Bertelsmann E-Commerce Group's online music initiative, BeMusic, has licensed technology from Napster. The agreement does not cover Napster's signature peer-to-peer file-swapping technology, but instead encompasses Napster's instant-messaging, chat, music-streaming and search functions.
BeMusic, which has not launched, will combine Bertelsmann's music retail divisions such as the BMG Direct record club, CDNow and the Myplay online music locker. BeMusic is expected to launch in 2002. Nearly a year ago, Bertelsmann agreed to invest in Napster and has continued to invest in the controversial service despite its ongoing legal troubles.