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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 21:50 GMT
Napster faces new legal challenge
Napster's Shawn Fanning (left) and Hank Barry
Napster bosses: Shawn Fanning (left) and Hank Barry
The music-sharing service Napster continues to knock heads with the record industry over a recent court order banning copyrighted music from the Napster website.

The record industry - represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) - has said it will file a complaint in court next week saying Napster has failed to comply.

The most recent court order, which was issued earlier this month, requires Napster to filter from its system songs that are protected by copyright.

At this point it's pretty clear that Napster is not complying with the court order

Jano Cabrera
The music service was given 72 hours to eliminate the songs, starting from the time it receives a list of the named songs from the record companies.

"At this point it's pretty clear that Napster is not complying with the court order," said Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the RIAA.

"We're going to file a non-compliance report to the court next week... We will spell out in detail our concerns in our filing," he added.


Napster, however, denies the RIAA's criticisms. The company says it has been flooded with song titles, but has not been given information about where the songs are on its system.

It argues that those omissions violate the court order and have "placed a serious and inappropriate burden" on the company.

Engineers at the company have been working double shifts to clean the contentious songs out of the system.

'Riddled with errors'

Napster also says that the list of songs are "riddled with errors", where the record companies have identified songs that they don't actually own.

To add to its problems, Napster users are saving their music files under new names that are similar but not quite like the real song title or artist's name.

Napster's blocking mechanism can catch out some of these variants, but not all of them.

For example, fans of the hard rock group Metallica, which campaigned vigorously to close down Napster, have taken to spelling the name of their favourite group as "Mmetallica" or "etallicaMay".

As a result, Napster is asking the court to clean up the record companies' lists, and to allow more time for Napster to take the songs off its site.

So far, the music-sharing company says that it has excluded 229,000 copyrighted songs from the system by blocking 1.3 million file names.

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See also:

10 Mar 01 | Business
Record labels pressure Napster
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
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Napster deflects blame for delays
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