Bertelsmann is German. Even if Napster is in the toilet in the United States, they COULD figure out something useful to do with it in Europe...

Like P2P Hasselhoff.

Yay!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540031)

Err, wait, no, Booo!!!! Err, wait, who cares anymore?

I wonder if Shawn got any money (1)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540034)

My guess is he got no money. I wonder what kind of job he can get now.

If you think about it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540042)

There are way better programs out now. Kazaa, and Gnutella networks beat out Napster. They can have anything from movies, text files, and music. So... whatever..

in other words.. (5, Funny)

swein515 (195260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540044)

Founder Shawn Fanning...set to return to the company after announcing their resignation earlier this week.

..after realizing he had zero experience or skill to work anywhere else.

Re:in other words.. (3, Funny)

Ooblek (544753) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540111)

Not true! He could open up one of those little burn-your-own mix kiosks that you find all over the streets in China. I'm sure he has just a few gigs of mp3s these days.

Re:in other words.. (2, Funny)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540215)

I almost wonder if he's sick of music by now...I know I'd walk around with ear plugs after going through what he has been through.

Re:in other words.. (1)

GNUman (155139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540274)

Judge: "You're not allowed to listen to any kind of music, buy a CD, play a CD, go near a MP3 player or any other contact with music you could be able to have for the following 5 years. By that time, your probation officer will evaluate your status and decide you could start listening to some Britney Spears"

Re:in other words.. (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540323)

Britney's label would probably have a problem with that however, now that they're paranoid of him stealing the "music". ;)

Re:in other words.. (2)

Flounder (42112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540455)

Hey, can't let Shawn near a phone. He can whistle in the mouthpiece and steal music from a nearby Best Buy.

And don't forget about all the music he's heard on the radio and has illegally stored in his head. Call in ElectroShock Therapy to erase it.

Re:in other words.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540335)

That sounds eerily like Kevin Mitnick's sentence....wouldn't be surprised to see some judge who supplements his monthly income with the help of the RIAA treat Fanning the same way.

I hate shawn fanning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540149)

Finally some else who thinks that Fanning should b cast away with for inventing a crappy way to share music. Whatever happend to FTP indexes?

so.. (2, Interesting)

jglow (525234) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540046)

so.. the company that was (or still is?) suing Napster has now purchased it. I think it's safe to say that Napster [] is officially dead.

so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540048)

Mapster is dead. Napster does have name recognition, but until the free alternatives are gone no one will pay for it.

Re:so? (2, Interesting)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540094)

I'm curious though...can these free ones ever be stopped indefinitely? It seems like more and more pop up whenever one dies. Is it even technologically possible to stop peer to peer file sharing that will filter out copyrighted files while leaving non-copyrighted files in the bin for the picking? Poor guys at does a bankrupt company turn down $16 million to begin with? Did the deal free them of all debt from them? It's like telling a bum that he could sell his shirt for $200. Seems like they're kicking a dead horse with this one...

Re:so? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540116)

No, it's not possible. Any protection scheme that can be invented by a human can be cracked by another human.

Re:so? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540138)

They could always destroy the internet ;) I bet the man and big business sure would love to see that. How do they handle the spread of warez? They could have a system like that, although I'm pretty ignorant in that area. I just wonder how they plan on shutting this all down. Seems like quite a daunting task, unless they plan on buying all the companies out then shutting them down like mentioned in another post. Who knows?

as usual, the music industry (4, Interesting)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540053)

is about 2 years behind everyone else... I am just worried they bought napster in order to patent some of the involved technologies. They do have the money to pay the lawyers to try to do that.

Re:as usual, the music industry (3, Insightful)

jglow (525234) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540062)

wouldn't it be cheaper to pay someone to duplicate technologies in Napster rather than buying the name? There's gotta be other reasons behind this...

Re:as usual, the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540186)

Slow down, cowboy! You've posted using the word "patent," but in a context that shows you have no fucking clue as to what the term means.

