The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Napster Inc. cannot allow its file-sharing service to be used for trading copyrighted songs without permission of the copyright holder. The three-judge court unanimously ruled that Napster can be held liable when “it fails to use its ability to patrol its system and preclude access to potentially infringing files.”
Though Napster is still operating, the end has only been delayed by the return of the case to US District Judge Marilyn Patel, who is to clarify that her injunction bars only the distribution of music that infringes copyrights. When those changes are made, Napster will be shut down. Bertelsmann AG, the media giant with intention to turn Napster into a pay service, welcomed the ruling.