Napster catches legal break

Napster won a respite in the legal battle tilting decisively against it late Monday, with a preliminary injunction from a San Francisco federal court that gives the renegade music streamer breathing space.

U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ruled that Napster must start blocking songs being traded through its service. But Patel also ruled that the respective record labels must identify their material to establish the copyright protection intended by the injunction. Napster has three business days to block specific tunes once it is notified about the tune by the copyright holder.

Record labels can provide the requisite information about new tunes to Napster ahead of their release dates. Disputes about how well Napster is screening songs brings the parties back to court. - Richard Tedesco