Controversial MP3 sharing website Napster gets its big day in court on Monday when it begins its defence against the US music industry's attempts to shut down large sections of its system.
In the US District Court of San Francisco Napster's lawyers will oppose the music industry's request for a preliminary injunction against the system, which lets users swap music tracks by downloading them as MP3 files.
The Recording Industry Association of America and the Music Publishers Association want to force Napster to remove access to all songs by the artists on labels they represent. These include Seagram, Universal Music, Bertlsmann, Sony, Warner Music and EMI.
The motion is the culmination of a series of legal moves begun last December by the bodies. They allege that Napster harms CD sales and have previously cited a survey that claimed to have identified a correlation between MP3s and decreased CD sales in the US.
Labelled as the first great battle over intellectual property on the internet, the fight will recommence at a hearing scheduled for 26 July. The first legal arguments are said to be over whether one-to-one non-commercial file sharing by Napster users is an infringement of copyright.
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