A modified injunction against Napster has been issued following the US Appeals Court ruling of 12 February reported by us in early warning no 63.
The injunction appears to give Napster enough leeway to continue operating in a limited capacity.
Napster must remove copies of infringing sound recordings from its system within three days of being notified by any of the RIAA’s member record companies that an infringing copy is available over Napster’s system.
This means that the burden of identifying infringements is placed on the record companies.
Napster must be provided with the song title, artist name, one or more of the file names relating to the infringing copy and certification that the record company is the owner of the copyright in the particular sound recording.
This, in effect, means that copyright infringement must occur before the record companies can complain to Napster.
The record companies were particularly vexed by the swapping of their recordings via Napster in advance of their commercial release. To deal with this concern, the injunction provides that record companies may supply Napster with lists of unauthorised recordings prior to the release of the recordings, where there is a substantial likelihood of infringement on the Napster system.
It has been reported that Napster will be re-launched as a fee-paying service with a copyright protection system in place from July of this year.