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In the latest twist in Napster’s legal saga, an appeals court on Wednesday gave the online song-swapping company the go-ahead to allow legal music trading on its service. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted Napster’s request for a stay from a lower-court judge’s order one week ago that it remain shut down. Last Wednesday, federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered Napster to remain offline until it could guarantee that it is successfully blocking 100 percent of all copyrighted music unauthorized for trading. Napster had told Patel that it could guarantee only a 99 percent success rate. “We’re pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals granted our request for a stay of the district court’s most recent order,” said Napster general counsel Jonathan Schwartz. “We continue to push ahead with the launch of our new membership service later this summer.” The appeals court can still rule against Napster on its appeal. It has ordered both Napster and the record labels to file briefs on the matter, with the last brief due in late September. “We are confident that after a thorough review, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Judge Patel’s decision,” said Cary Sherman, senior executive VP and general counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America. “It is important to note that today’s ruling does not change in any way the fact that Napster must prevent copyrighted works from appearing on its system, as previously ordered by the court.” Related Articles from The Industry Standard: Russian Arrested for Alleged DMCA Violations Napster Gives Users a Sneak Preview Napster Tells Users It Will Test New Service Soon Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

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