Napster to ask court to reaffirm Appeal Court ruling
Music biz must help us fight unauthorised sharing, service demands
Napster is back in court today, even though the music sharing network has been down since July and won't be going live again until next year.
At issue is how Napster should block copyright material from its network - and how much help the music industry should give it.
Napster has already said it can block almost all of the songs that may be shared by any of its users. However, it claimed early last Summer that its blocking mechanism could never be 100 per cent perfect. A tiny number of tracks might still get through, its lawyers cautioned, but no more and significantly less than the level of songs lost to home taping.
The music industry, represented by the Recording Industry Ass. of America, insists that absolutely no unauthorised track should be allowed to be shared, as per the edict laid down by trial judge Marilyn Hall.
Napster's solution is to request that the music industry supply it with the filenames of songs known to be being shared illegally. However, the RIAA contends that song titles and artist names are enough. After all, it's Napster's software that makes the illegal sharing possible.
Essentially, the argument centres on who should police Napster's users: the software company or those whose songs are being shared. Curiously, the question has already been answered: they both should, as per the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' February ruling. Napster will go to court today and ask for that ruling to be reasserted. ®