Feeds

Napster goes on offensive

Launches attempt to get Appeals Court to block injunction completely

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Napster on Friday asked the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to completely overturn the injunction granted against it by the US District Court under Judge Marilyn Patel.

That injunction was subsequently temporarily lifted by the Appeals court pending the commencement of the Recording Industry Association of America's copyright violation case against Napster.

Napster wants that injunction thrown out altogether. Its brief, filed with the Appeals Court on Friday, claims Judge Patel made a number of legal errors in coming to her decision to force Napster to block the exchange of all copyrighted songs from its MP3 sharing software.

"The trial court, in its ruling, misunderstood and misinterpreted the standards for contributory and vicarious infringement," Napster lawyer Jonathan Schiller said after the brief had been filed. "What [the brief] does that is new and substantial is that it goes into detail about where the courts are in error."

Judge Patel's errors - if such they are - essentially centre on two areas: not agreeing with Napster's argument, and not giving enough time for the parties to present their evidence and thus not giving herself the opportunity to understand the systems involved.

"She didn't give herself the time to make sure that she understood how Napster even works," Schiller said.

Napster's existing claims - that it's users are sharing music without charging for it, so are protected by the US Home Recordings Act, and that Napster is not responsible for how what its users do with the service, a protection granted by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act - have both been rejected by Judge Patel.

Friday's brief says her decision has wider implications than the dispute between the RIAA and Napster. "If the decision of the District Court is permitted to stand, every new technology used to transmit, route, or exchange data subject to the copyright laws using the Internet - and many existing technologies - will be affected," is says.

Napster's point is that Judge Patel, by not allowing either side to present evidence for their case, missed this issue and thus should not have agreed to the temporary injunction.

Of course, that's primarily why the Appeals court overturned the injunction, citing how the case was a precedent-setting one - "issues of first impression", in legal speak. Why it should now chuck the injunction out completely, just because Napster is telling them what they already knew, is open to question.

Still Napster's action on Friday will delay the case further. The Appeals court has given the RIAA until 8 September to respond to the new Napster brief, at which point it will presumably set a new date for the trial. The downside for Napster is that if the case ultimately goes against it, the greater the damages it will have to fork out for its (as yet unproven) copyright violation.

That wasn't lost on the RIAA. "It is frustrating, of course, that the tens of millions of daily infringements occurring on Napster will be able to continue, at least temporarily," the organisation's president, Hilary Rosen, said after the brief was filed. ®

Click here for full coverage of the RIAA vs Napster case

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
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
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
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
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.