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Napster blown out of appeals circuit

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The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to review the February decision of a three-judge panel which upheld District Judge Marilyn Patel's injunction requiring Napster to remove copyrighted works from its network.

Napster had hoped to argue its case before the full appeals court, which would be composed of an eleven-judge panel.

The US Supreme Court is now the final arbiter for Napster, but the company has not as yet indicated whether it will seek the wisdom of the Nine Immortals.

Interestingly, a federal judge has agreed to hear Instant Messenger swap service Aimster in court as it seeks a declaratory judgment absolving it of copyright violation on grounds that policing its network would violate the DMCA.

The Aimster case may well have implications for Napster, so it might not be a bad idea to hunker down and wait until the Aimster case plays out before going further up the legal food chain-- assuming it can afford to. Its user base has dwindled by nearly fifty per cent since its been forced to remove infringing songs. ®

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