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Napster saved, but for how long? Print E-mail
Friday, 28 July 2000
The news of Napster’s possible demise sent users into a downloading frenzy over the past 18 hours, but now downloading freaks can relax a little. The injunction served to the online file sharing service Napster this past Wednesday was lifted today.

Originally scheduled to be shut down tonight at 3am (EST), Napster has been temporarily granted a stay until a formal appeal can be heard by the U.S. Court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This appeal is not expected to be until September with Napster’s opening brief due on August 18, the RIAA’s response due September 8 and Napster’s optional reply due on September 12. Napster was granted the say primarily based on the claim that the injunction would have caused the company to "suffer irreparable injury" and would force them to terminate many of their employees.

Legal experts say that it is common for this type of stay to be granted in cases as complex as this one. Attorney David Boise will continue to refine the companies defense strategy. Napster claims that Federal District Court Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel overlooked statistics presented by the company showing the promotional power of Napster based on the recent increase in album sales.

Napster is asking its users and supporters to write protest letters to the record companies that are attempting to close them down. This comes on the heels of their first letter writing campaign that resulted in over ten thousand letters being sent to Senators Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy by Napster users asking them to support downloadable music. They have also urged users to purchase albums by artists such as Limp Bizkit and The Offspring who have come out in support of Napster.

While the recording industry claimed victory this last Wednesday and Napster rejoices today, the significance of this battle is the fact that the distribution of music will never be the same since Napster. Napster is used to transmit copywritten music in a less than perfect medium MP3, much in the way radio transmits hit songs and listeners have record buttons on their tape decks.

Naspter is a social phenomenon and is bigger than the issue of free music downloads. Having received billions of dollars worth of hype and PR, Napster is perfectly poised to become a pay service, which still allows MP3 swapping, and the artist gets paid. Sign up for the IPO shares now.

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