Napster will remain open at least through March 2, when a federal judge will hold hearings on a record industry order requesting the trading of copyright music files over the network be halted.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel issued an order Thursday directing Napster and recording companies to appear at a hearing in San Francisco in early March. It will be then that lawyers for Napster and the
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will have a chance to argue exactly what a modified order stopping Napster from facilitating music file trading should include. Judge Patel could make a ruling anytime after the hearing, but legal experts believe that decision could come within days and not weeks.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled last week that an injunction was warranted stopping Napster, but instructed the lower court to make modifications.
Napster offered to pay record labels $1 billion over five years in a complex subscription-based service being proposed for launch later this summer. The proposed plan is Napster’s attempt to form an alliance with record companies and head off further legal troubles.