Court Slams Gavel On Napster, Orders Effective Dissolution Of The Company

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In a stunning move late yesterday, Chief US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel granted a temporary restraining order against Napster on behalf of the RIAA. The RIAA is suing Napster seeking to get the MP3 trading software company to stop allowing people to trade copyrighted material. The temporary restraining order compels Napster to stop allowing copyrighted materials from being traded through its servers at midnight on Friday. While other material could be traded through Napster, the company says that there is currently no way to differentiate. As such, the restraining order would effectively shut the company down.

The 5 major record labels in the RIAA have been ordered to place a US$5 million bond against any losses potentially suffered by Napster. This money would only be accessible by Napster should they eventually win the case.

The company will appeal the ruling in an attempt to stay in business. In a TV interview today, David Boise, Napsteris attorney, suggested that 54 hours was not enough time to do what the RIAA itself had failed to do, which was find a way to protect copyrighted materials. According to a C-Net report, Judge Patel was not interested in these arguments, saying "Napster wrote the software; itis up to them to write software that will remove from users the ability to copy copyrighted material. They created a monster...Thatis the consequence they face."

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