The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has rejected Napster's appeal of a February appellate ruling that upheld an earlier finding that the file-swapping service is liable for copyri

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has rejected Napster's appeal of a February appellate ruling that upheld an earlier finding that the file-swapping service is liable for copyright infringement, Billboard Bulletin reports.

The RIAA hailed the decision, which was made Friday but made public yesterday (June 25), as a victory for copyright-holders on the Internet. Cary Sherman, senior executive VP/general counsel for the organization, says the finding "puts to rest any questions that Napster has raised regarding the earlier decision."

The ruling, which thwarted Napster's request for an "en banc," or full Appellate Court hearing, can be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court -- one of the few legal options left to the Redwood City, Calif.-based company.

Napster, which says it will continue to comply with the outstanding injunction, remains upbeat, according to general counsel Jonathan Schwartz. "With the launch of the new membership service later this summer, we believe we will put to rest many of the outstanding legal issues," he says in a statement.

Meanwhile, Napster today (June 26) confirmed a worldwide licensing agreement with the U.K.'s Association of Independent Music (AIM) and the Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association (IMPALA). The deal will make available hundreds of tracks from such artists as Paul Oakenfold, Moby, Muse, Underworld, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Tricky, and more.

Among the participating labels are Beggars Group, V2, Mushroom, Poptones, Mowax, XL Recordings, Play It Again Sam, Roadrunner, and Epitaph. Warp, Mute, and Telstar have "committed to be part of the negotiations," according to a statement.

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