Appeals court gives Napster a break

A federal appeals court on Wednesday (US-time) ruled that embattled file-sharing service Napster can resume operation, although it's not clear yet when the company will do so.

          A federal appeals court on Wednesday (US-time) ruled that embattled file-sharing service Napster can resume operation, although it's not clear yet when the company will do so.

          Napster shut down its service voluntarily earlier this month when it updated filtering software used to prevent copyright songs being shared over its network. A week later, a US District Court judge ruled that the company must stay off line until it can show that the filtering system works 100% effectively.

          Napster appealed, and on Wednesday the US Court of Appeals for the 9th District granted its request for a stay of the lower court order, a Napster spokesman says. However, despite the service being offline for more than two weeks now, the spokesman cannot say when Napster will be back online.

          "We're pleased that the US Court of Appeals granted our request for a stay of the District Court's most recent order. We're studying the implications of the decision," Jonathan Schwartz, Napster's general counsel, said in a statement.

          "We continue to push ahead with the launch of our new membership service later this summer."

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