Record Industry: Napster Not Complying

SAN FRANCISCO — The recording industry says that music-downloading Web site Napster Inc. hasn’t fully complied with an injunction to block unauthorized music from its song-swapping network.

The Recording Industry Association of America filed a notice of noncompliance with the federal judge whose injunction has ordered Napster to screen its system for infringing files on Tuesday.
“Napster seems to have adopted the most porous filter available. Do they refuse to employ an effective filter for fear that it might actually work?” said RIAA president Hilary Rosen. “Virtually all of the music that we noticed to Napster, that they claimed they have filtered out, is still available on their system.”

The RIAA’s legal move Tuesday was in response to an earlier filing by Napster in which the company detailed the steps it has taken to comply with the injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.

The RIAA wants Napster to employ a more rigorous technology to weed out the infringing files that are traded without authorization over its system.

Napster CEO Hank Barry issued a statement rejecting the RIAA’s accusations.

“Napster is aggressively complying with the injunction with significant measurable results. In the three weeks since the court’s injunction was issued, Napster has blocked access to over 275,000 unique songs and over 1.6 million unique file names,” Mr. Barry said.

“The total number of files available through the Napster index at any one time has dropped by 57 percent, from 370 million to 160 million, and the average number of files being shared by users has dropped by almost two-thirds, from 198 to 74.”

The Redwood City-based company says the record labels suing it have misconstrued the burdens the court placed on Napster, and have falsely interpreted the March 5 order to mean Napster must search for infringing content even prior to proper notification from copyright holders.

More specifically, Napster says many of the submissions of copyright works from the recording industry have no associated file names for the company to block.

“Where a file name is connected to the work in the notice, Napster will exclude them. Where no file name is connected to the work, Napster will not,” the company’s compliance report to the court read.

Publish date: March 28, 2001 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT