Pornography company offers $3 million for Napster identity

Ron Harris Associated Press Writer
Tuesday September 17, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the Internet’s leading purveyors of pornography has offered to purchase the Napster trademark and Web site address for nearly $3 million in hopes of cashing in on the bankrupt song-swap company’s notorious reputation. 

Barcelona, Spain-based Private Media Group Inc. offered to snap up Napster’s most valuable remaining asset — its unique brand identity — for 1 million shares of Private’s common stock, the bidding company announced in a release issued last week. 

The company’s chief executive, Charles Prast, said his company is interested in using the Napster trademark merely to place a familiar brand name on a peer-to-peer network for his pornography seeking customers. 

Not content to remain mired in the print pornography world, Private has branched out into the Internet and even offers adult content for mobile phones and PDAs like Palm and Pocket PC devices. 

Earlier this month, a Delaware bankruptcy judge blocked the sale of Napster’s assets to its chief investor, Bertelsmann AG. The former song-swapping giant prepared to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing into a Chapter 7 liquidation proceeding.