Napster says it will block copyright abuse

3/7/01

Online music service Napster says it will attempt to stay open while complying with a court order to block the trading of copyrighted songs, but it was unclear whether the company could overcome the technical challenges.

Napster says the 9th Circuit and the District Court rejected the recording industry's argument that Napster is inherently illegal. The District Court's order holds that the recording industry and Napster share the burden of complying. Plaintiffs are required to certify that they hold the rights to the material and that it is available on Napster.

"As we receive notice from copyright holders as required by the Court, we will take every step within the limits of our system to exclude their copyrighted material from being shared," says Hank Barry, CEO of Napster.

"We will continue to press our case in court and seek a mediated resolution even as we work to implement the court's order. We will continue to seek a settlement with the record companies and to prepare our new membership-based service that will make payments to artists, songwriters and other rights holders."

Some experts question whether Napster will be able to selectively block the millions of files that are likely to be affected by the order. Company officials also have said it is hard to block individual songs because users can label them in different ways.

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