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Wednesday, 28 March, 2001, 06:31 GMT 07:31 UK
Record industry attacks Napster filter
Napster user AP
Users are making it more difficult for Napster to block songs
The record industry has stepped up the war of words with the music-swapping service Napster by calling its filter to block copyrighted music an "utter failure".

Napster is using the filter to prevent copyrighted music from appearing on its website, in accordance with a court order earlier this month.

But the record industry is not impressed and filed a new court order on Tuesday seeking to force Napster to change its filter system.

"Napster seems to have adopted the most porous filter available," said Hilary Rosen, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

"It's not working, it never will work and Napster should be ordered to implement an effective filter or to change its filtering method."

The RIAA also maintains that many of the songs that Napster claims to have filtered are still available on the site.

Lack of co-operation

Napster, however, has defended itself by saying that the record industry has not co-operated sufficiently to allow it to comply with the court order.

The company said it had been flooded with song titles, but had not been given information about where the songs were on its system.

It also said that the record companies had failed to send in variants of any song names.

This is important because users of Napster are saving their music files under new names that are similar but not quite like the real song title or artist's name.

These conflicts have forced Napster to spend "considerable resources" attempting to block access to songs.

'Aggressively complying'

Napster also maintains that 30% of its staff are working on complying with the court order to ban copyrighted music.

Hank Barry, Napster's chief executive, stressed that "Napster is aggressively complying with the injunction with significant, measurable results".

According to the company, more than 275,000 songs can no longer be downloaded.

The RIAA has asked the court to order Napster to use a "filter in" method, which would allow songs that Napster is authorised to distribute to be placed on its system, rather than blocking the swapping of copyrighted music placed on its service.

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See also:

24 Mar 01 | Business
Song blocking hits Napster usage
22 Mar 01 | Business
Napster faces new legal challenge
10 Mar 01 | Business
Record labels pressure Napster
12 Mar 01 | Sci/Tech
Coders prepare son of Napster
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