Napster Hounded For Pounds In UK

    October 10, 2006

One of the most recognizable names in online music sales has signed a “digital royalties deal.”

Napster, along with MusicNet, “reached a settlement relating to the royalties paid to composers, songwriters and music publishers for the digital delivery of music for online and mobile use.”

The MCPS-PRS Alliance press release was surprisingly short and vague – the names “Napster” and “MusicNet” were only used twice each – but made it clear that the deal would only apply in what was called “the UK digital music market.”

The MCPS-PRS Alliance, by the way, is a combination of the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) and the Performing Right Society (PRS).

Napster and MusicNet will abide by a settlement that the MCPS-PRS Alliance reached with the British Phonographic Industry, iTunes, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, and Vodafone last week.

According to that agreement, “composers, songwriters and music publishers will receive 8% of Gross Revenue less VAT when their music is offered in the current music services” of such companies.

The press release went on to say that “the two music companies signing the deal today will withdraw their respective references to the Copyright Tribunal.”

It looks like the MCPS-PRS Alliance still has some issues, though, with the “independent body established under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.”

“The Copyright Tribunal proceedings are scheduled to continue . . . in respect of issues which remain unresolved between the MCPS-PRS Alliance and four other parties as well as a single issue that remains outstanding for each of the mobile network operators and iTunes.”

Whatever problems exist in the world of online music, brick-and-mortar businesses are also having difficulties.

As noted on Techdirt, Tower Records had issues because it refused to go online.

Now, “in an auction late last week, the winner has decided to liquidate the business, selling off the inventory, shutting down the stores and laying off the people.”

Napster, of course, has some experience with that sort of thing.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.