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DRE FOLLOWS METALLICA’S LEAD
Rapper To Name Names, Demand Removal Of Napster Users, Perform With Symphony Orchestra
Following in Metallica's footsteps, Dr. Dre has hired the same independent U.K.-based software company, NetPD, to compile a list of Napster users who are allegedly trading commercially released songs without the rapper's permission.

Napster Inc., which has been sued by the RIAA, Metallica and Dr. Dre for copyright infringement based on its file-swapping software, has blocked access to more than 300,000 Metallica fans that had swapped commercially released songs without the band's permission.

A Napster spokesman said the software company would follow the same procedure if Dr. Dre provides user names but hopes the delivery of the materials will cause less fanfare than when Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich personally showed up at the San Mateo, CA-based software company with 13 boxes of documents May 3.

Attorney Howard King, who represents Metallica and Dr. Dre in their Napster suits, said he expects to deliver the Dre user names to Napster sometime during the next week—but the rapper will not be on hand for the event.

Napster's blocking of users is not a clear-cut issue, however. Napster is expected to announce today that 20,000 of the 300,000 names Metallica delivered to the company have filed sworn statements that the Metallica music they downloaded was authorized or legal, sources said, which means they can be reinstated as Napster users.

Dr. Dre is suing Napster for copyright infringement of the two albums for which he owns the masters—1996's "Aftermath" and his current release, "Dr. Dre 2001." According to the suit, Dre wants the maximum statutory damages of $100,000 for each musical work pirated.

King said that Napster's move to block user access will not deter the musicians' lawsuits against the company.

In Napster's case with the RIAA, a U.S. district court judge has denied the company's request for a summary judgment, rejecting the company's claim that its file-sharing programming is a "mere conduit" and is thus exempt from liability for copyright infringement.

Industry insiders had speculated that many artists would join in the Napster fight. Although some artists have expressed discontent with Napster's system, as yet only Metallica and Dr. Dre have taken action. King said he hopes other will follow suit. In fact, much to the music industry's dismay, Limp Bizkit lead singer fred durst',390,400);">fred durst',390,400);">Fred Durst has publicly supported Napster, which is sponsoring (for a reported $2 million) the rock band's free summer tour.

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