Metallica, Dr. Dre Ask Colleges To Curb Napster Access

Metallica and Dr. Dre are once again appealing to colleges and universities to block student access to Napster.

Last week, attorneys for Metallica sent letters to 11 schools, including Harvard University, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, asking them to restrict students' use of Napster via their respective servers.

Howard E. King, a lawyer representing both Metallica and rapper Dr. Dre in legal actions against the MP3-swapping site, mailed out the first batch of letters last Wednesday and Thursday.

In a copy of the letter obtained by MTV News, King asks the school administrators to "promptly ban access by [their] community to Napster" and suggests that each of the schools has "a moral, ethical, and legal obligation to take appropriate steps to assure that it is not a willing participant in and an enabler of the theft of intellectual property through Napster."

The letter requests that the colleges indicate their

"position... with respect to access to Napster" by September 22.

Other schools receiving the letters last week included Stanford University, Boston University, Princeton University, the University Of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University Of California at Berkeley, the University Of California at Los Angeles, the University Of Virginia, and the Georgia Institute Of Technology.

On Monday, King told MTV News that letters were on the way to 16 other schools: Colgate, University Of Colorado at Boulder, Cornell University, University Of Florida, Duke University, University Of Idaho, Florida State University, University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Michigan State, University Of Oregon, Penn State, University Of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M, University Of Wisconsin at Madison, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Washington State University.

The letters do not expressly threaten any legal action against schools if they do not choose to restrict Napster, but mention

that Metallica had listed Yale University, the University Of Southern California, and Indiana University as co-defendants in the band's lawsuit against Napster filed in April.

All three schools were eventually dropped from the legal action after they voluntarily chose to block access to Napster (see "USC Restricts Napster In Wake Of Metallica Suit").

Metallica and Dre's latest Napster-related move comes less than two weeks after a report issued by the Gartner Group concluded that more schools were choosing to block access to Napster via their campus servers (see "Napster Being Banned On More Campuses, Study Says").

King told MTV News that the letters were sent to schools that had been listed in the Gartner report as not having restricted access to Napster.

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