Roxio buys Napster for just a few million

Roxio buys Napster for just a few million


Toast developer Roxio has acquired the assets of Napster for US$5.1 million. These include intellectual property such as the Napster name, trademarks, domain name and Napster's extensive technology profile. Roxio is not taking over any outstanding liabilities or litigation.

Roxio announced plans to acquire Napster earlier this month. Roxio president and CEO Chris Gorog promised that, following the close of the transaction, he would "provide consumers and investors with a strategic vision of how Napster will expand Roxio's role in the digital-media landscape, and enhance our offerings to consumers".

The purchase was subject to the approval of Judge Walsh of the US bankruptcy courts. He approved the deal despite objections registered on behalf of former Napster chairman John Fanning, who claimed ownership of some of Napster's intellectual property and patents, Reuters reports.

The Napster sale was predicated by the strenuous efforts of the music industry in the form of the Recording Industry Association of America. This group campaigned strenuously in the courts to silence Napster, perceiving the popular peer-to-peer service as a threat to its business.

Since Napster's demise, several alternative peer-to-peer sharing services have evolved. Industry observers contend the music industry is fighting a war it cannot win. Opinion within the industry is also split on the issue of copyright protection.

Roxio maintains it will be "announcing its plans for the development of Napster in the coming months".

Across the industry, companies like Roxio have been hit by the continued flatness of the PC industry. The company's third financial quarter ends in December.

In October, Roxio announced a net second-quarter loss of US$1.8 million, predicting a third quarter net loss of US$2.4 million.

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