Gateway CEO Joins MP3.com’s Board of Directors

Gateway Inc.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ted
Waitt has joined MP3.com Inc.’s board of
directors, becoming the first person outside the company to be named a director.

The MP3 site provides music downloads in the MP3 format, including MPEG 1
and Audio Layer 3. The company enables users to download thousands of songs. The site also claims 300,000 daily visitors. MP3.com recently started the
Digital Automatic Music label program, in an effort to
distribute and market artists’ music globally and allow them to collect a
50 percent royalty.

While MP3.com enjoys the support of some artists, others have claimed the
company provides free, unauthorized distribution of
copyright-protected material. The Recording Industry Association of
America, a music artists’ trade group, has initiated its own program, the
Secure Digital Music Initiative, intending to develop stricter parameters
for the downloading of music from the Internet.

“For
sure there’s more than pirating (to use a music industry perspective) going
on. New artists are porting their catalog of offerings to the Web directly.
And old artists signed with labels are
doing the same, releasing MP3 songs much to the befuddlement of the labels
who have traditionally owned the artist more or less,” said Internet.com senior investment analyst Steve Harmon.

In January, venture capital
groups Sequoia Capital Partners and Idealab! invested a total of $11
million investment in the start-up.

“MP3.com is leading the revolution in the digital distribution of music and
I’m thrilled to play a supporting
role. I believe in digital distribution of music, and with more and more
consumers and artists flocking to
MP3.com, I think that they have only scratched the surface of how people
will learn about, listen to and
buy music in the future,” Waitt said.

“We are pleased and fortunate to have Ted Waitt join our board. His
numerous accomplishments clearly
demonstrate his brilliance for branding an organization and we are very
excited about what he will
contribute to MP3.com,” said digital music guru Michael Robertson,
MP3.com’s founder and chief executive officer.

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