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NAPSTER GETS SOME
"VERY BAD NEWS"
Judge’s Demand For 100% Piracy-Proof Service Further Clouds Netco’s Future
Napster today received a blow in the District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, a possibly crippling blow that could spell the end of the service.

According to a internal memo from CEO Hank Barry obtained by hitsdailydouble.com, the swapco submitted materials at today’s hearing indicating its file-identification software—designed to prevent the unauthorized sharing of music files—was operating at 99.4% effectiveness. And just like Ivory soap, it floats in water.

Patel countered that Napster, which shut down operations on 7/3 to update its technology, could not resume operations until it had reached 100% effectiveness and she had granted her explicit approval.

Since total effectiveness is virtually impossible, such approval is highly unlikely. In the memo, Barry complains to staffers about "how hard it is to do software development on a judicial timetable" and vows an immediate appeal of Patel’s ruling.

Barry himself referred to Patel’s response as "very bad news."

Even so, a fresh round of layoffs is said to be in the works at the besieged netco, with insiders wondering if the company can possibly relaunch its file-sharing service given today’s stipulations. So far, Napster has had difficulty changing its legal luck on appeal.

Chatter surrounding Napster patron Bertelsmann’s options—already substantial, given the Napster's past woes and vastly diminished user base—will undoubtedly grow more feverish as a result of today’s judicial pronouncement.

After the hearing, RIAA President/CEO Hilary Rosen released a statement that said, "Judge Patel’s decision today that Napster should not resume operations until it can show that it can comply with the court’s modified preliminary injunction was inevitable—given its failure to comply with the court’s order for so long.

"While we appreciate that Napster is attempting to migrate to a legitimate business model, its inability to prevent copyright infringement from occurring on its system has only hampered the development of the marketplace in which it now hopes to compete. It is difficult for the legitimate on-line marketplace to compete with free.

"Clearly the courts agree. In order for that marketplace to flourish, intellectual property must be defended rigorously. Today’s ruling sends a clear signal to all infringers: any attempt to hide illegal activity behind the shield of technological innovation will not be tolerated."

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