Napster judge disappoints record industry

For a change

US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel responded to recording industry demands that Napster move Heaven and Earth to eliminate copyrighted works from its network with a disappointing ruling.

Rather than stiffen her injunction requiring Napster to locate and remove all copyrighted songs, Judge Patel recommended Friday that the industry "seek clarification in the court of appeals," which ruled that her original injunction was too broad.

Patel avoided the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claim that they shouldn't be required to scour the Napster network and name the specific MP3 files which contain infringing works.

Napster believes that the injunction, as re-interpreted by the appellate court, does require the industry to name the files individually.

The industry has been whingeing a great deal lately that the P2P music service implemented ineffective methods of policing its networks on their behalf. While Patel has indicated that she's inclined to agree, she's decided to punt and let the appellate court clarify its intentions, assuming the RIAA asks it to do so. ®

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