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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Napster’s request for a rehearing on the injunction that resulted from a copyright lawsuit filed against the embattled online music-swapping service by the major record labels. The court issued an order Friday denying Napster’s petition for a rehearing before the entire appeals panel, according to the court. The decision was made public Monday. Napster requested the rehearing after the appeals court issued an order Feb. 12 affirming that the Redwood City, Calif., company operates a music-swapping service that infringes on record labels’ copyrights. The appeals court, however, ordered U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel to modify her preliminary injunction, which it said was “overbroad.” Patel issued a modified injunction March 5 that forced Napster to block copyrighted music, resulting in a huge drop in files available for download via Napster’s once wildly popular service. “It was very welcome to see that the 9th Circuit agrees they’ve decided correctly,” said Russell Frackman, an attorney representing the record labels, which sued Napster in December 1999, alleging copyright infringement. He said the decision on Friday “means that all of those issues of law that were decided favorably to us in the original appeal … do not need to be reviewed.” Napster declined to comment. Despite the ruling, the courtroom battles between Napster and the record labels are far from done. Napster could appeal Friday’s decision to the Supreme Court. Frackman, however, suggests that Napster’s chances of being heard by the nation’s top court are slim, because the high court prefers to hear cases involving final decisions rather than preliminary injunctions. Napster also has an appeal of the modified injunction pending in the appeals court. In addition, the record labels — Warner, EMI, BMG, Sony Music and Universal Music Group — are appealing a ruling by Patel that they must provide Napster with a list of file names of copyrighted music in order for the company to block those files, said Frackman. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: High Court to Publishers: Pay for Electronic Use A Win by Default EMI Tests Virtual Pop Group Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

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