Bay City News Service
The University of California has rejected a request by rock band Metallica to block access by UC Berkeley and UCLA students to Napster, the controversial Internet site used to download songs for free.
Attorney Howard E. King, who is representing Metallica and rap artist Dr. Dre, asked 11 universities to block access to Napster through their campus computer servers. The universities were asked to respond by today.
University of California officials did agree to cooperate with King, however, “when we are informed of any specific alleged activity,” according to a letter by UC General Counsel James E. Holst.
In the letter, Holst suggested King report instances of copyright infringement to the designated agent of each campus, “who will address your concerns promptly.”
The federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides that if an Internet service provider – such as a college campus – establishes its own agent to hear allegations of and block access to copyright infringements, it will not be held responsible for the infringements.
San Mateo-based Napster has been the focus of controversy due to its ability to allow users to “share” music over the Internet. Members of Metallica, claiming that the service has allowed millions of copies of their songs to be illegally downloaded, are among musicians leading the charge against Napster.