RIAA seeks summary ruling against Napster

The recording industry, looking to end its legal battle with Napster Inc. before the case comes to trial, has asked a California judge to issue a summary ruling in its favor on the grounds that Napster has been shown to have willingly contributed to the violation of recording industry copyrights.

The motion for summary judgement was filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed its lawsuit against Napster in December 1999. Attorneys for the RIAA have asked the court to hear its request on Oct. 1.

Requests for summary judgement are based typically on statements and evidence submitted to the court before a case has come to trial. The party requesting the judgement must show that the facts presented are undisputed and that they entitle it to a judgement as a matter of law.

"No case could be more appropriate for summary judgement on both liability and on willfulness," attorneys for the recording industry wrote in the filing. "The material facts are established, undisputed and overwhelming, the Ninth Circuit (Court of Appeals) has conclusively decided most of the salient legal issues, and summary judgement is appropriate."

Attorneys for Napster could not immediately be reached for comment.

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