Re:as usual, the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540228)

oh yeah? would you care to explain why, mr patent lawyer?

Re:as usual, the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540275)

Napster does hold patents and has patents pending for much of the technology it used. It may win the war simply because it can sue everyone else out of existance.

Re:as usual, the music industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540398)

Patent 6,366,907 - Real-time search engine []

And there are more pending

Re:as usual, the music industry (2)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540441)

I am just worried they bought napster in order to patent some of the involved technologies.

IRC is already a standard and has published RFCs though.

Irrelevant (0, Redundant)

Casca (4032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540059)

Napster is irrelevant.
Filesharing is going quite strong.
BMG is throwing good money after bad.

What they aren't allowed to do! (3, Funny)

Bouncings (55215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540066)

Yes, they purchased napster, but they aren't allowed to make copies of the company or share it with any of their partners. Shame. Although if you stick a post-it note on Shawn's face, you can clone him!

I think Napster needs its own section... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540071) I can ignore this shit.

Who could possibly care about this relic and the predictable characters who surround it, after this long?

..Does anyone still care? (4, Insightful)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540072)

With OpenNAP, WinMX, and so many other P2P solutions available these days, does anyone really care about Napster? By today's standards, centralized hub-trading is sort of obsolete..

tar zxvf bag.tar.gz | cat cat


Re:..Does anyone still care? (1)

UnknownQ (84898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540108)

There are probably a select few who never switched to something else when Napster went down, all six of them. A lot of people will try out Napster simply because it is Napster, and that alone could make BMG money. I predict that Kazaa will really be the new big filesharing app, and it's not based on a central server so it's unstopable.

Re:..Does anyone still care? (3, Interesting)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540134)

yeah their uncentralized and unstoppable alright, thats why the linux client, and morpheus (same network) no longer function.

Re:..Does anyone still care? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540178)

What exactly would be centralized in the network? Does the kazaa network basically just serve as a hub for the users? Seems plausible, given that they had that ability to block out morpheus...but still, by centralized server, are they just talking about how users can connect by logging into the network to others or as in terms of what?

Re:..Does anyone still care? (2)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540216)

I beleive the centralization has to do with some sort of authentication, after that it is supposedly compltely decentralized, and you just connect to other users, similar to gnutella in a few ways I guess. If im not mistaken, it used to be that you could connect to the network, even if you couldent authenticate, but now that isnt the case. I want my linux client back!

Re:..Does anyone still care? (1)

m0i (192134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540386)

By today's standards, centralized hub-trading is sort of obsolete..

Oh really? So you know a true P2P system that can find results on hundreds of millions of files in the next second or so, like Napster did at its peak? Everything currently is slow, unreliable (compared to Napster that is), and.. no userbase worth mentionning.
I just hope that the non-copyrighted stuff will still be allowed, which made the strengh of Napster in the first place (find obscure/old songs).

Re:..Does anyone still care? (2)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540395)

Yes. Not because of what Napster IS, but because of what BMG might do with it. If BMG offers some sort of a legal mp3 service for a reasonable price, then that is very important. Even if it is less efficient, some degree of advantage should be bestowed on them because it's LEGAL. If they use copy protected media and charge an outrageous fee, then you're right, we'll all just keep using P2P.

Excellent (1)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540073)

Maybe if the record companies finally have their own solid method of distributing music, then maybe they will stop bothering file sharing services.

too late, and everyone knows it (2, Insightful)

emkman (467368) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540074)

napster changed everything, but when it died others stepped up to the plate. Sure the time in between sucked (aimster and early limewire, etc.) but now with the fastrack network and audiogalaxy, mp3s are pretty much as easy to get as before, sans the convienence of a centralized server. Secondly, napster is going to be using their new file format, and it has no chance of replacing mp3s. mp3s are popular and have a well saturated population on the net. Other formats have come out that are smaller in size at the same quality like wma(yeh i know its windows only) and ogg, but mp3s stay on top because of popularity and convience. Finally, since they have been bought by BMG, I assume there is going to be some sort monetary transaction involved. Are people willing to pay for music? Yes, I believe so, but only if it is really cheap (99 cents a song or so) and most of the money goes directly to the artists. I don't know what their plan is.
So basically, what Im saying is napster has a chance to get back in the game, but it won't succeed, and I think most people will agree.

