With roughly four months to go before the planned UK launch date, Napster has yet to secure the licences it needs from music labels and music publishers to begin selling song downloads. According to Christopher Gorog, chief executive officer of US Roxio, the license negotiations are in preliminary stages in Europe. Gorog also said the company has begun plotting a launch in Japan, but declined to offer a timeframe.
Music fans and record companies have been hailing the European arrival of Napster and Apple Computer's iTunes as important developments in their fight against online song piracy.
On Monday, the European Commission acknowledged that the creation of a pan-European download licence would be favourable to boost growth in the nascent market.