Napster, RIAA head back to court

Napster is due to face off against the recording industry again on Monday during a federal appeals court hearing over the extent to which Napster has to clean up its file-swapping service in order to comply with a court-ordered injunction.

Napster has been offline for over five months, beset with technical problems related to complying with the injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. In a copyright infringement suit lodged against Napster by the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA), Patel ruled that the renegade file-swapping site had to remain shut down until it was successful at filtering out 100 percent of copyright-protected music.

So far, the peer-to-peer site has had difficulty adhering to the ruling, although it says it has implemented filters that are successful at catching 99 percent of copyright-protected works. The problem, says Napster, is that in order to catch all the copyright music in its service it needs the names of specific files, not just the artist and song title lists the RIAA has provided. Napster said that many of the files in its database incorrectly identify or misspell the names of artists and songs.

The two sides are scheduled to argue their points later this afternoon at a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing in Pasadena, California.

A source close to Napster said that Monday's hearing will focus on the details of the injunction, specifically on what type of identifying information copyright holders have to provide to get a copyright protected property removed from the service. Also on the table will be the issues of policing and the role of a court-appointed technical expert, the source said.

The case is being closely watched by industry players, as it could set the standard for how intellectual property is protected on the Net, and by whom. If specific file names have to be supplied by copyright holders, digital music services can operate legally as long as they remove the files upon notification. If, however, the burden of filtering out all the copyright protected music is left to the music services, they run the risk of over-purging their files in order to stay on the right side of the law.

Napster is eager to move beyond its legal woes as it gets ready to re-launch its service under a subscription-based business model that adheres to copyright protection rules. But while Napster's free-for-all file-swapping days are over, a handful of other free peer-to-peer swapping sites are waiting to see how the case shakes out and whether they can survive on a more vigilantly guarded Net.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?