Hey dumbasses (0, Flamebait)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540079)

Who would want that crappy visual-basic written software anyway? Oh wasn't written in visual basic??? How does it crash so much????

Re:Hey dumbasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540370)

heh.. how much you wanna bet this person is a vber? VB users are always the first to bash vb to make people think they arent vbers

$8 Million?? (2, Funny)

Noexit (107629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540081)

To buy a dead horse? I've got seaside property here in Oklahoma if they're interested...

Re:$8 Million?? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540230)

Oklahoma!? I bet they have all the girls on the beaches there! I'll give you some mp3s for it ;)

The 3 E's (2, Insightful)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540087)

Sounds like another large corp. knows the 3 E's of competition: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

Re:The 3 E's (2, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540119)

That would make tons of sense if only napster was still the big dog, but a nice perspective to look at business none the less.

Who still cares about Napster? (4, Interesting)

agent oranje (169160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540088)

I haven't used Napster since "the man" first cracked down on them, because there are so many alternatives which will forever be free. I don't use these, either, as [] provides quality music, fast downloads, and I'm actually supporting the artists in the end. I'd rather pay a small fee to get what I want then endlessly search for what I want with a free client.

Napster is dead, and due to the fact that Napster isn't Jesus, Napster is going to stay dead. I'm glad the record companies are wasting their time and resources trying to bring back the service they destroyed. The irony of companies wasting their money trying to revitalize a service that they claimed would cause them to lose money. -agent oranje. its not just for breakfast anymore.

Re:Who still cares about Napster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540315)

I haven't used Napster since "the man" first cracked down on them, because there are so many alternatives which will forever be free.

As a FREE service by your tax-paid government, your internet usage is logged to help catch terrorist activities, but not limited to Pillaging, Raping, And Torchering Investors Needing Greedy hands (PiRATING)

This service brought to you by the letters F, B, and I, and the numbers 6, 6, 6.

Your silence and cooperation is appreciated.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540097)

It is official: ZDNet confirms: IP theft is dying
One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered IP theft community when IDC confirmed that IP theft market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all file-sharing. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that IP theft has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. IP theft is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [] to predict IP theft's future. The hand writing is on the wall: IP theft faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for IP theft because IP theft is dying. Things are looking very bad for IP theft. As many of us are already aware, IP theft continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Napster is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core users.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Gnutella leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of Gnutella. How many users of KazAA are there? Let's see. The number of Gnutella versus KazAA posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 KazAA users. Morpheus posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of KazAA posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Morpheus. A recent article put Napster at about 80 percent of the IP theft market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Napster users. This is consistent with the number of Napster Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of RIAA, abysmal sales and so on, Napster went out of business and was taken over by BMG who sell another troubled OS. Now Napster is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that IP theft has steadily declined in market share. IP theft is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If IP theft is to survive at all it will be among Music dilettante pirates. IP theft continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, IP theft is dead.

Your BSD Is Dying parody forgets WinMX (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540357)

Your parody of the classic "BSD Is Dying" story forgets 1. that Morpheus is now part of Gnutella, and 2. that WinMX [] has become exceedingly popular because it's essentially the same as the old Napster, but completely decentralized.

BMG who sell another troubled OS.

What the?

heh "oopsie" (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540099)

Sounds like the board of napster tried to call a bluff which wasn't a bluff. Though if I was anyone affiliated with napster I'd be taking what I can, as at least from the outside, it looks like a sinking ship.

