By Robert Menta- 2/13/01
Hours after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said an injunction against Napster was ``not only warranted but required,'' Napster has vowed to challenge the ruling that sets the stage for a lower court to shut the file trading service down.
Hank Barry, President and CEO of Napster said in a video taped statement:
"We are disappointed in today's ruling. Under this decision Napster could be shut down - even before a trial on the merits. The Court today ruled on the basis of what it recognized was an incomplete record before it. We look forward to getting more facts into the record. While we respect the Court's decision, we believe, contrary to the Court's ruling today, that Napster users are not copyright infringers and we will pursue every legal avenue to keep Napster operating".
Napster argues that the file service should not be shut down while it awaits its April trial against the music industry. The court rejected that argument, saying Napster clearly knew its users were breaking the rules. The appeals court countered, "Having digital downloads available for free on the Napster system necessarily harms the copyright holders' attempts to charge for the same downloads."
The court then passed the case back down to the lower court with the instructions to retool its previous injunction, which the higher court found was overly broad. That action gave Napster a temporary stay of execution, time both Napster and its new parent company Bertelsmann will use to appeal their case to the next highest court.
Meanwhile, Barry further opened up another front in the battlefield appealing to Napster's 57 million member audience to act.
"The Court also very narrowly interpreted the Congress's intent when it comes to licensing, and we have seen that this is an issue of concern to the Congress. We encourage members of our community to contact their representatives to let Congress know how much Napster means to them".
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