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Gateway CEO boosts board

Gateway chief executive Ted Waitt joins the board of directors of, bolstering the company's executive team in another milestone for the music site.

    Gateway chief executive Ted Waitt has joined the board of directors of as the first outside board member, the company said today.

    The move marks another milestone for the music news, download, and community site, which has become a hub for Netizens seeking information about and music in the MP3 (MPEG 1, Audio Layer 3) format.

    In January, received $11 million in venture funds from Sequoia Capital and Idealab--another signal that the controversial download format is gaining momentum.

    MP3's popularity See related Newsmaker: 
Michael Robertson has made it what some consider a de facto standard for music downloading online, and the format has enjoyed support from the likes of Chuck D and Tom Petty.

    But the recording industry has expressed concern about MP3--and in some cases taken legal action--because although the format itself is not illegal, it allows for the free, unauthorized distribution of copyright-protected material.

    The Recording Industry Association of America in December 1998 launched the Secure Digital Music Initiative, which is charged with creating a specification for secure downloads of music online. has what chief executive Michael Robertson has called a "cordial" relationship with the record industry. Robertson said earlier this month that is planning to go public this year.

    Gateway's Waitt said he supports the digital distribution of music and sees a bright future for

    " is leading the revolution in the digital distribution of music," Waitt said in a statement. "I think they have only scratched the surface of how people will learn about, listen to, and buy music in the future." president Robin Richards said in a statement that the company made the move to bolster its executive team. Richards indicated that the company would be making similar moves in the near future.