Italian translation for our friends the wops (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540118)

I mezzi tedeschi Bertelsmann conglomerate ha acconsentito ad acquistare Napster in un affare che manterrà il servizio lima-ripartentesi discutibile vivo per il prossimo futuro. Il CEO Konrad Hilbers e Shawn che smazza, creatore di Napster del Napster, rimarrà con l'azienda. Il martedà Hilbers ha annunciato la sua rassegnazione dopo il consiglio d'amministrazione del Napster ha rifiutato un affare affinchà l'azienda sia acquistato dall'azienda tedesca. Smazzando a quel tempo inoltre ha deciso lasciare l'azienda, fonti dette. Sotto l'affare del venerdÃ, Bertelsmann pagherà $8 milioni ai creditori del Napster per acquistare i beni dell'azienda. La transazione apre il portello per Napster alla lima per protezione di fallimento di capitolo 11, secondo le fonti vicino all'affare. "siamo molto pleased raggiungere un accordo con il consiglio d'amministrazione del Napster," Joel Klein, CEO di Bertelsmann, i servizi e braccio legale Bertelsmann AG, ad esempio in una dichiarazione. "siamo felici di vedere il movimento di Napster in avanti con Konrad Hilbers al timone," Klein continuato. "molto ci commettiamo a fornire agli artisti le occasioni migliori di distribuzione per il loro lavoro e fornire ai consumatori pià scelta e controllo." L'affare à un affare per Bertelsmann, che ha offerto di comprare Napster per $16 milioni pià in anticipo questa settimana, secondo le fonti esperte con l'affare. I membri di cartolina quarrelling che hanno opposto l'affare hanno indotto la transazione pià iniziale a fallire, le fonti dette. I rappresentanti per Bertelsmann e Napster hanno rifiutato di commentare. Nel relativo heyday, Napster ha girato l'industria di musica sulla relativa testa offrendo il software che ha permesso che i lovers di musica dappertutto ripartissero le lime in linea. Tuttavia dopo una serie di cause che offensive il copyright eccessivo pubblica, il servizio si à interrotto efficacemente. I quadri di Bertelsmann e di Napster hanno promesso che assicurerebbero i diritti autorizzanti e di pubblicazione di lanciare un Servizio Giuridico, ma quei programmi sono stati lunghi nel venire. Nel frattempo, Napster à rimasto muto. Nel mese di ottobre del 2000, Bertelsmann ha scosso il mondo di intrattenimento quando lo ha annunciato investirebbe in Napster -- anche se l'intrattenimento di BMG, un'azienda record posseduta da Bertelsmann, stava citando l'azienda discambio del software. Bertelsmann ha poiché milioni spent di dollari al puntello su Napster ed ha upbeat rimasto che Napster sarebbe una forza potente una volta reinventato come servizio in linea di musica-abbonamento.

Assets? (1)

eyrich (33605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540133)

1. What sort of assets would they have?
2. Who cares, let dead horses stay dead.

Kids these days... (1)

grip (60499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540147)

The whole thing looks like something out a family sitcom. The siblings are fighting when a couple of them decide that they are going to go and pout. This brings Dad onto the scene who patches everything up with some good advice, perhaps a threat and 8 million dollars.


Sad day - Stephen King dead (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540165)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

The Benefit to BMG (3, Insightful)

Kraegar (565221) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540169)

Is that they now have the Napstar name. When you mention "MP3" or "Music Online" the majority of sheep think of Napster. So now a major corporation (one of those that oppressed Napster to the point of death) now owns that name.

Any publicity is good publicity...

And the whole lawsuit thing was a whole lot of publicity where Napster was seen as the underdog by most people. Now BMG not only owns Napster, but owns that image they helped to create.

What will they do with it? I dunno, but you can bet it will involve them trying to make a profit. Don't go lookin for freebies.

