Writing for Reuters, Derek Caney reports that Toast maker Roxio Inc. will relaunch Napster this year once Roxio “can establish it as a legal service.”
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Napster’s client software enabled Mac and PC users to download copyrighted music online, raising the ire of music industry executives, who blamed a downward trend in record sales to Napster and similar services. Roxio, which also makes CD and DVD mastering software, purchased Napster’s assets after Napster went out of business following a protracted legal battle with major recording labels.
A spokeswoman for Roxio told Reuters that her company was in negotiations with leading record labels to license their music. The company’s current plans call for Napster to be reborn as a pay-to-play service, where users are charged either for individual song downloads or for monthly subscriptions. What’s more, Roxio has retained Napster creator Shawn Fanning as a consultant.