Napster has appealed against an injunction granted against it earlier this month, claiming it is too broad and violates its right to free speech.
The music-swapping service filed papers on Friday for a full federal appeals court to review the three-judge decision it fears may force it to close.
Napster's brief relies on laws designed to give internet service providers(ISPs) carrier status, allowing them an exemption from policing their servers to check the legality of the vast amount of internet-published material stored on them.
It also says the appeal ruling would stop it developing technologies, that it obstructs legal use of the Napster network, and that the court was wrong to reject its argument to refuse to accept the injunction against it on free-speech grounds.
However, the latter two arguments have already been rejected by other courts, while the technological development argument is based on a Supreme Court decision relating to video tapes.
After seeing its proposed plan to pay $1bn over five years in licence fees rejected by record labels, Napster appears simply to be trying to buy more time. The case could close as early as this Friday, when a hearing is held in San Francisco by original trial judge Miriam Patel to meet the appeals panel's order that the original injunction granted against Napster be modified.
Record giant Bertlesmann is believed to have promised Napster as much as $50m to keep going while it seeks a compromise with the record labels. The duo plan to launch a subscription-based service later in the year, but industry analysts have questioned its viability if it does not add other labels to its roster of Bertlesmann artists.
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