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Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press
July 27, 2000
Judge Grants Napster Injunction
Software allows users worldwide to easily connect with one another and send and receive digital music files among themselves for free.

Sean Fanning after SF Federal Court heraing.

     SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge Wednesday gave the wildly popular song-swapping Web site Napster until Friday midnight PDT to shut down the trading of copyright material by its 20 million users. The Recording Industry Association of America filed suit in December. In granting its request for a preliminary injunction, Judge Marilyn Patel said, ''A strong case has been made. ... I just can't let this go on.''
     Napster software allows computer
users worldwide to easily connect with one another and send and
receive digital music files among themselves for free. It's ''essentially a system created to facilitate the downloading of music - piracy be damned,'' she said in a ruling that immediately followed a brief hearing. Napster will file an emergency appeal Thursday. If a stay is not granted, Napster attorney David Boies said, the service ''will look radically different.'' Boies told the judge it was impossible to determine which of thousands of songs on the service were protected by copyright. Patel said they'd have to ''figure out a way... (Napster) has created this monster, and these are the consequences they face.''
    Howard King, attorney for rapper Dr. Dre and rock group Metallica in separate lawsuits against Napster, predicted the service will look like a ''blank screen'' Saturday. ''They'll direct you to the chat room, talk about the case and urge members to write their congressmen - all the things you would expect.''
    The record industry and music publishers were required to put up a $5 million bond against Napster's potential losses pending a full trial, not yet scheduled.
    The ruling has broad implications for creative works in an online world and for the increasingly popular file-sharing systems via such sites as Scour and iMesh. ''Napster is a high-profile site, and more power to the RIAA'' for getting it shut down, said analyst Adam Holiber from Wedbush Morgan Securities. ''But if it is not Napster, it is going to be another system that is not possible to shut down. The technology will always be way ahead of the courts. That's clear.''

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