Court clears Napster to go back online


Former renegade webcaster Napster could be back in business soon. A federal appeals court on Wednesday gave embattled song-swap service Napster the green light to resume business over the Internet, Reuters reports.

Overruling a lower court judge who had demanded more assurances on copyright protection, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Napster - voluntarily offline all month - could resume operations "pending further order of the court." The decision by the court's three judge panel overruled an earlier ruling by federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, who on July 11 instructed Napster to stay offline until it could show it had done everything in its power to make its new song-filtering system 100 percent effective.

Napster officials expressed pleasure with the appeals court decision, but did not to say if the company would immediately resume trading music. Napster has asserted its intention to go legit as a subscription music service after settling copyright suits brought against it by major record labels.