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Home » Hacking News » Napster gets go-ahead to resume song-swapping service

Napster gets go-ahead to resume song-swapping service

by acz on July 19th, 2001 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Napster Inc. says it is uncertain whether it will resume its free online song-swapping service despite getting the green light from a federal appeals court.

"We have no immediate comment on when we are going to start," Napster
spokeswoman Ricki Seidman said.

On Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal judge's ruling
ordering the company to remain offline until it can fully comply with an injunction to remove all copyright music.

The uncertainty of Napster's free service comes as the Redwood City-based company
prepares to start a paid subscription service later this year.

U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel issued the order July 11 in a court hearing in
which Napster said it was about to restart its music-sharing service after a short hiatus
to retool song-screening software.

Napster, sued by the recording industry in 1999 for copyright infringement, said it
could now block more than 99 percent of all infringing song files. But Patel told Napster
it needed to block 100 percent of unauthorized, copyright songs or stay offline

Napster immediately sought relief from the appeals court, which overturned Patel in a
two-sentence order.

Napster's song-sharing service has been down since July 2.

In February, the appeals court modified another of Patel's orders demanding Napster
remove all protected works from its site. The court said Napster must remove the works,
but only after the recording industry notified Napster which files on its servers contained copyright songs.

Napster reminded the appeals court of that earlier ruling when it asked the appeals
court to lift Patel's most recent order.

The Recording Industry Association of America, meanwhile, noted that the court only
temporarily lifted Patel's order and will hear arguments on the case later this year.

"We are confident that after a thorough review, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
will uphold Judge Patel's decision," RIAA attorney Cary Sherman said.

Sherman added that the three-judge panel's decision still requires Napster to remove
copyright works that both Patel and the appeals court have found were violating copyright

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