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Business News (more headlines) 07-08-2001

CRIA Cracking Down On Napster-like Services

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Exerpt from letter to Canadian ISP

CRIA is writing to inform you that a 'Napster-like' service providing peer-to-peer links and allowing the widespread transmission and reproduction of copyrighted music files is being hosted or otherwise made available on your Internet service at the IP address [...].

The Napster-like service hosted or otherwise made available on your Internet service indexes, allows searches of, and makes accessible many links to music files residing in the file libraries of users connected to this system. This promotes and assists large-scale Internet transmission and copying of music files between users.

This system, which was investigated on 03/07/01 at 4:24:00 PM GMT, offers extensive directories of downloadable digitally encoded files containing copyrighted sound recordings. At the time of CRIA's investigation, approximately 252 users were, via this Napster-like service listed at the IP address above, making available on the Internet, uploading and downloading approximately 95262 files containing recorded music. According to our investigation, it appears that the vast majority of these sound recordings are owned by our member companies. This activity is not authorized by the copyright owners or their agents and is contrary to the law.

The system provided at the IP address listed above is almost identical to the system of Napster Inc. You may be aware that the United States Circuit Court for Ninth Circuit recently found that the Napster service knowingly encourages and assists widespread copyright infringement and, in doing so, directly affects the legitimate market for copyrighted works. The trial court has issued preliminary injunction against Napster. You may obtain a copy of the Ninth Circuit decision at www.riaa.com/pdf/napsterdecision.pdf.

On the basis of the Napster decision, Internet service providers in the US have voluntarily been blocking access to similar Napster-like services, upon receipt of a notice like this one from the US recording industry association. Blocking access to Napster-like services not only reduces the service provider's exposure to liability, but also helps them secure compliance with their own terms of service with their customers. Many service providers' terms of service specifically prohibit users from operating a server such as those required for Napster-like services, in order to avoid the bandwidth and speed problems that high-volume sites like these generate.

We therefore request that you immediately remove or block access to the infringing material offered via this server, which can be accomplished most effectively by blocking access to [...]. We also ask that you inform the server operator that you have blocked access to his/her server by reason of the copyright infringement that it is facilitating, and confirm to CRIA that this activity has ceased.

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