By Richard Menta- 3/02/01
In an effort to stay alive in the wake of Friday's hearing that could shut Napster down, Napster Attorney David Boies announced to the judge that the service will install a filtering system by this weekend to block the distribution of music that is protected by copyright.
"We are inserting a step between the uplink and the viewing of the index that will block out specific file names," said Boies. "Sometime this week we will have completed the software implementation so that these file names will be blocked".
Boies also said ominously "The problem is that this will adversely affect performance of the system". Considering there are over a million files in question on the file trading service, the announcement means the Napster as we know and love it will be gutted long before summer when Napster's parent, Bertelsmann AG, planned to convert the P-2-P (peer-to-peer) system into a P-4-P (pay-4-play) system.
How far that announcement will play with U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel is still unknown. What is known is that at the end of the 2 1/2 hour hearing Judge Patel said she would begin drafting an injunction against the company.
``The matter is submitted and I will issue some kind of preliminary injunction,'' said Patel. Judge Patel did not give a timeline for when she would present the completed injunction.
Either way, even if Napster is allowed to stay in business during its copyright infringement trial the die is cast. Napster fans have only a couple of more days to enjoy a free and open Napster.
That said, there is still the Open Napster movement, private Napster servers that uses the Napster interface and are accessed through the Napigator software at www.napigator.com. The bad news is, the music industry has now turned its attention to these servers in an all out effort to shut them down. They will probably succeed on US based servers though foreign based servers may in some cases be untouchable.
That mean the old Napster may just go overseas - maybe.
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