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Labels ordered to prove song ownership

A San Francisco federal judge on Wednesday ordered the big record companies to submit proof of ownership by Thursday for songs they say have been downloaded through Napster. The mandate is part of a review of record companies' ownership claims made as part of their ongoing lawsuit against file-swapping company Napster. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered this review last month, along with new scrutiny of the record labels' online business practices. Analysts have said the two issues are likely to force a faster negotiated settlement to the long-running court battle. No indications that settlement is close have arisen since Patel's initial ruling, however.

A San Francisco federal judge on Wednesday ordered the big record companies to submit proof of ownership by Thursday for songs they say have been downloaded through Napster.

The mandate is part of a review of record companies' ownership claims made as part of their ongoing lawsuit against file-swapping company Napster. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered this review last month, along with new scrutiny of the record labels' online business practices. Analysts have said the two issues are likely to force a faster negotiated settlement to the long-running court battle. No indications that settlement is close have arisen since Patel's initial ruling, however.