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Napster Sets Security For New Membership Service

Embattled song-swap service Napster Inc. said Monday it was using new digital encoding technology to power a subscription-based service it hopes to launch this summer.

Napster said the technology, licensed from PlayMedia Systems, would enable Napster’s software to encode, recognize and play copyright-protected music files on the membership service.

“Napster is at the forefront of using some extremely advanced rights management and security technologies in a file-sharing environment,” Napster’s interim CEO Hank Barry said in a statement.

Napster, fighting for its life in a legal battle with the recording industry, went offline this month as engineers sought to fix problems with new song-filtering systems it hopes will bring the service into compliance with court orders directing it to protect copyrighted material.

Last week, as Napster was ready to resume operations, a federal judge ordered it to remain offline until it can show it has done everything in its power to ensure that the new filters are a success. Napster has appealed that ruling.