Napster's file-trading service remains closed, following the US Court of Appeals' rejection of Napster's bid to have a shutdown order overturned.
Napster has declined to comment on the Court's ruling, but in a written statement, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade group representing the major record companies, called the ruling a "strong endorsement" of its position on file blocking and praised the court's decision.
Napster closed its MP3 file-trading network in July 2001. At its height it had up to 60 million users. A barrage of lawsuits from record companies and the RIAA closed the company down until it could prevent the trading of copyright-protected material.
Prior to its shutdown, and as a result of the litigation, the company had been engaged in a series of attempts to filter copyright works from its service. It had wrangled in court with the record companies over how the RIAA would give Napster information about what files would have to be filtered out.
Napster had argued that the original trial judge's ruling was vague, that the court lacked the authority to modify its initial injunction against the company, that the shutdown order was too harsh, and that the judge had used a technical advisor inappropriately in arriving at the ruling. In order to overturn the rulings, the appeals court would have had to find that she committed legal errors.
The court denied all of Napster's motions.
In January, Napster began beta-testing a new service, for which users pay for access and trade copy-protected songs.