The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles yesterday (March 25) upheld last year's District Court ruling that Napster must shut down its peer-to-peer service, Billboard Bulletin reports. The sh

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles yesterday (March 25) upheld last year's District Court ruling that Napster must shut down its peer-to-peer service, Billboard Bulletin reports. The shutdown is mandated by a preliminary injunction issued as part of the copyright-infringement suit filed by record companies against the file-swapping service.

"The district court properly exercised its power," the appeals court says in its decision. "We affirm both the modified preliminary injunction and the shut-down order. The terms of the modified preliminary injunction are not vague and properly reflect the relevant law on vicarious and copyright infringement."

Recording Industry Association of America senior executive VP/general counsel Cary Sherman says, "Once again, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that Napster must do everything feasible to police its system against copyright infringement. As we have said from the very beginning, technologies are available that allow copyrighted works to be filtered out of a peer-to-peer system, and the big news from today's decision is the court's strong endorsement of that point."

Napster officials were not available for comment. The site has been offline since last July as it tries to retool itself into a subscription service. A relaunch date has not been announced.

Many aspects of the case, including ownership of the recordings in question, are still under review.