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Napster garners support from judge

Napster received a boost on Friday after Judge Marilyn Patel, who is presiding over the lawsuit brought on by the five major record labels, said the once high-flying music sharing service could seek evidence that the labels are trying to monopolize the distribution of digital music, according to The New York Times. “These ventures look bad, smell bad and sound bad,” Patel wrote, regarding Pressplay and MusicNet, two label-run music sharing services that launched after Napster’s demise. If the labels are found to have acted illegally, it could invalidate their lawsuit against Napster. For their part, the labels maintain that they are trying to license distribution rights to Internet start-ups, and say the industry cannot support music that is distributed freely.

Also Friday, Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow openly criticized the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which prohibits the distribution of software that can disable copyright protections, according to Reuters. “It sucks. It’s unconstitutional. Information does want to be free, that’s how the human mind works,” Barlow said.

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