Other musicians have sided with Napster. The company announced last week that it is spending $2 million to sponsor a free tour for fans featuring Limp Bizkit — who are said to support Napster as a try-before-you-buy service. Earlier this week, rapper Chuck D. published an essay in the New York Times calling Napster a "new radio" that can help unsigned musicians reach the public without need for record labels. He envisions free songs' finding fans on the Internet who will then pay for downloads. (The unedited version is available on the Public Enemy web site.) Chuck D. also launched a songwriting contest for unsigned artists on his Rapstation web site in conjunction with Napster. All contest submissions will be available as MP3 downloads from the Napster service and the Rapstation site.
Rockers, rappers and music fans are choosing sides over Napster. Metallica targeted the San Mateo, Calif.-based company and three universities in a lawsuit last month for copyright infringement. Rapper Dr. Dre, represented by the same lawyers, then followed suit. The pop stars want users to stop sharing the files over Napster. Napster, meanwhile, is still awaiting a decision — expected any day — in another lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.