Bertelsmann Settles Final Napster Suit for $130 Million

Bertelsmann settled the fourth and (and what it hopes will be the final) lawsuit related to Napster from 2000. The National Music Publishers Association will get $130 million, making it the highest Bertelsmann/Napster payout yet (the others included Universal Music for $60 million, Warner Music at $110 million, and EMI for an amount thought to be close to $100 million). The labels had alleged Bertelsmann was aiding copyright infringement through its investment in the music downloading service; Bertelsmann denies the claims and said it was trying to help Napster establish a legit service (which it now is). The FT notes that the total amount of settlements paid by Bertelsmann now totals around $400 million, $200 million more in costs than the company had originally projected. It reports its half-year results on Tuesday (September 3).

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