RIAA To Challenge Napster's File-Blocking Progress
Controversial music file-swapping company Napster has filed its second compliance report with a federal court and claims to have filtered out more than 1.3 million file names of copyrighted songs, accControversial music file-swapping company Napster has filed its second compliance report with a federal court and claims to have filtered out more than 1.3 million file names of copyrighted songs, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
But the Recording Industry Association Of America maintains that Napster is falling short of its responsibilities and plans to file a reply to Napster's report with the federal court Tuesday (March 27), a spokeswoman said.
In the compliance report, which Napster filed this week, the company said it has filtered out 228,569 artist-song title pairs from its system and more than 1.3 million file names. Napster's filtering actions come as a result of U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel's order that the company begin taking down all music files identified by the record labels as protected under copyright laws.
Additionally, Napster said in its compliance report that it has added the artist and song titles of numerous prereleased recordings to its filtering process. The record labels provided Napster with a list of artists that includes Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Run-D.M.C., and Jon B.
Napster reports that the filtering mechanism, fueled by music-recognition services company Gracenote, has "substantially constricted the files being listed on the Napster index." As a result, the company said, the average Napster user now only has about 110 songs available for sharing -- a 50% drop from the prefiltered system that made an average of 220 songs available to each user. However, users have been able to avert the filtering system by simply modifying file names.
The compliance report also purports that the record labels "continue to disregard and fail to comply" with the court's orders. Napster claims that lists of works to be removed from the system submitted by the major label groups -- Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and EMI -- have been "riddled with errors," including 700,000 examples of file names that do not correspond to the correct songs.
Napster's report claims, "These obviously erroneous submissions have required Napster to expend additional resources to check the accuracy of (the labels') submissions, an intolerable and unwarranted burden."
As a result, Napster has asked the court to order the record labels to compensate it for the "actual time and expense" needed to sift through the erroneous song file names.
A compliance hearing before Patel is scheduled for April 10.