More Competition -- from Napster

Mercury News reports that Napster will be resurrected by their new owners -- Roxio.

Roxio is planning on releasing Napster 2.0 by Christmas. The new music service will be legal and have the backing of the five major labels as well as independent labels. Their plan is to launch with 500,000 tracks -- with the bulk of the additional tracks being made up from the independent labels and artists. It is unclear, however, what usage rights will be provided with the songs.

The article notes that they are working on liberalizing usage rights for users -- but no final details are yet available. The new service does intend to provide some added flexibility -- with both subscription based as well as al la carte download services.

Napster was the first major MP3 trading application that popularized P2P (Peer to Peer) file-trading.

(More details are to be discussed at the Keynote address at Jupiter's Plug-In Conference today.)

With five months until Christmas, however, the digital music landscape could change dramatically. Apple's iTunes for Windows is also due to appear by year's end.

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