[EAS]Napster Evolution

pjk peter.kindlmann at yale.edu
Tue Feb 13 21:48:47 EST 2001

Subject:   Napster Evolution

Napster may be dead, but peer-to-peer filesharing isn't.
See just one example below.   --PJK

(from TidBITS#567/12-Feb-01)

Appeals Court Upholds Napster Injunction -- 
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today
issued a 58-page opinion in which it held that the popular
peer-to-peer song-swapping service Napster must stop enabling users
to access copyrighted material served by Napster users. The Appeals
Court action follows an injunction against Napster originally
issued 26-Jul-00 by Judge Marylin Patel, which barred Napster from
"causing, assisting, facilitating, copying, or otherwise
distributing all copyrighted songs or musical compositions." Two
judges on the Appeals Court issued a temporary stay against that
injunction almost immediately, pending arguments from both Napster
and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), who is
suing Napster for copyright infringement and promoting piracy. (See
"Judge Presses Napster's Buttons" in TidBITS-541
<http://www.tidbits.com/tb-issues/TidBITS-541.html>.) The Appeals
Court decision permits Napster to remain in operation until Judge
Patel modifies her original "overbroad" injunction. However, the
decision also requires Napster to prevent users from accessing
content that would violate copyright and finds Napster had both
actual and constructive knowledge of direct copyright infringement.
Napster could be held liable for failing to monitor its system for
copyright violations, as well as for contributory copyright
infringement. Napster is expected to appeal the decision to the
full Appeals Court or even to the U.S. Supreme Court; the full text
of the decision is available from FindLaw.com.

In a move partially aimed at placating the recording industry,
Napster partner Bertelsman's CEO announced recently that the
service would start charging a monthly fee for users as early as
June 2001 as a way of paying labels and artists, although no
details of how such a payment system would compensate artists have
been released. Napster currently claims to have more than 50
million users, and estimates place the number of downloads via
Napster in January alone at 2 billion.


(from NewsScan Daily,  9 February 2001)

Peer-to-peer networks have already proven their popularity for
swapping  music files, and now the same technology is invading Wall
Street, with a  number of startups "poised to revolutionize the
investment management  industry," according to an analyst at
research firm TowerGroup. Two types  of peer-to-peer models are
emerging: one resembles Napster, in which  computers share the
files directly, and the other pools the resources of  lots of
computers to maximize the processing power. The first type enables 
Wall Street brokerages to deliver targeted information to clients
and  provides a platform for money managers to trade stock among
themselves  without the use of a broker. Meanwhile, distributed
peer-to-peer computing  networks can process complex calculations
in record speed. The investment  community "is a space that does
not need religion when it comes to  distributed computing," says
Datasynapse CEO Peter Lee. "Every one of our  clients was already
doing it in some way, shape or form" through their own  internal
networks. (Investor's Business Daily 9 Feb 2001)

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