The operation of music sharing service Napster could be affected by a decision coming Monday from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The court is expected to reveal its decision on whether or not to allow Napster to continue to operate, pending the outcome of a final decision in a copyright lawsuit trial brought against it by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Last summer was the setting for a dramatic court battle between Napster and the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA. A United States District judge ordered Napster to cease operations, but that decision was overturned only a couple of days later by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In October a panel of three judges heard from both sides in the case, and their ruling is expected to be presented on Monday morning. If the court overturns the original injunction imposed last July, Napster will be allowed to continue operating.
Companies suing Napster include Sony, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music. In recent months however, Napster has strived to make friends with the music industry. In January, media giant Bertelsmann announced it would buy a 58 percent share in Napster. More recently, Bertelsmann announced that Napster would go fee-based by July. Since its inception in 1999, Napster has been free.
Napster is presently available for Windows and Mac OS.