Another nail in the Napster coffin

Stay dead, Appeals Court rules

A Federal Appeals Court has turned down an appeal that would have allowed Napster to resurrect its free online file-swapping service.

The decision by 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday confirms a ruling by US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel that Napster must keep its service offline until it "can comply with an injunction to remove all copyright music".

The same appeals court prevented the lower court's decision from being enforced in July, but this made little practical difference.

Napster never resumed its free service after suspending it a week before Judge Patel's ruling, to install song-screening software. Since last summer the company has been putting together plans for a fee-based online music service.

A suit continues for copyright violation brought by several record companies against Napster. ®

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