Napster's Big Day in Court 
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Monday, 02 October 2000

The popular MP3 file swapping service, Napster today began their appeal in front of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Napster was almost shut down in September but was granted a stay of execution by the court and users have been able to freely use the service in the meantime.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is representing the major record labels in the battle to halt Napster. Their claim is that the free trading of copyrighted material has deprived artists and publishers. Napster denied encouraging the illegal trading of copyrighted works and encourages lesser known artists and small record labels to use it as a promotional venue.

Napster may be forced to close it’s operations if they lose the appeal, but a slew of other file sharing options will still be at the fingertips of the public. Gnutella, another mp3 file swapping is the second most popular and currently is not under the same amount of legal fire, but may soon join Napster. Similar to the cat and mouse game that police play with radar detection makers trying to outsmart each other, computer programmers have created alternative methods of file sharing. The technology already exists for anonymous trading of files. If Napster and eventually Gnutalla are shut down, technically savvy computer users will still be able to access extensive libraries of copyrighted material for no fee. will bring you the results of Monday’s hearing when it is available.

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