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A Tasini in waiting-in the Music industry??

January 31, 2002
NYT Times

Record Companies on the Defensive

The major record companies, which two weeks ago surprised analysts by
seeking a temporary suspension in their copyright lawsuit against Napster,
were about to face potentially damaging inquiries into their own behavior
on maintaining copyrights.

According to transcripts made public today, the judge in the case said on
Jan. 16 that she intended to grant a request by Napster to explore whether
the record companies might have colluded to prevent Napster and other
online music competitors from licensing music to sell on the Internet. The
judge, Marilyn Patel of the Federal District Court in Northern California,
also said she would allow Napster to explore whether the record companies
might not control all the copyrights they claimed to own.

...Mark Radcliffe, a copyright lawyer in Silicon Valley, said that if
Napster was permitted to seek evidence about copyright questions, such
evidence could provide the basis for a viable defense in trial. And it
could challenge how much control over music copyrights the labels were
entitled to have, he added.

"The labels are deathly afraid these ownership issues will come up in
court," Mr. Radcliffe said.

....Judge Patel also said she planned to allow Napster to gather evidence
to support its claim that the record companies did not necessarily control
the Internet distribution rights to all the copyrights they claim to own.

--end of excerpt--