Napster has instructed one of the principle government lawyers from the Microsoft antitrust case for its fight against the record industry in the US. David Boies is regarded as one of the best antitrust lawyers in the US.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), is bringing action against the MP3 file swapping service to stop Napster’s customers from unauthorised copying and disseminating of their artists’ recordings. Last week it requested a court order to stop the practice in advance of the next scheduled hearing of the case in San Fransisco late next month.

The RIAA says Napster is “causing irreparable harm to plaintiffs and the entire music industry.” Napster argues that it merely provides technology and that it cannot be held responsible for what its users do on-line.

In a statement David Boies questioned, “whether an internet directory can be liable for permitting users to engage in sharing, which is not only permitted but encouraged on a small scale, simply because the scale of the internet greatly increases the extent of the sharing.”

He added that there were “important questions as to the extent to which internet directories will remain free to permit individual users to use a directory to communicate and, in some cases, to share files without monitoring and regulating what those users do.”

We are processing your request. \n Thank you for your patience. An error occurred. This could be due to inactivity on the page - please try again.