Four days after adding litigator David Boies and his Boies, Schiller & Flexner firm to its legal team, Napster has hired former A&M Records senior veep of biz & legal affairs Milton Olin to serve as chief operating officer of the embattled file-sharing Netco.
Move signals that by hiring a legal exec from the traditional record industry Napster may be offering up an olive branch and may look to negotiate a settlement before its lawsuit by the RIAA ever hits the courts beginning in July.
Web site veep
Olin, who left A&M when the label was folded in the wake of its acquisition by Universal in 1999, most recently was senior veep of biz development for First-Look.com, a Web site that offers free previews of movies, music and games.
A graduate of UCLA Law School, Olin began his career at the L.A.-based law firm of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp.
“I look forward to joining (Napster interim CEO) Hank Barry and the rest of the Napster team to help build what has become the most rapidly adopted application in the history of the Internet. I’m confident that Napster will be at the productive center of the ongoing legal, legislative and public debates about how to clarify the law in a way that benefits all involved,” Olin said.
Olin and Barry’s relationship goes back to when the latter served as an outside counsel to A&M Records while the former was the label’s head lawyer. During that time, Olin served on the legal committee for the RIAA, which is currently Napster’s chief legal foe.