Music sharing service Napster has three days to remove copyrighted music from its file-sharing system every time it’s notified that a copyrighted song appears on its network, if it accepts the terms of an injunction issued by a federal court judge late Monday.
Additionally, Napster has five days to outline its plans to begin policing its network, according to District Judge Marilyn Patel’s order. The injunction also calls for splitting the responsibilities of monitoring the system between Napster and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) — which should be interesting, to say the least.
Napster Chief Executive Officer Hank Barry said in a prepared statement that Napster will follow the District Court’s order. “Even before the Court entered the order, the company began making efforts to comply with what we believed to be the dictates of the 9th Circuit’s ruling,” he said.
The 9th Circuit and the District Court rejected the recording industry’s argument that Napster is inherently illegal. The District Court’s order holds that the recording industry and Napster share the burden of complying. Plaintiffs are required to certify that they hold the rights to the material and that it is available on Napster.
“As we receive notice from copyright holders as required by the court, we will take every step within the limits of our system to exclude their copyrighted material from being shared,” said Barry. “We will continue to press our case in court and seek a mediated resolution even as we work to implement the court’s order. We will continue to seek a settlement with the record companies and to prepare our new membership-based service that will make payments to artists, songwriters and other rights holders.”
Barry had even stronger words in a prepared statement last Friday when, at a hearing in Federal District Court, Napster proposed to carry out the Feb. 12 Court of Appeals ruling by blocking the sharing of file names submitted to Napster by copyright holders. In contrast, the injunction proposed by the recording industry would force Napster to shut down entirely.
At the time, Barry said that “this is a case that should be settled” and that his company is “fighting to preserve the Napster community and the Napster file sharing experience.”
Barry added said that at the March 2 hearing Sony, AOL TimeWarner, Vivendi Universal and EMI “pushed well beyond the dictates of the 9th Circuit decision in their quest to shut Napster down, insisting on an injunction that it would be impossible to comply with other than by shutting down the service.”
“We are working hard and fast to implement our new service,” he said. “Napster, in alliance with Bertelsmann’s eCommerce Group, TVT, edel and many other independent labels and artists, has been working for months to put in place a new membership-based service that has a solid business model and secure technology … We must come up with a solution that works for consumers and pays artists. Let us never lose sight that the members of the Napster community are the world’s most passionate music fans and the industry’s best customers.”