Napster Inc. will be allowed to stay in business during the appeals process, a two-judge panel in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday.
The panel was asked to review a preliminary injunction that was issued by U. S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel last Wednesday. The appeal will be decided in an expedited manner that observers said is almost twice as fast as the court’s “expedited” schedule. A decision is expected by late September or early October. The loser will have the option to appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court.
The Napster site experienced an increase in downloads that some industry observers said indicate that the technology has hit critical mass among American Internet users. The site broke the 800,000 unique visitor mark both on Friday and Saturday, covering more than three percent of all active home Internet users each day.
“The data underscores the consumers’ thirst for MP3 music. Rather than fight this evolution, the entertainment industry should embrace it and develop sensible solutions to capitalize on this market opportunity,” said Allen Weiner, vice president of analytical services at Nielsen//NetRatings, the Internet audience measurement service for the industry from Nielsen Media Research, ACNielsen eRatings.com and NetRatings Inc.