Twenty year old develops software to track Napster use 
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Thursday, 17 May 2001

Musician and computer programmer Travis Hill of Utah has created a software program called Songbird that allows music copyright holders a new way to monitor the use of their material on Napster.

Introduced this week at IFPI's London headquarters, Songbird has won the backing of the record industry's watchdog organization and 10 organizations representing artists, songwriters and publishers. IFPI is the organization representing the international recording industry. It comprises a membership of 1400 record producers and distributors in 76 countries.

"Songbird gives music copyright holders a completely new insight into how Napster is using their music and, if they want to, take steps to get it removed," said IFPI Chairman Jay Berman. "Songbird complements the efforts by U.S. copyright owners to enforce their rights and it fits with IFPI's global anti-piracy strategy," he added.

Hill who is a classically trained pianist said that he created the software to protect not only his own work, but also the copywriten material of artists and songwriters throughout the world.

Napster has seen a 36 percent decrease in usage in April 2001 according to a study by Webnoize, but that does not mean that fewer songs are being traded via the web. The Gnutella network is growing in size every day and software such as LimeWire is beginning to fill the void for many former Napster users. There is no word if Hill plans to create software aimed at Gnutella.

"Since we began blocking certain files, we have been progressively refining the system to both more accurately and more thoroughly block access to music files we have been asked to exclude," Napster said in a message posted on its Web site.

A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America said: "We're pleased that Napster is announcing more and more steps toward compliance with the injunction."

Source: Reuters newswire

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