Napster is close to deals with three major record companies that will allow Napster to use their music as part of a planned subscription service, according to a report on the Web site of The New York Times.
The newspaper said terms of the deals with the three companies, BMG Entertainment, Warner Bros. Music Group and EMI Group, remain unclear and some issues still need to be sorted out. Quoting "people close to the situation," the report said the companies will have the right to cancel the deal should Napster fail to meet specified security standards.
The record companies are three of five that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was working on behalf of when it filed a lawsuit against Napster in December 1999. That lawsuit resulted in a court injunction, filed in March this year, that has led to the removal, by filters, of much of the commercial music that was previously available on the service.
The three companies have since announced plans to launch their own subscription music service, MusicNet, in association with RealNetworks. The talks involve Napster agreeing to license music from the MusicNet service, said the report.