US RECORD INDUSTRY TRIES TO CLOSE NAPSTER

The Internet music-sharing site comes under fire again from the US record industry...

THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOICIATION OF AMERICA took another swing at Napster on Monday afternoon (June 12) when, together with the NATIONAL MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ ASSOCIATION, they filed a bid in a San Francisco court to get a Federal judge to stop the Internet file exchange company.

RIAA & NMPA submitted their preliminary injunction motion claims on the back of a study by the Field Research Corporation whose results, they concluded, showed Napster hurts CD sales and that 87% of Napster users have infringed copyright.

“The Napster model threatens the livelihood of the people who create music as well as the viability of legitimate internet music businesses,” said Edward Murphy, president and CEO of NMPA.

In a surprising twist of events, MP3.com SUPPORTED the motion, despite being embroiled earlier this year in their own lawsuit with the RIAA. However, they’ve now gone ‘legit’ and recently signed a multi- million dollar deal with major labels.

Said MP3.com CEO and chairman Michael Robertson: “In my view Napster is not designed to promote or share the music of unknown or lesser artists.”

Not content to sit back, in their first major statement to date, Napster CEO Hank Barry fired back at the RIAA & NMPA motion and disputed the studies claims.

“People are sharing over Napster, not selling,” he stated. “Napster is doing no harm to the record industry. By their own numbers, record sales are up, and file sharing has proven to be a great promotional tool. Napster is a sampling and listening experience, not a permanent copying experience that would displace conventional CD sales.”

He continued: “Napster has a right to do our work. We are a file sharing software application and community company. Napster is a powerful tool and I have no doubt we will win this case on the merits and, that we will continue to benefit from the support of our community, artists, and – yes – even the record companies, whose executives already know the simple truth, Napster has been and will be very, very good for music – and for music sales.”

The case continues.

Meanwhile, the RIAA have come out in support of Bruce Springsteen after he drew criticism from police of his new song ‘American Skin’ about the death of an unarmed Guinea man Amadou Diallo, who was shot at 41 times by New York police officers while in the doorway of his home in the Bronx. All the officers involved were acquitted.

However, Hilary Rosen, president & CEO of the RIAA, released a statment yesterday (June 13) which said: “Bruce Springsteen is an artist who has always been a moral leader and an articulate voice for those people who don’t often get heard.”

“He is a hero to working men and women including the rank and file of law enforcement. The President of the Fraternal order of Police should be grateful that we live in a country where an artist’s voice can express ideas that challenge the system and give rise to change.”

“We support The Boss & his American right to freedom of speech,” she declared.