eMusic software to block Napster members

Music e-tailer unveils software that identifies, blocks songs shared by people using the music-swapping service.

After failing to reach an agreement with Napster, eMusic on Tuesday unveiled software that identifies and blocks songs being shared by people using the controversial music-swapping service.

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eMusic software scours for Napster tunes
Gene Hoffman, eMusic CEO
The program's technology identifies songs on Napster that infringe the copyrights of the online music retailer's artist and label partners, eMusic said in a statement.

Napster executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

eMusic's software application searches for Napster members that are distributing eMusic tracks. When an infringing Napster member is identified, the individual will receive a warning from eMusic and will be given 24 hours to stop distributing the tracks.

If the person continues to make the tracks available via Napster, eMusic will notify the music-swapping company of the infringement and ask it to block that person's account. Although Napster will not seek out those swapping eMusic files, it has agreed to block accounts from sharing those files if eMusic points them out, the music e-tailer said.

eMusic, based in Redwood City, Calif., had previously been in discussions with Napster and said it had proposed a consumer-friendly way to stop the unauthorized distribution of songs licensed to eMusic. The company says San Mateo, Calif.-based Napster refused to consider technology that would prevent people from accessing and downloading its content.

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