Ladies and gentleman, start your downloads.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule Monday whether to reinstate a lower court's preliminary injunction that would shut Napster down.
The court took on Napster's appeal of a U.S. district judge's shut-down order in July and allowed the service to stay in operation. A three-judge panel has been reviewing arguments from the file-sharing service and its opponents, the five major record labels and the RIAA.
Even if it doesn't shutter Napster, the decision to be announced by the San Francisco court Monday at 11 a.m. PT will clear the way for a trial to determine whether Napster violates copyright law, as the labels claim.
BMG, one of the so-called "big five" labels, and its parent company, Bertelsmann AG, have entered into an agreement to drop BMG's lawsuit if the label and Napster can work together to create a subscription-based service that would pay royalties to labels and their artists. In January, indie label TVT Records dropped its suit and decided to work with the file-sharing service.
Representatives for Napster and its lawyer, David Boies, had no comment Friday (February 9). A spokesperson for the RIAA was unavailable at press time.
In operation less than two years, Napster has grown to serve more than 30 million users.
For complete digital music coverage, check out the Digital Music Reports.