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Napster and BMG will make music together

The stage is set for a musical union. Napster and Bertelsmann, owner of BMG music, will work together to make Napster a membership-based service.

"If you think Napster is great now, just wait. We're just getting started", a spokesman announcing the union said.

There will always be a free, file-sharing element to Napster and any change as a result of this agreement will come with plenty of advance notice.

Why the alliance? "To find a system that rewards artists for their work when members of our community share their music over the Internet. We've been trying to find a fair and mutually agreeable solution to concerns raised by others -- without having to leave Napster's future hanging on the outcome of a court case", news agencies reported the spokesman as saying.

Napster, the wildly successful music exchange site, had run into trouble with music majors, who went to court accusing it of encouraging music piracy. Labels lose money when Net users stop buying CDs and tapes and listen to their favourite music by exchanging MP3 files through Napster.

Bertelsmann was the first publisher to market books on the Net, and the BMG label boasts some big titles. BMG has a presence in India too.

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