Warner Music settles with Bertelsmann on Napster

NEW YORK Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:51am EDT

The Napster ''Cat'' logo is shown on the floor at a launch event for the new Napster online music service in New York City, in this October 9, 2003 file photo. Warner Music Group, the world's fourth largest music company, and Bertelsmann AG, the German media conglomerate, said on Tuesday they have agreed to settle claims related to Bertelsmann's relationship with the original Napster in 2000 and 2001. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen

The Napster ''Cat'' logo is shown on the floor at a launch event for the new Napster online music service in New York City, in this October 9, 2003 file photo. Warner Music Group, the world's fourth largest music company, and Bertelsmann AG, the German media conglomerate, said on Tuesday they have agreed to settle claims related to Bertelsmann's relationship with the original Napster in 2000 and 2001.

Credit: Reuters/Jeff Christensen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Warner Music Group, said on Tuesday it will receive $110 million from Bertelsmann AG, after agreeing to settle claims related to Bertelsmann's relationship with the original Napster in 2000/2001.

The companies said the settlement covers the resolution of the legal claims of Warner Music's recorded music and music publishing businesses.

Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate, said it admits no liability in settling

The original Napster, founded in 1999, was a pioneering file-sharing Web service which allowed users to download digital songs for free. The company was sued by the major music companies including Vivendi SA.'s Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Bertelsmann's BMG Entertainment, EMI Group and Warner Music.

Bertelsmann made an investment in Napster, even while its BMG unit and other music companies were involved in legal action against the start-up company.

Napster was eventually shuttered by U.S. courts in 2002 over copyright violations.

Earlier this year, Bertelsmann settled with Universal Music for $60 million and EMI Group for an undisclosed amount.

Napster's brand assets were bought by Roxio Inc. in 2002 to create the current Napster Inc., a legal online music service.

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