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Napster hires big gun

Antitrust big wig defends MP3 site

MP3 music distributor Napster is employing the services of one of America’s most infamous legal eagles to defend itself from the current assault by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

Napster (http://www.naspster.com), which stands accused of the widespread unauthorised dissemination of copied music files, is hiring attorney David Boies – one of the best known antitrust lawyers and a pivotal figure in the DOJ case against Microsoft.

Boies emerged from the Government’s tussle with the software giant as star attorney.

Boies has fought on both sides of the fence rising to fame off the back of his successful defence of IBM in the 1970s, when the world’s largest computer company stood accused of monopolistic practices.

Napster, which is used by around 10 million people, has come under heavy fire from the record industry.

The RIAA claims that the site has cut into sales of compact discs and requested an injunction to shut Napster down.

Napster argues it is merely providing the technology and cannot be held responsible for what its users do online.

Industry experts believe Boies will play the freedom from interference and individuality card to help get the music distributor off the hook.

According to Boies the case raises "important questions as to the extent to which internet directories will remain free to permit individual users to use a directory to communicate and, in some cases, to share files without monitoring and regulating what those users do."

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