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Tuesday, 25 April, 2000, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
MP3 site takes the Bizkit
Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst
Fans' favourite: Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst
Controversial internet site Napster is promoting a free tour by US rockers Limp Bizkit - two weeks after Metallica launched a copyright lawsuit against it.

The band are planning to play 3,000-5,000-seater venues across America from July, with Napster underwriting the estimated $1.7m (1.1m) cost of the tour.

Metallica: Singing a different tune

The firm allows users to trade and search for free MP3 music files on the internet.

While the service is popular with music fans, many in the music industry claim it breaches their copyright, and have taken legal action against it.

Trade organisation the Recording Industry Association of America sued Napster in December, claiming that the website promotes piracy and copyright infringement.

And top-selling artists Metallica and Dr Dre have also made their feelings towards the firm known.

Naspter home page
Napster has attracted the ire of the US music industry

Metallica launched their own lawsuit on 14 April, alleging copyright infringement and racketeering.

The rock band's drummer Lars Ulrich accused Napster and several universities that allow access to it of "trafficking in stolen goods".

However, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, launching the tour, said Napster gave fans the chance to sample tracks from an album before buying it.

He explained: "It is an amazing way to market and promote music.

"The internet is here, and the ones trying to fight that are the people who are living by certain standards and practices of the record industry - those are the only people who are scared and threatened."

A fan at Woodstock 99
Burning ambition: Limp Bizkit starred at Woodstock 99

The Limp Bizkit tour will take in Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles.

They will also be playing with Cypress Hill and another, un-named act. Dates and venues will be confirmed later.

It will be used to promote their third studio album, Chocolate Starfish And The Hotdog Flavored Water, due for release in August.

Their last album, Significant Other, was nominated for a Grammy and has sold around eight million copies worldwide.

The band also starred at the ill-fated Woodstock 99 festival, which ended in riots.

"We're going to give back to our fans what they've given us," Durst said.

"We care about what our fans want, and our fans want music on the internet."

See also:

03 Mar 00 | Education
Students fight music web ban
02 Mar 00 | Business
UK music 'must tackle internet'
29 Feb 00 | Brit Awards
Music online: The story so far
24 Jan 00 | Business
Record companies sue
18 Jan 00 | Business
Internet 'transforms music industry'
22 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Taming music on the Web
28 Sep 99 | Sci/Tech
It's only MP3 but I like it
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