Independent music website emusic.com has begun using software that identifies and blocks its songs from being distributed across file-swapping site Napster's network.
Emusic, which sells MP3 tracks for download from 600 independent record labels, said it is taking such action after failing to reach an agreement with Napster to stop its songs from being swapped by users of the controversial site.
The two companies failed to agree on a "consumer-friendly" way of preventing Napster users from accessing and downloading Emusic content, said Emusic. Napster will, however, identify users who are distributing Emusic tracks so their accounts can be blocked, according to Emusic.
Gene Hoffman, Emusic president and chief executive, said: "We have proposed a number of viable solutions...[but] Napster's unfortunate and inflexible response has been that Emusic's only course of action is to request that offending users' accounts be cut off immediately.
"Although we feel that Napster could easily implement a more consumer-friendly solution, we will begin supplying this information on an ongoing basis."
Emusic's software searches for Napster users distributing Emusic tracks and sends the offending user an instant message providing them with a 24-hour grace period to stop. If after that time the user persists, Emusic will ask Napster to block their account.
Napster officials declined to comment.
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