June 16, 2000 4:15 PM PDT

DOJ counsel takes up Napster's cause

Music-swapping firm Napster has nabbed a powerful ally in its legal fight with the record industry: the Justice Department's special counsel in the antitrust case against Microsoft.

Lawyer David Boies and his firm, Boies Schiller & Flexner, have joined Napster's legal team, which faces a heated battle against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) regarding copyright infringement.

The RIAA and other record labels have filed a lawsuit against Napster, contending the firm contributed to copyright infringement as a result of its members trading songs through the service.

"This case raises important questions of how the copyright laws are to be applied to this new medium," Boies said in a statement. "This case also raises the question of whether an Internet directory can be held liable for permitting users to engage in sharing, which is not only permitted but encouraged on a small scale, simply because the scale of the Internet greatly increases the extent of the sharing."

Napster also said see related story: Napster tests new copyright lawtoday it has struck deals with independent labels and unsigned artists to make their music available through its software. On Tuesday, the RIAA asked a judge to block all major-label content from being traded through the service.

Other labels involved in the lawsuit include Warner Music Group, BMG Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Sony Music, which won a partial victory in the suit when a federal judge rejected Napster's first attempt to have the case dismissed. The industry has asked the judge for a preliminary injunction against the company.

Founded in 1997, Boies Schiller & Flexner specializes in litigation, international arbitration and corporate transactional work.


Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.