Judge who did for Napster now rounds on the recording companies
‘Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, who called both sides “dirty,” said that Napster’s misguided attempts to build a business using illegally obtained music paled in comparison to what could be massive misuse and heavy-handed tactics by the recording industry.
If the labels can’t prove ownership of the copyrights, they can’t ask the courts for damages for copyright infringement. That may not mean Napster is in the clear. It depends on how the court rules on ownership of songs. For instance, if the artists retain ownership it would be up to those artists to make a deal with, or sue, companies like Napster. ‘
According to this CNET account, Judge Patel observed that:
‘The evidence now shows that the plaintiffs have licensed their catalogues of works for digital distribution in what could be an overreaching manner. The evidence also suggests the plaintiffs’ entry into the digital distribution marketplace may run afoul of antitrust laws.’