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Napster's day in court

An appeals court orders a judge to modify an injunction that threatened to shut down Napster. Fans sound off on the future of the music-swapping service.


Threat of damages could cripple service

By CNET Staff
February 12, 2001, 6:10 p.m. PT

The popular music file-swapping service gains a temporary reprieve, as a court allows Napster to operate pending a case against it. Yet the action does open the service to millions of dollars in damages that could dramatically change how it does business.

Napster can play on, but trouble looms
video | update A court ruling allows Napster fans to continue swapping music but opens the door to millions of dollars in damages that could cripple the service.
February 12, 2001, 1:15 p.m. PT 
What the decision means for fans
FAQ CNET takes a look at some of the most important questions for Napster fans and foes after the appeals court gives the music-swapping service a temporary reprieve.
February 12, 2001, 4:05 p.m. PT 
Napster's subscription Holy Grail fading
Regardless of whether the music file-swapping service survives its copyright battles in court, one thing is certain: People won't be treated to a free ride much longer.
February 12, 2001, 6:10 p.m. PT 
Makers of MP3 players distance themselves
Manufacturers are extolling their machines' ability to perform functions far from Napster's prickly copyright controversy.
February 12, 2001, 4:45 p.m. PT 
Stanford University curbs Napster use
update Citing bandwidth issues, Stanford University is the latest college to limit access to the music file-swapping service.
February 12, 2001, 2:05 p.m. PT 
Fans rally before closure threat
Napster aficionados and entrepreneurs rush to defend the music file-swapping service as a viable business venture.
February 12, 2001, 12:50 p.m. PT 
Court sounds off on Napster's case
document Read the document issued by the court in response to Napster's appeal of an injunction that threatened to shut it down.
February 12, 2001, 12:00 p.m. PT on air
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Trouble ahead for Napster?
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Napster ponders its fate
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RIAA reaction to court decision

Bertelsmann: Making music with Napster
newsmaker CNET talks to Bertelsmann's Andreas Schmidt about whether the company will succeed in courting record labels to work with Napster.
February 7, 2001, 4:00 a.m. PT 
Napster gains another powerful ally
update Joel Klein, the former antitrust chief for the Justice Department, is named chairman and chief executive of the U.S. division of Bertelsmann.
January 31, 2001, 1:20 p.m. PT 
Napster updates software as court case looms
The music file-swapping service releases an updated version of its software making it easier to find specific songs and bands.
December 26, 2000, 11:00 a.m. PT 

Holding court
Jan. 1999 Shawn Fanning, 19, creates Napster, allowing Web surfers to open their hard drives to other people and swap MP3 files.
May Napster Inc. is founded.
Dec. 7 The record industry charges Napster with violating federal and state laws through copyright infringement.
Jan. 2000 Universities clamp down on Napster, citing beleaguered bandwidth.
A Stanford University senior posts a page describing how Napster's software works.
April Metallica and Dr. Dre sue Napster and some universities, charging that they are responsible for copyright violations.
May 8 U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel orders Napster to stand trial for copyright infringement.
May 21 Napster receives $15 million in venture capital from Hummer Winblad.
June 13 The Recording Industry Association of America seeks a preliminary injunction against Napster, raising the possibility that the service will stop.
June 16 David Boies, the Justice Department's special counsel in the Microsoft antitrust case, joins Napster's legal team.
July 26 Patel orders Napster to halt the trading of copyrighted material.
July 28 The appellate court allows Napster to remain in operation while it prepares to hear an expedited appeal.
Aug. 18 Napster's legal team asks the appellate court to overturn the lower court's order.
Oct. 2 A panel of appellate judges harshly grills lawyers for both sides before adjourning without a decision.
Oct. 31 Bertelsmann forms an alliance with Napster to develop a subscription service.
Jan. 2001 Joel Klein, the former antitrust chief for the Justice Department, is named chairman and chief executive of the U.S. division of German media giant Bertelsmann.