The controversy surrounding Napster stepped up Friday afternoon when the Internet company emailed an order to the Offspring demanding that the band stop selling unauthorized Napster T-shirts, caps and stickers on its Web site.
"They sent a cease and desist letter asking the band to remove the merchandise from the Web site," a source close to the band told RollingStone.com Friday afternoon.
The email, which RollingStone.com obtained a copy of, came from Napster Business Development Manager Chris Phenner. It reads: "We noticed the sale of Napster-related merchandise on the Offspring.com site, and wanted to ask for the removal of all offers relating to the sales of our merchandise. I have contacted the folks at ArtistDirect as well, and wanted to thank you in advance for your compliance in this matter."
The Offspring were said to be startled by the notice, according to the source, who wished not to be named.
"The band were totally taken by surprise and reluctant to do anything to disappoint Napster fans and the Napster community," said the source. "They are gonna think about [the order] over the weekend."
There was no comment from Napster on the matter by press time.
The Offspring, who had come out publicly in support of the music exchange Web company in April, began selling the bootleg Napster merchandise on Wednesday night. "In typical Offspring fashion, they think it's funny to f*ck with people," the source said Thursday. "They think Napster's cool and want to see how cool they [really] are."
Written by JOLIE LASH for RollingStone.com News