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"We could care less about the older generation’s need to do business as usual. We care more about what our fans want, and our fans want music on the Internet."
—Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit
LIMP GIVES NAPSTER
A FIRM ENDORSEMENT
Controversial App’s Company
To Fund Free Concerts
Napster fires back.

The company behind the popular online file-sharing program, which has been pelted with copyright infringement lawsuits by Metallica and the Recording Industry Association of America, has signed to sponsor a month's worth of free Limp Bizkit concerts.

Limp Bizkit frontman fred durst',390,400);">fred durst',390,400);">Fred Durst announced the tour, which kicks off July 4, at a press conference on Monday. He noted that the band would hook up with Cypress Hill and one other act for the tour.

"We're going to give back to our fans what they've given us," said Durst at Westlake Studios in Los Angeles, where the band is currently working on its new album. "And since they're getting the songs for free off of Napster, we figured they might as well get the shows free, too."

The shows are intended to whip up anticipation for the August release of Bizkit's new set, the pithily titled "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water." Specific dates and venues have yet to be announced, but the band is currently skedded for multiple nights at 3,000-5,000-seaters in Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston, New York, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles before ending the tour on Aug. 6.

Napster's sponsorship of the tour places Limp Bizkit in the vanguard, as many of their peers line up behind the company's attackers.

These include Metallica, who recently filed suit against the tech company for copyright infringement and racketeering, and Dr. Dre, who has the same lawyer as Metallica.

"We could care less about the older generation's need to do business as usual," said Durst. "We care more about what our fans want, and our fans want music on the Internet."

Limp Bizkit will get close to $2 million for the tour from Napster, the Los Angeles Times reported. The band insists that the sponsorship money will go directly to the tour's production costs (travel, venue rentals, lights, etc.), and that Limp and Cypress Hill will not make any money on the outing.

In the meantime, in response to the fact that Yale University, Indiana University and USC have blocked access to Napster except for "demonstrably legal purposes," Metallica has dropped the universities from its lawsuit filed on April 13.

Metallica says it will, however, continue to vigorously pursue both Napster and those entities that permit and encourage the pirating of copyrighted songs and sound recordings. The veteran rockers have incurred the wrath and ridicule of many online music fans for what some observers consider a rear-guard action.

"We are optimistic that all responsible Universities, upon recognizing the devastating effect Napster has on intellectual property rights, will join with Yale University, Indiana University and USC in the immediate banning access to Napster for illegal purposes," Metallica declared in a statement. "Also, we expect our own wing in each school's library and unfettered access to all hot little co-eds. Wacka, wacka."

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