Why did they buy Napster (3, Insightful)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540175)

Bertelsmann has since spent millions of dollars to prop up Napster
Bertelsmann will pay $8 million to Napster's creditors to acquire the company's assets. The transaction opens the door for Napster to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to sources close to the deal.
Seems like an awful lot of money to pay for a company since
  • The software, while innovative will probably need an almost complete rewrite when they go to a new legit way of distributing music
  • All of their customers have gone over to Kaza, Gnutella, etc.
  • The name is now synonymous with illegal music. Although maybe they think it is worth something.
  • The company still needs to file for bankruptcy protection.
So why are they paying so much for a company who's net worth ranks right up there with Enron? Is it?
  1. They're a few fruit loops short of a box
  2. They are buying the company just to make sure Napster doesn't somehow get going again
  3. Napster has technology that can be patented
  4. They know something we don't
  5. All of the above

Why? (1)

ltsmash (569641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540181)

I'm still angry about Napster getting shut down. Napster was for novelty purposes only. If a couple bad apples on the internet want to trade copyrighted MP3s, Napster should not be held responsible.

The big 5 decide (0)

Haiku 4 U (580059) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540193)

"We have a business model!"
CEOs return.

You're all too hard on Napster. (1)

SystemFork (578511) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540202)

Do you /.ers seriously think that Napster hasn't developed any new software? They've had two years to work on their code base. Of course they have assets.

All that today's file-sharing networks have on the old Napster are multiple-source downloads and gratuitous spyware. Napster's old client may be old news, but I wouldn't discount whatever they've developed in the meantime.


Re:You're all too hard on Napster. (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540297)

I doubt they've been worried about dealing with developing new software anymore, due to that they have been busy dealing with the courts.

Napster outdated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540205)

Napster is right up there with afros on the outdated list. Some people still use but, it just ain't happening.

Various file sharing programs.

April Fools? (1)

rlangis (534366) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540219)

Come on, CmdrTaco, April Fools was a couple of months ago! Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you.

It's all about the name! (2)

XBL (305578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540254)

Napster is a household name by now. Even my parents still recognize it. That is worth some $.


Can we expect? (3, Funny)

tezzery (549213) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540283)

I guess we can expect a new download club from BMG where you download 4 songs for 49 cents, if you agree to buy another 3 at regular club prices?

I dunno what isn't dead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540285)

I still portscan on 137 and 139 daily and I see all kinds of stuff on C:\ that people don't know is there ;)

Take, for instance, is doing all kinds of shit on port 22. I sent a valid key to port 22, then crapflooded the rest and crashed "Das Software". Thank me later

my /x01:01 0x2

Dude michael... (1)

Timmeh (555676) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540298)

April was last month man...

I need clairification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540310)

What's napster? If it's from BMG sounds like it might be cool.

hm.. (1)

Profe55or Booty (540761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540312)

is it just me, or is [] down?

perhaps we have a motive?

Re:hm.. (2)

intuition (74209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540371) is down for me and so is

is a major section of the internet dark?

Fantastic (2)

Rayban (13436) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540313)

It looks like things are not as they seem!

More information about the takeover in this comment here [] .

Shawn (1)

grappler (14976) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540319)

So is Shawn rich then, or what?

An alternative form of forced licensing (2)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540321)

If the anti-circumvention part was taken out of the DMCA it wouldn't be so bad if they followed up with an ammendment that says that an ISP can add a bill of >=$1 to the home user monthly bill that would be collected and sent to the RIAA to distribute and then all home users of that ISP would be immune from not-for profit file sharing copyright prosecution or liability. If I could pay $5 a month extra to be immune from prosecution and lawsuits so that I could use whatever protocol I want to download music to sample.... that is a pretty damn small price to pay.

Re:An alternative form of forced licensing (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540482)

You would pay a whole 5 dollars a mointh for free access to all music? my, how generous.

Yes, well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540327)

If only they were using Open Source Software in the music industry...

