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Filter decreased Napster use by 59 percent

Posted March. 16, 2001 19:22,   


File-sharing on the Napster music-swapping web site has dropped 59 percent as the company works to block the flow of copyrighted material through its system, the Internet consulting company Webnoize said Thursday.

Napster users downloaded half as many files and the average number of files shared dropped 59 percent Wednesday, as music aficionados sought other sources of free music, Webnoize said.

"Napster is successfully filtering many songs from its system. It`s not just the number of files available that has fallen sharply. The number of downloads per user has dropped by half," Webnoize analyst Matt Bailey said.

Last week, US District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered Napster to filter out copyrighted songs from its system. So far, record companies have given Napster a list of 135,000 songs they say they own.

Napster`s efforts to comply with the court order are being stymied by the website`s own vanguard technology, as the song files themselves reside on users` computers while Napster`s computers provide a constantly updating index of those songs.

Titles wink on and off the Napster system as 60-million-plus users with the files log on and off, making catching and filtering the titles a daunting task.

Complicating matters, free-music fans are creating websites to work around Napster filters by -- for example -- shifting song titles over one character