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Napster To Become a Porn Site?

Sep 13, 2002
By

Michael Singer






Pornography provider Private Media Group Thursday made an outright bid to buy Internet file-swapping service Napster. The Barcelona, Spain-based sex mogul said it will buy the Napster trademark and napster.com domain name lock, stock and barrel for one million shares of Private common stock. If the deal were to close today, it would be worth just over $2.4 million. Private said it wants to create a unique peer-to-peer (P2P) environment that would let its tens of millions of adult consumers share adult content for free as well as access top quality adult content at what it calls a "reasonable price." The last standing Napster official, CFO Carolyn Jensen, was not available for comment. "Along with Hollywood and the recording industry, we have become increasingly concerned about the level of copyright infringement inherent in free peer-to-peer file swapping services. It is estimated that up to 35 percent of all content downloaded from P2P sites is of an adult nature, which raises significant issues both in terms of copyright infringement and lack of controls of access by minors. It is an industry that presently has over 150 million users," Private Media Group president and CEO Charles Prast said in a statement. "At Private, we feel that there has been an excess of spamming, credit card fraud, abuse of consumer data, and price gouging among many on-line providers of adult content. We intend to use the strength of the Napster trademark to build a community for adults to share content provided by Private and our industry partners." The offer, if accepted by Napster, is subject to customary terms and conditions, including approval by the court having jurisdiction over Napster, Inc.'s bankruptcy proceeding going on in a Delaware court. Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Trenwith Securities, which facilitated the first auction is currently initiating a new process to re-auction Napster's assets free of all liabilities and pending litigation claims. The holding company said it is contacting all of the previous interested parties and lowered the minimum bid price from $25 million to $6 million. Trenwith was hoping to close the sale by October. Last week, the U.S. appointed trustee Wednesday filed a motion to convert Napster's Chapter 11 case into Chapter 7, but the committee's proposal blocks the trustee's motion since it at it's very least looks to recover some money for creditors in the case.


 

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