Warner, Bertelsmann settle over Napster

Bertelsmann admits no liability, but pays $110 million as part of the terms of the deal.
Written by Candace Lombardi, Contributor
Warner Music Group and Bertelsmann have settled a lawsuit regarding Bertelsmann's involvement with Napster's music service in 2001, both companies announced Tuesday. Bertelsmann will pay $110 million to Warner Music, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The settlement reached by the two companies did not require Bertelsmann to admit liability. Both Bertelsmann and Warner Music declined to comment on the settlement.

Warner Music and several other music publishers in separate lawsuits accused Bertelsmann of profiting from Napster's enablement of illegal music sharing of published music content from 2000 to 2001. Bertelsmann has maintained that it only invested in Napster after the music service changed its practices to abide by copyright laws. Bertelsmann and EMI Group reached a settlement on Napster in March. Bertelsmann settled with Universal in June 2006 over the same issue for $60 million including reimbursement for legal costs.

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