Napster, the first name in music file-swapping, is having a re-birth.
Roxio Inc, which owns the rights to the name, is planning to roll out a new Napster site by the end of the year. This time it will sell music files legally.
Roxio has acquired Pressplay, a joint venture of Universal Music Group and Sony Music. It also bought the rights to Napster in May for about $6 million.
The company is hoping to generate sales because the Napster name is so widely recognized.
Napster created a directory of songs on the hard drives of other Napster users. That computer-to-computer link then allows users to download a song to their own hard drive.
It got into trouble in 1999 when the world's five biggest record labels including Universal, Sony and EMI Group sued the site, calling it a haven for piracy that could cost them billions of dollars in sales.
Napster shut down in 2001.
Napster 2.0 will not be anything like the original it has the blessing of music companies. Users will have to pay to download files and some of the files will have restrictions how they can be used, such as how many times they can be burned onto a CD.
Customers will have the choice of downloading music as they go or paying a monthly subscription fee.
"Consumer choice is really the biggest value that we have been able to carry over," said Chris Gorog, CEO of Roxio.
Gorog would not reveal what the fees would be but said Napster 2.0 would debut with half a million tracks. The service will also have Internet radio and artist interviews.