At a hearing in Federal District Court on Friday, March 2, Napster proposed to carry out the February 12th Court of Appeals ruling by blocking the sharing of file names submitted to Napster by copyright holders. In contrast, the injunction proposed by the recording industry would force Napster to shut down entirely.
Napster attorney David Boies announced in the hearing that Napster would start implementing a system over the weekend that will block users from downloading restricted artists albums and songs.
Boies said Napster was adapting its system to conform with the appeals court ruling, but he believed that a jury would find that the service was not illegal.
He said Napster can block individual file names, but cannot go into the files to see if there has been a copyright violation. Boies said the appeals court put the burden of proving copyright infringement on the recording industry.
"They placed on the plaintiffs the burden of first coming forward and identifying a work that they had a copyright in, and second demonstrating that it was listed on the Napster index that is available through Napster," Boies said. "Because the court of appeals -- we think -- properly put that burden on the plaintiffs, we have begun by dealing with those files where the plaintiffs have met that burden."
Boies said Napster has already blocked more than 1 million song files.
Record companies want Napster to block out all files of a song or album. It has submitted a list of more than 6,500 songs it wants blocked.
The judge has not yet ruled, but there is hope that the court's injunction, when it is issued, will allow the Napster community to operate while efforts to seek an agreement with the recording industry and transition to a membership-based service, continue.