Article 5 of 462
Judge gives Napster a three-day deadline
Evening News - Scotland
The Scotsman Publications Limited
Page B5
(Copyright 2001)

A FEDERAL judge has told online music service Napster it has three days to filter out the copyrighted music of the world's major record companies, once the companies submit a list of tracks they want barred to its users.

The music majors - which have pursued Napster through the courts for enabling mass piracy - said the injunction finally brings the fight close to an end.

"Napster will follow the District Court's order," said Hank Barry, chief executive of Napster.

"Even before the court entered the order, we began making efforts to comply with what we believed to be the dictates of the circuit's ruling," he added.

An executive at one of the big five record companies said: "It is a great victory for us. All the tracks will come off and Napster will be left like, with just a lot of smaller artists online."


The legal ruling is likely to force a serious scaling back of Napster's activities and, if it fails to comply with the ruling, could result in it being shut down.

It is also being closely watched because of its implications for music, books, movies and other entertainment being distributed via the internet.

The order by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel will not have come as a shock to Napster, as it pre-empted the ruling by starting to filter access to songs over the weekend - but huge numbers of songs which should have been blocked could still be downloaded free last night.

The Napster draft proposal to block copyrighted songs was presented to the court last week - it represented a survival plan that allows the site to continue operating on a reduced scale as it seeks to transform itself into a legitimate business.

Last month Mr Barry laid out a GBP 680 million plan which he hoped would prove acceptable to the big five labels: Sony, Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Bertelsmann. But so far, the industry has not responded favourably.

Despite the deadline imposed by the court, many in the music industry doubt whether the song-swapping service, founded by Shawn Fanning, has the technology to protect copyright.

Even executives at Bertelsmann, the German media group which has backed Napster, have acknowledged that there was a possibility that it might be shut down for a while.

Thomas Middelhoff, Bertelsmann chief executive, has said that Napster would launch as a fee-paying service from July 1.

An executive from the media group said: "On July 1, there will be a new model up and running. Copyright will be respected and everyone will be happy."

Nicholas Economides , an economics professor at New York University, said he sees the decision as "the beginning of the end for Napster, at least for Napster as a non-subscription service".


A new destructive computer virus has struck at least 30 organisations.

Called the "naked wife" virus, the program deletes almost all of a computer's vital system files and also sends itself to everyone in the computer's address book.

The virus is attached to e-mails with the subject line: "FW: Naked Wife", which contain a cartoon and vulgar message.


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