16/03/2001 It's the battle of the century, a biblical clash of Big Business against The Little People. Or, if you prefer, the Forces Of Laura Norder against the swarming Pirates of the Net. Whichever way you see it, the fact is that the music industry has declared war on its customers and they on it. The battleground: Napster. The weapons: writs and lists versus new software and, it seems, the inherent inability of yer average stude to spell Madonna correctly in the first place. Don't know why they're bothering with Pig Latin. As of today, Napster has managed to unshare around half of its most popular files, causing much disgruntlement among the populace. One reports getting a letter from Mrs Roy Orbison telling them off for sharing Mr Roy's work, so the automated legal threat machine is clearly working well (just what the lawyers wanted -- the general applications of this are unbounded). But those who've used Napster to pad out their enormous collections of obscure artists remain unmoved: as one told me "If I could buy this stuff, I would, and if I can't, who's going to block it?". Quite. One thing's for sure -- this will spawn a thousand MBA theses. Get in early if you want to look cool.