July 28, 2000 10:10 AM PDT

Thousands of Napster fans pledge CD boycott

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Napster supporters across the nation banded together yesterday and today, pledging not to buy CDs from labels affiliated with the Recording Industry Association of America.

More than 53,000 people have signed on to one site, adding their names to a list and mostly promising to stay away from record stores while Napster's site is down.

"People were calling for boycotts, but there wasn't a centralized place where people could go and say 'I support (this),'" said 17-year-old Patrick Clinger of Lake Forrest, Calif., who launched the site.

The teenager hastily created the site Wednesday Court: Shut down Napster night, using Perl script to calculate the number of signatures and the percentage of people who pledged to boycott CD purchases.

"I posted it on the Napster chat boards, sent (the link) to all my friends, and the next morning, all these people are going to the site," Clinger said.

The boycott movement follows Wednesday's order by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, which stated Napster must cease all illegal music swapping by midnight PT today unless the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals grants an emergency stay of the injunction today.

Other sites such as Boycott RIAA also call for boycotts of CD purchases but are not collecting visitors' names.

Ironically, Napster posted a new message on its Web site asking fans to participate in a two-day "buy-cott" this weekend by purchasing recordings from artists who support the music-swapping service.

Napster fans have also shown that they intend to avoid buying CDs by finding other Web sites to download music for free. Since the injunction Wednesday, alternative file-trading sites say they've been swamped with activity.

New visitors overloaded Scour Exchange last night. Scour lets people trade movies and other multimedia files over the Internet. Some estimates suggest that the number of Scour visitors increased by 10,000 hits in one day.

The founders of AudioPhilez, a Web-based MP3 search engine in the Netherlands, said traffic to their site increased by 20 percent.

 

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