Embattled song-swap service Napster Inc., facing a judge’s order which could put it permanently out of business, announced Thursday it had settled copyright infringement lawsuits brought by hard rockers Metallica and rap artist Dr. Dre.
“I think we’ve resolved this in a way that works for fans, recording artists and songwriters alike,” Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich said in a statement announcing the deal.
“Our beef hasn’t been with the concept of sharing music,” Ulrich said. “The problem we had with Napster was that they never asked us or other artists if we wanted to participate in their business.”
Under the terms of the deals, Napster will identify and block access to music files that artists do not want users to share. Metallica and Dr. Dre, in turn, agreed “to make certain of material available from time to time once an acceptable model is in place that ensures payment to artists and publishers for the uses of their works.”
The settlements came one day after U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel delivered what some industry analysts say could be a final blow to Napster – ordering it not to resume service until its new system for filtering out copyrighted material is 100 percent effective. Napster voluntarily pulled its system down on July 2 to fix technical glitches with the filters.