German media giant Bertelsmann has withdrawn an injunction order that has been holding up a $17 billion class-action lawsuit related to the company's participation in illegal file-sharing service Naps

COLOGNE, Germany (The Hollywood Reporter) -- German media giant Bertelsmann has withdrawn an injunction order that has been holding up a $17 billion class-action lawsuit related to the company's participation in illegal file-sharing service Napster.

The German constitutional court announced Nov. 11 that Bertelsmann has withdrawn the injunction, which issued in June 2003, to prevent U.S. music labels and musicians from suing the company for supporting Napster before the service was shut down.

Bertelsmann loaned Napster $80 million over two years before the filesharing service was finally shut down in 2001. Music copyright holders alleged that the loan kept Napster operating longer than would otherwise have been possible. They sued Bertelsmann, claiming $17 billion in damages due to copyright violation.

Bertelsmann said it withdrew the court injunction because, in its opinion, the German constitutional court would have no further influence on the progress of the Napster suit.

Bertelsmann said it would be "several years" before the suit would come to court in the U.S. The German company called the suit "entirely groundless."