Slow Intro To Napster Tune-Out

By | March 6, 2001 at 12:00 AM

While Napster began to filter out music files late Sunday night, as of Monday, many Metallica tracks and almost all of Dr. Dre’s songs were still available. Napster is working around the clock to refine the system, a spokesperson said. Napster said in court Friday that it would begin to filter out 1 million music files, beginning with Metallica and Dr. Dre songs.

Dr. Dre. and Metallica filed separate copyright-infringement suits against Napster last year. The cases have been consolidated under the Recording Industry Association of America’s case. The new Napster technology works on two levels. The first filter screens file names that correspond directly to an artist and song title, like Metallica and “Fade to Black.” The second filter will search and block specific file-name variations like “Fade 2 Black.” For the second filter to work, however, Napster said it needs the recording industry to tell the service which name variations to block.

Who is responsible for providing the specific file names – as well as how they should do it – was a major point of contention during Friday’s court hearing in San Francisco before U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. Napster lead attorney David Boies argued that the burden of proof in presenting these names lies on the RIAA, while RIAA counsel Russ Frackman said that because it’s Napster’s system, it’s their job to figure it out.

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