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Napster gets a break

Injunction worded to their advantage

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US District Judge Marilyn Patel, who recently re-jiggered her Napster injunction on orders from the appellate court, now says that the recording industry must notify the file-sharing service of the title of any infringing musical work, the artist's name, and, most interestingly, the name of the relevant file.

Napster will then be allowed 72 hours to remove the offending material according to the new injunction.

"We are gratified the District Court acted so promptly in issuing its injunction requiring Napster to remove infringing works from its system," Recording Industry of America (RIAA) President Hilary Rosen crooned.

But in spite of the recording industry's rather nauseating triumphalism over the decision, Judge Patel has in fact put a tremendous burden on them.

It would be one thing for Patel to rule that Napster must remove all files containing infringing works according to a song title or an artist's name. The burden would then be on them to root through all their files in search of infringing items.

But it's that little bit about the file name itself that creates trouble for the RIAA. File names, obviously, can be spelled any number of ways to suggest what they contain, and we have great faith in the evil ingenuity of the P2P community to put industry monitors off the scent.

Thus the RIAA will have their hands full combing the Napster directory, examining each individual file which might contain contraband material.

However, since this is what they've spent millions suing for, we'll just be gracious and hope they enjoy it. ®

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