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Spirit of Napster lives on as encryption evades searches

A Toronto University-based enterprise claims to be making a mockery of Napster's attempts to remove illegal mp3 files from its server through simple encryption.
Written by Chris Holbrook, Contributor on

A Toronto University-based enterprise claims to be making a mockery of Napster's attempts to remove illegal mp3 files from its server through simple encryption.

PulseNewMedia has launched NapCameBack.com a web site that takes the names of mp3 files in the Napster directory and renames them, via a downloadable software encoder. By taking the last letter of each file name and moving it to the front - for example, making bad boy rapper Eminem 'mineme'. This means they won't match with titles on the database provided by record companies. Just yesterday, Napster sent federal court documentation stating that it was complying with a preliminary injunction issued last week, requiring the company to block around 135,000 copyrighted works from being traded. Under the injunction, Napster is also responsible for removing file names with minor spelling variations. The deadline for the removal of the first batch of illegitimate songs falls tomorrow. However, Jose Lopez, internet technology analyst at Frost and Sullivan, dismissed the likelihood that Napster will ever clear its server of illegal content. Lopez said: "I have my doubts. Napster can't filter the songs themselves and even though there are vendors out there with filtering solutions, I don't know whether they will be able to cope with the specific demands this case requires." As such, Lopez conceded that total closure of the site may be the only option. Rock group Metallica, Napster's original adversary, moved to have mp3's of their music blocked in May last year though versions were still available today, highlighting the mammoth task the firm has reluctantly agreed to.
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