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Fanning: Napster Trying To Make Peace With Music Biz

Even as Napster faces the arrival of a new court order that could force it to shut down its music-sharing service, company officials are working “in the background” to make peace with the music industry, according to founder Shawn Fanning.

In October, Napster announced a pact with the parent company of major label BMG Entertainment to create a new, subscription-fee-driven version of its service. Since then, Napster has been trying to shape the new service to appeal to the other four major labels, Fanning said.

“We feel really strongly there’s a big win here, not only for the consumers, but for the record companies and artists,” Fanning told MTV News. “In the background, we’re still trying to settle to keep the community alive.”

But Napster has drawn one line in the digital sand, according to Fanning.

“We’re going to maintain file-sharing,” he said. “People [putting] up music that they want to share with other people results in so much stuff out there that you can’t find anywhere else. If we were to change that, it wouldn’t be Napster anymore, and it wouldn’t be nearly as valuable to the user.”

The company also won’t restrict the music available on the service to one label’s offerings, according to Fanning.

Rosen has said that the major labels are willing to consider settlement proposals from Napster, but she has not explained the terms they are willing to accept.