NEW CEO says Napster to turn into subscription service by end of 2001

Wednesday, August 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Aspen-AP) -- Konrad Hilbers is the new chief executive of Napster -- and he says the embattled file-swapping service will start offering subscriptions later this year.

Hilbers told a summit of high-tech leaders in Aspen today that Napster would be back online as soon as it fully complies with a court ruling to remove all copyrighted material from its site and can effectively police itself to make sure none is being traded.

He says Napster could still be a place where people swap music free of charge, so long as it isn't copyrighted.

Napster was ordered shut down last year pending a lawsuit from the music industry. Hilbers says his challenge is to develop a membership-based distribution system that would guarantee payments to artists.