Feeds

Napster loses preliminary hearing

Must answer record industry charges, rules judge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Controversial software developer Napster yesterday heard that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) does indeed have a case it must answer. A California District Court judge denied Napster's request that the RIAA's copyright infringement case was without merit and should be chucked out of court. Napster's argument is that it is effectively an Internet Service Provider and therefore protected by the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Act states that, in certain circumstances, ISPs are not liable when users infringe copyrights, presumably on the grounds that they can't possibly monitor all user activity and ensure it is within the law. The Judge disagreed, but the case is far from settled in the RIAA's favour. The trade body must now prove its allegations that Napster is implicit in copyright infringement and music piracy. And then it will be Metallica's turn to try to do so. Napster may yet be able to show it is protected by other sections of the DMCA, but it's going to have a tough time getting a second preliminary hearing Judge to throw out the RIAA case on those grounds, said unnamed legal experts cited by the FT. The FT contrasted the case with the recent judgement against MP3.com, and noted how the verdict that the online music company did infringe music copyrights - spurious as we think the ruling may be - has forced it into settlement talks with major labels. The inference here is that Napster may do the same. However, unlike MP3.com, Napster only has its software business, and its hard to see the software continuing to be used if the kind of limitations the music industry wants to see are forced upon it. Changing Napster (the software) to prevent its use in unauthorised duplication of music would pretty much remove the very ease of use that has made it so popular among legitimate listeners. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.