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"It's clear Napster was created to fill a vacuum of digital music on the net."
—MP3.com's Michael Robertson on the ruling.

WAKING UP FROM THE NAP

Everybody's Got Something To Say About The Napster Takedown
Napster has filed an appeal today with the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an emergency stay of yesterday's injunction. If the injunction goes through, Napster, in their own words, will be "functionally shut down." The RIAA has until 9 a.m. Friday to file a response to the appeal. A decision is expected early tomorrow. If the stay is granted, Napster can operate until a formal challenge to U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel's decision can be heard, if not, Napster will pretty much go dark at midnight Friday night.

Meanwhile,Wednesday's (7/26) decision by Patel to grant an injunction against Napster brought a flurry of statements and commentary. But who has time to wade through all of the spinners' spins?

Well, we do.

michael robertson',390,400);">michael robertson',390,400);">Michael Robertson, CEO and Chairman of the Board of MP3.com, weighed in via email : "I see this as the final paragraph in an unfortunate chapter in the digital music saga. It's clear Napster was created to fill a vacuum of digital music on the net. Music fans want easy to use, versatile, economical ways to get music," said Robertson. "This ruling provides a short reprieve where internet delivery companies and labels have a final opportunity to partner to offer some responsible systems which give fans music in new and consumer friendly ways. If we don't respond immediately with such systems, the collective force of the net will fill the vacuum with litigation-proof technologies such as Opennap, Gnutella and Freenet. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go write 20 million $1 checks to EMI."

Edward P Murphy, president and CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association,who supported songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as plaintiffs in the case, had this to say: "The Court's ruling calls into question the basic parasitic business model that Napster pursued to build a business on the back of copyrighted music without the permission of the copyright owner. But what do I care? Everybody thinks that I'm hilarious comedian Eddie Murphy."

Not surprisingly, Chuck D, Founder of Rapstation.com and Public Enemy frontman, came out in Napster's defense, also pointing a finger at the industry—the middle one. "If Patel was the key judge at the last turn of the century, we'd still be relying on horses and buggies and trains to get around," he said. "Stopping the process of file sharing is like trying to control the rain. I can't think of any more metaphors, but you get the point."

Hey look, David Bowie had something to say about the whole thing, too: "It's hard for artists who've reached a certain level of economic means to be taken seriously when they start talking about copyright issues," he said. "I will pose a scenario, though: In six months time, when the copyright issues have been resolved, the record labels join up just in time to find a way where you have to pay to use it."

In a statement that walked the fine line between diplomacy and self-promotion, Rob Reid, Founder & CEO of Listen.com said, "Napster has proven that there is huge demand for online music consumption. It's up to the traditional music industry and legitimate online music companies to build on this opportunity, and to develop systems that will properly compensate artists and other rights holders."

Here are some reactions from yesterday:

"I'm very happy and extraordinarily relieved," RIAA chieftain hilary rosen',390,400);">hilary rosen',390,400);">Hilary Rosen told hitsdailydouble.com just after the ruling. "Their smugness had reached a peak with that HITS interview. I'm glad I won't have to hear it anymore.

"I think that this has always been about trying to facilitate legitimate online business," she continued. "It proves that creative content has value. People want music online, and we want to give it to them."

"I want to give props to Metallica and Dr. Dre," she said, throwing an unrecognizable hand sign. "When they jumped in, they confirmed it wasn't just about the record companies—they helped broaden the case."

Napster co-founder shawn fanning',390,400);">shawn fanning',390,400);">Shawn Fanning and CEO Hank Barry did a brief Webcast Wednesday night.

"We will keep fighting for Napster and for your right to share music over the Internet," proclaimed Fanning before handing the mic to his CEO.

"We'll be appealing the judge's ruling to the Court of Appeals, and will ask the Court of Appeals tomorrow morning to stay the judge's order during the appeal process," said Barry. "Although we strongly and firmly disagree with the judge's decision, we respect and understand the basis for it and we plan to comply.

"The judge's ruling essentially is this: That one-to-one, non-commercial file-sharing violates the law," Barry went on. "We'll fight this in a variety of ways to keep the Napster community growing and strong. We'll keep you informed and we will ask for your help. Please check our Web site for updates and what you can do; we intend to see this through in every venue and in every court. We believe in Napster, and we believe in you. We thank you for your support."

The Napster-sponsored free Limp Bizkit summer tour will not be affected by the ruling, according to the band's management.

"I don't think [the ruling] changes very much at all," insisted Erich Scheirer, media analyst for Forrester Research. "If you want Napster now, you don't even need to use Napster's servers. What the music industry has to recognize is that services like Napster are here to stay. They have to stop thinking about trying to shut down the services and start thinking about how to compete with them."

"Sad thing, really," mused Gnutella's Gene Kan. "Napster has been unfairly vilified by the industry when in fact hundreds of companies are trying hard to do exactly what Napster is doing.

"We can only guess, but since people seem to like downloading music, there are going to be 20 million free-agents come Friday, and they're going to be looking for a place to share their wares. That means Gnutella, FreeNet and all the Napster mimics."

"We believe that a company should not be able to co-opt other peoples' copyrights," said Artists Against Piracy director Noah Stone upon learning of the court's decision. "As an industry, we must find a way to give music fans what they want, which is fast and easy music on the Internet. While Napster, the technology, is very compelling, Napster the business, has shown no respect for the artists who create the music everyone wants to hear, download, trade and profit from."

Dan Rodrigues, President of L.A. file-sharing service Scour, which is facing its own day in court courtesy of a joint MPAA-RIAA suit, issued a statement of his own. "We've followed the Napster case very closely," it reads. "We're interested in its outcome, and will continue to absorb every detail of this hearing as it might relate to the MPAA/RIAA suit against Scour.

"Like everyone," the statement concludes, "we've just heard this decision and need to reflect on Judge Patel's ruling before commenting further. As we all agree, this is a very serious issue that requires further analysis. Any comments about the impact of this ruling on Scour right now would be premature and hasty. Scour will continue to maintain an open dialogue with the public on this issue."

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE HOUSE WINS
I.B. Bad handicaps the Vegas Grammys. (1/18a)
ON THE COVER:
THE LUMINEERS
The downside of BRIGHTSIDE for Wes and Jer (1/18a)
HITS LIST MAKES
THE PLAYOFFS
A bunch of All-Pros takes the field. (1/18a)
COACHELLA LINEUP: HARRY, YE, BILLIE AND THE WHOLE THING
The poster has been printed. (1/13a)
UTA: A YEAR OF MOMENTUM
Agency reshuffles the deck. (1/18a)
I DON'T WANNA WORK
I just wanna bang on my drum all day.
I HAVE A HANGOVER
I like to call it "2021."
I DON'T WANNA HAVE A MEETING
My Zoom backgrounds are all outdated.
I MISS CHRISTMAS
When's the next holiday that involves eggnog?
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