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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Napster counts on latest technology
Napster is trying to install a music filtering system
Napster has been out of action since 2 July
Song-swapping service Napster has announced plans to use up-to-the-minute digital encoding technology to power its new paid for, legal service.

The company has been offline for almost three weeks trying to fix the glitches hampering the copyrighted-music filtering system needed for the planned paid service.

But in a statement issued this week, Napster said it had found technology, licensed by PlayMedia Systems, to recognise, encode and play copyright-protected music files.


Napster is at the forefront of using some extremely advanced rights management and security technologies in a file-sharing environment

Hank Barry, Napster

Federal court judge Marily Hall Patel issued an injunction against Napster in March forcing it to block copyrighted song files.

It came after the company was successfully sued by record companies who charged it with allowing users to infringe copyright laws through the free and unrestricted sharing of music files.

Napster chief executive Hank Barry made the announcement about the new filtering technology.

"Napster is at the forefront of using some extremely advanced rights management and security technologies in a file-sharing environment," he said.

Efforts

Napster has been out of action since 2 July. It shut itself down to give it time to comply with Judge Patel's injunction.

Last week, as it prepared to get back to business, Patel told the service it could not resume operations until the new filters were 100% effective.

Napster appealed that ruling and now has until 9 August to file an emergency suit in an attempt to win the right to relaunch its service.

Industry observers say that the longer Napster stays out of action, the harder it will be for it to make a convincing comeback as a legal operation.

Immediately before its shutdown, it was beginning to see a drop in usage as it imposed more and more controls, effectively changing its whole character.

In addition, many recording companies have been developing online services of their own.

But Napster has continued its efforts to win over recording labels and lay down firm foundations for its future.

Its major initiative was striking a licensing deal with UK and European independent record labels.

It would give Napster the use of copyrighted music from more than 150 artists.

But without an effective filtering system, Napster will not be able to enjoy the fruits of its negotiations.


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See also:

03 Jul 01 | New Media
Napster forced to shut down
12 Jul 01 | New Media
Napster shutdown extended
26 Jun 01 | Business
Napster signs deal with indie labels
03 Jul 01 | New Media
Aimster sued by film studios
28 Jun 01 | Business
Tax CD burners, says German court
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