HITS Daily Double


Like, Who Are They Dating? How Far Have They Gone? Are They Gonna Do It?
In the latest episode of the ongoing Napster saga, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said Friday (4/27) the burden remains on the music labels to provide file names of songs they want banned from Napster's directory of music.

In a memo filed Friday, Patel said the labels may have misinterpreted an earlier federal appeals court ruling to mean they were not required to provide file names of songs they wish removed.

Since the original order may have been misinterpreted, Patel reiterated that the labels had to submit file names under various circumstances. "In the past, the labels have provided some notification with file names and some without," said Robert Silver, a lawyer for Napster. "Recently they asserted they never had to submit file names as long as they proceeded under a theory of vicarious liability. Patel rejected their interpretation, thus requiring them to provide file names to Napster."

File names have become a key issue as the online song-swapper has had a problem complying with the injunction since Napster users are creating new file names as they download songs, thereby tricking the company’s screening mechanism. Hence, many songs, identified by the labels as being copyright infringed, are still available because adept users change the music file names by deliberately misspelling the song titles or the artists’ names.

The judge’s memo comes in response to the labels’ complaints that Napster's screening efforts have failed. The labels, through the RIAA, had demanded Napster use a different screening method.

With everything regarding Napster getting massive coverage from the mainstream press, wonderers at the HITS offices have been wondering how long it will be before some publication writes that long-awaited expose on Judge Patel’s bowel movements.