Roxio plans to relaunch the Napster peer-to-peer file sharing service as a legal, licensed entity before the end of the year, the company revealed last night.

Roxio acquired the assets of Napster for $5.1 million in November 2002.

Roxio spokeswoman Kathryn Kelly told Reuters: "We are not relaunching until we can establish it as a regular service."

The company is in discussion with the big five record labels - Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group, Bertelsmann AG and EMI in order to license music from them.

The new Napster will offer songs for a per-track fee alongside subscription services that will allow users to download songs for a monthly fee. The company has hired Napster's founder Shawn Fanning as a consultant.