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

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

“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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