The Buzz: February 26, 2001

Napster, the online music-swapping service trying to stay alive

Napster Offers $1 billion Deal

Napster, the online music-swapping service trying to stay alive despite a recent court ruling against it, last week offered $1 billion to the recording industry in hopes of bringing an end to legal proceedings.

The company offered to pay major record companies $150 million per year in licensing fees over five years and $50 million more per year in fees to independent labels and artists.

Record labels scoffed at the proposal, saying it was nothing more than a PR ploy and that the $200 million per year was chump change in the industry.

Record labels and musicians say the free music-swapping service infringes on copyright laws.

World Cup Ticket Glitch

The Internet has not been kind to soccer fans in the two countries hosting next years World Cup.

Earlier this month, the Federation Internationale de Football Association began accepting applications online for tickets to the World Cup, which will be played in Japan and Korea from May 31 to June 30, 2002.

However, a technical glitch left citizens of those countries unable to apply for venue-specific tickets online.

FIFA officials were unsure when the problem—a crash of the database cluster—would be fixed, saying responsibility for the site lies with technology company ISMM Interactive AG.

However, they said Japanese and Korean citizens can submit written applications for tickets, without any disadvantage.

PGP Creator Moves On

The man who created the first encrypted e-mail program is leaving Network Associates. Phil Zimmerman, who created Pretty Good Privacy before his company, PGP, was bought by Network Associates in 1997, is joining Hush Communications.

Zimmerman said he was leaving to work on other projects instead of PGP and because of unhappiness with Network Associates unwillingness to open PGPs source code.

The defection is the latest in a series of recent setbacks for Network Associates, which has also seen its CEO, chief financial officer and president leave.