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Rock Group Defends Tour Sponsor Napster

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April 25, 2000|From Reuters

Hard rock band Limp Bizkit has teamed up with controversial Internet company Napster Inc. to launch a free U.S. concert tour, and the group's singer on Monday criticized fellow artists who have accused Napster of promoting music piracy.

Napster software allows users to trade and search for MP3s, free downloadable files of musical performances. A fan can type in the name of the desired song, click on the desired version and instantly download it--all for free.

The music industry's trade group, the Recording Industry Assn. of America, sued Napster in December, charging that the San Mateo, Calif.-based company's Web site promotes piracy and copyright infringement. Rock band Metallica and rap pioneer Dr. Dre have also waded in against Napster in recent weeks.

But Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst disagreed. He told a news conference that Napster was a great way for fans to sample an album before buying it.

"I would think the only people worried about that are people that are really worried about their bank accounts," he said.

Napster is underwriting the cost of the tour, which Limp Bizkit manager Jeff Kwatinetz estimated at $1.8 million. The tour will begin in July.

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