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CNET News.com: Napster to face trial on music piracy claims

May 08, 2000, 21:23 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Borland)

"A federal judge has ordered the controversial Napster music-swapping company to stand trial for copyright infringement, handing the start-up a setback in its wide-ranging legal battle with the recording industry."

"U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel late Friday found that Napster is not a "mere conduit" for information, rejecting arguments that the case should be thrown out because the company is not directly responsible for copyright infringement on its network."

"In court papers, Napster has argued it is entitled to some of the same protections from copyright liability as Internet service providers are afforded under recently enacted digital copyright laws. ISPs that respond appropriately to complaints of infringement on their systems cannot be ordered to pay damages under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act."

"Patel rejected at least part of that logic Friday, saying that Napster provides information allowing two people to connect their computers, but that unlike an ISP "the actual connection itself occurs through the Internet."

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