It's understood both acts have agreed at long last to allow some of their music available on the file-sharing network...

METALLICA and DR DRE have settled their long running disputes with NAPSTER.

While no exact details have emerged of the deal between the artists and Napster, it is understood both acts have agreed to allow some of their music available on Napster once the file-sharing application has put in place “an acceptable model that insures payment to artists and publishers for the use of their works.”

In a statement released late yesterday (July 12), Napster CEO Hank Barry was quick to commend Metallica on their decision. “Metallica has taken a courageous stand and a tough and principled approach to the protection of its name and creative output, and that of other artists,” he said. “They brought to our attention essential artists’ rights issues which we’ve addressed in our new technology. We respect what they’ve done and regret any harm which this dispute may have caused them.”

“I think we’ve resolved this in a way that works for fans, recording artists, and songwriters alike,” Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich added. “Our beef hasn’t been with the concept of sharing music; everyone knows that we’ve never objected to our fans trading tapes of our live concert performances. The problem we had with Napster was that they never asked us or other artists if we wanted to participate in their business. We believe that this settlement will create the kind of enhanced protection for artists that we’ve been seeking from Napster. We await Napster’s implementation of a new model which will allow artists to choose how their creative efforts are distributed. It’s good that they’re going legit.”

In a separate release, Dre said: “I work hard making music – that’s how I earn a living. Now that Napster’s agreed to respect that, I don’t have any beef with them.”

Despite the agreement, Napster remains closed at present. As reported yesterday on NME.COM the company are introducing a new filtering service in compliance with a court judgement on restriction of copyrighted material. The company will then launch a subscription service. However, there are no dates for scheduled for either the start of the service or indeed when Napster will be operational again.