Court Flips Napster Ruling

Appeals court again sides with Napster

July 19, 2001 12:00 AM ET

A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California overruled federal Judge Marilyn Patel's July 11th ruling that would have forced Napster to remain offline until the company was able to promise that all of the material on its site was un-pirated.

At the beginning of July, Napster voluntarily pulled itself offline, as the company worked out kinks within its system. The company's tests suggested that it was capable of blocking ninety-nine percent of unauthorized copyrighted work from the site. Patel's ruling ordered Napster to remain offline until it could reach 100 percent compliance.

The Recording Industry Association of America remained optimistic that Patel's ruling would ultimately be reinstated. ""We are confident that after a thorough review, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Patel's decision," said RIAA general counsel Cary Sherman. "The evidence in this case clearly shows that Napster has not done all it can to police its system. It is important to note that today's ruling does not change in any way the fact that Napster must prevent copyrighted works from appearing on its system as previously ordered by the Court."

In other Napster news, the company plans to run a second round of tests in preparation for its membership-based service, which the company hopes to launch this summer. Napster users can visit www.napster.com and volunteer to be test subjects for the beta test on reconfigured service.

The news arrives just a week after Napster settled two high-profile lawsuits with Dr. Dre and Metallica; in addition to dropping their suits, both acts promised contribute material to the site, once the membership program is instituted and working properly.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

More Song Stories entries »