The Offspring are the first artist to make money off Napster. On Wednesday night, the Southern California punk rockers began selling bootlegged Napster merchandise, without the software maker's permission, via the band's official Web site www.offspring.com
Baseball caps and T-shirts bearing the Napster logo are available for $10, while stickers are going for $1. Checks are to be made payable to the Offspring, who will keep the profits.
"[The money] will go in their pockets," a source close to the band said. "It isn't about making money. In typical Offspring fashion, they think it's funny to f*ck with people. They think Napster's cool and want to see how cool they [really] are."
Napster is currently facing litigation from Metallica and Dr. Dre, as well as criticism from other recording artists who charge that Napster's Web site, which enables the free exchange of music files, violates copyright laws. The Offspring were one of the first bands to come out in support of Napster. "Napster facilitates people being able to share music," singer Dexter Holland told RollingStone.com back in April. "It's the spirit of music; it's the spirit of rock & roll."
According to a Napster spokesperson, the software maker does not sell merchandise of its own and had no comment on the Offspring's actions.
Written by JOLIE LASH for RollingStone.com News