This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

Napster Not Napping
Apr 25 2000 12:00 AM PDT

Stories about Napster's legal troubles have bubbled along for a few weeks now. Grok could detect traces of it even when news of Microsoft (MSFT) was hogging everybody's front page.

First the frownies: The Register reported that Dr. Dre's threatened lawsuit against Napster would be filed today. And the lawyer who's been doing all the filing hinted that more bands would soon - ahem - follow suit.

CNET (CNET) reported that Indiana University (dossier) had followed Yale's lead, becoming the second of the three schools named in Metallica's earlier action to ban Napster from the campus.

Now the smileys: The third university named by Metallica, the University of Southern California (dossier), is sticking by Napster, albeit with qualified support. ran an AP feed quoting the restrictions USC intends to erect: Napster can be used on campus "only for demonstrably legal purposes . . . and under university supervision"

And the Mercury News and Salon covered hard-rock band Limp Bizkit's "We love Napster" announcement. The band is planning a 10-city tour, free to its fans; the Netco will underwrite the tour's cost to the tune of $1.8 million. Salon's Eric Boehlert teased the ironies out of some tangled music-biz relationships, as bands, labels and managers line up for and against Napster.

Finally, Upside ran a Sam Williams interview with Columbia law professor Eben Moglen, who painted the biggest imaginable historical picture of the Napster controversy and other intellectual-property battles. Moglen, noting that "judges are always a generation older than the world they're deciding about," advised us to expect decades of battle before society settles these issues. - Keith Dawson

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Limp Bizkit Takes Napster's Side in Net Music Controversy (Reuters)
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