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Appeals court orders Napster stay of execution

Company pulls rabbit from hat

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The Midnight deadline for Napster to shut down was postponed Friday as two federal appeals judges granted the company a temporary stay allowing it to remain on line until the trial reaches conclusion, the Associated Press reports.

The deadline had imposed by a lower court judge who sided with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which argued in court that Napster allows users to violate copyrights.

"I am happy and grateful that we do not have to turn away our 20 million users and that we can continue to help artists," Napster founder Shawn Fanning said. "We'll keep working and hoping for the best," the wire service reports.

The RIAA can appeal Friday's decision, and the incontinent litigious tendencies they have already exhibited make it a good bet that they will.

The Association issued a statement predicting that "the court will ultimately affirm once it has had an opportunity to review the facts and the law."

However, the appeals judges said that "substantial questions" had been raised about "the merits and form of the injunction" which had been imposed earlier this week.

The trial is set to open on 18 August. ®

See also

The Napster Controversy: Full Coverage

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