RIP (1)

Knightmare (12112) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540352)

Let Napster die... It will always have a spot in our hearts and a spot on the bumpers of those who ended up with stickers. But, it really is the wrong way to go about it. I am not going to pretend that everybody here uses these things for legitimate purposes so lets get down to the point. If you want to use a service and have it stay around for awhile, you need to find another filesharing method that has been around for years without being pinched off.
The number one that comes to mind for me is IRC combined with a real file transfer method (ftp) none of that dcc crap. Well... awhile back I started playing with Direct Connect [] . And it seems to be a good shot at the "right" way to do it. Anybody can setup a HUB, which is used for chatting and brokers search requests. Hubs can interconnect (like irc) and make a much larger resource base. And clients are the nodes.
It has a higher learning curve than napster or kazaa but after you figure it out and find a few good hubs you like you should be set.

Shawn Fanning.... (1)

VisMono (579940) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540365)

...has 9 fucking lives! More power to him!

Peer-to-Peer design goals (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540369)

A de-centralised system is needed. Take into affect why Napster was shutdown, by the following illustration on Napster's centralised peer-to-peer access...

ASQDS=Authentication Structured Query Database Server
P2P=Software able to answer requests for files as well as request files from another server.

/ | \
/ | \
\ | /
\ | /

The problem with the above Napster design is that design prohibits users from directly accessing other P2P data servers without the ASQDS. And so, Napster is a centralised design for the sole reason of 1)tracking data requests, 2)tracking data transfers, and generally 3)providing revenue to tele-marketers. A more logical approach to a file sharing system would be...

P2P ====+=== P2P
P2P ASQDS (forwarding-bridge)
P2P ====+=== P2P

...somehow, the above design looks just like the Gnutella networks. Thus, I promote the usage of Vanilla Nutella and not its proprietary derivatives including but not limited to BearShare and Limeware.

Does anyone actually *need* Napster (1)

kybosh (471551) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540399)

I simply don't understand why everyone consistently gets excited about Napster's potential return.

Yes it was an evolutionary jump in MP3 location technology, it was innovative - but it's had it's day. Newer P2P technology from the likes of Edonkey, Gnutella and Kazaa have learned from Napster's shortcomings and produced even better, more reliable solutions.

Has anyone stopped to recall how long it sometimes took to actually get a connection to a Napster server?

The Amiga was innovative and fun but would anyone trade their P4 for one to use every day?

who gives a fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3540452)

this comes from someone that owns a Napster T-Shirt.

Retro-Napster (2, Insightful)

WEFUNK (471506) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540460)

Napster as we know it is dead.

The recording industry as we know it (certainly the distribution side) is probably heading that way too.

We can guess, but no one really knows what the future holds for media production and distribution -- lot's of ideas for business models and cultural shifts - but no one really has a clue what's going to stick.

But everyone and their grandmother knows the name Napster and what it stands for, and there is already a certain amount of nostalgia for the first breakthough P2P music service and probably always will be since they did come first.

BMG is probably just hedging their bets.

Their best move might be to buy the Napster "assets" -- just the name and history really, then just hold on to it for a while so they don't tarnish the "brand".

Maybe P2P, ripping, and burning will just go away with some breakthrough copy protection -- I'm certainly not betting on it and they probably aren't either. Like everybody else in the recording industry, they'll kick and scream and try to hold on to their tenuous historical position while also experimenting with various on-line ventures - most of which will be doomed to mixed results and outright failure.

Once the cards really start to fall (along with many of the established players who won't accept drastically lower margins and/or different revenue sources) and a more stable model is reached, BMG could then rebrand the best product or service they've developed or adopted as the "New Napster(tm)" to help save whatever value their stock might still have.

Branding certainly isn't what is once was, but for an aging multi-billion dollar conglomerate, throwing down a few million is nothing if they can one day claim to be the first player in whatever new industry paradigm emerges and hopefully evoke a little nostagia while they're at it.

"Remember the first time you used Napster...?"

WinMX is what Napster was... (1)

bluelarva (185170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3540476)

For those of you still longing for good old days of Napster, try WinMX [] . The interface is somewhat similar to Napster client but has more features. I especially like the bandwidth throttle and auto complete. You may be surprised to know that it doesn't come with any spyware. Only downside is that it is only available for Windows. Does anyone knows if it runs on Wine or VMWare?
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