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Napster says to cut 16 jobs

Embattled song-swap company Napster on Wednesday said it plans to cut about 16 jobs out of its total work force of 104 people. “Napster took the step of streamlining staff in selected areas in order to strengthen resources in other areas crucial to preparing of our new membership base service,” said Napster chief executive Konrad Hilbers.

The cuts were primarily in customer service, business development, and administration.

Napster attracted nearly 60 million users at its peak by enabling people to swap songs for free.

The service has been idle since July, however, due to technical glitches it faced while trying to comply with a court order barring it from offering the trade of copyrighted material.

Napster is currently working to transform its service into a secure, membership-charging platform it plans to launch later this year.

The big recording labels AOL Time Warner Inc’s Warner Music, EMI Group Plc, Bertelsmann AG’s BMG, Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music, and Sony Music first sued Napster for copyright infringement in December 1999.

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