Napster has run into licensing problems as it prepares its UK launch – with only four months to go. It would appear that the fragmented nature of Europe’s music labels, licensing bodies and royalty collection services are causing headaches for the new music services.
Negotiations are apparently heading back on track in the UK, but are only in preliminary stages in Europe.
Former Napster investors Bertelsmann AG will be in court in San Francisco next week where music labels are accusing the media giant of keeping the download service operational because of its investment in 2000.
Bertelsmann invested US$90 million (€76 million) in Napster in 2000, hoping to turn the service into the legal music site it is now. Now Universal Music and the EMI Group are claiming the $90 million investment cost them approximately $17 billion (€14.3 billion) in lost revenue because of illegal downloads.
Not a bad return on an investment, really.