The record industry plans to turn up the heat on Napster. An RIAA spokesperson told Reuters Thursday that the organization will file a court complaint accusing the file-sharing service of failing to comply with a recently revised injunction requiring the removal of copyrighted songs.
"It's clear that Napster is not complying with the court's order," RIAA spokesperson Jano Cabera told the news service. Another spokesperson told MTV News that the organization will file a noncompliance report on Tuesday.
Napster continues to claim that it's doing everything it can to comply with the injunction by blocking songs on lists submitted by record labels and other copyright owners. In a report filed to the court on Tuesday, March 20, Napster said it has blocked 202,000 songs since its last filing on March 12, bringing the total number of blocked songs to 228,569.
In the report, Napster also said that, at record labels' request, it has blocked songs that haven't been officially released yet from artists including Janet Jackson, Jon B and Run-DMC. Additionally, Napster reports that the average number of files shared by each user has dropped from 220 to 110 in the wake of its filtering efforts.
As it did in its first compliance report, Napster again accused the labels of trying to hamper its efforts by submitting inaccurate file names.
Throughout Thursday and Friday, traffic on Napster's many servers varied wildly. The number of users on individual servers was frequently down to less than 5,000, though the number occasionally leapt closer to pre-filtering levels of close to 1million. A report issued Friday (March 23) by Webnoize, an Internet research firm, claims that daily Napster usage is down 25 percent since the company implemented more stringent filtering techniques on March 14.
According to MTVNews.com's latest Napster poll, 28% of those surveyed said they're still using Napster, even though songs are getting harder to find, while an equal number said Napster's hardly worth their time anymore. Another 20% said they don't think much has changed in their Napster experience, but 10% said they've moved on to other file-sharing services like BearShare (to weigh in, check out our current Napster poll HERE).
The next court hearing is set for April 10.
(This report was updated at 2:20 p.m. ET Saturday, March 24, 2001.)
(See "The Napster Files" for complete coverage.)