Harvard Stays Clear of Napster Battle

Many other universities, including Brown, Oregon State, University of Washington and Northwestern, have already blocked access to Napster due to the excessive strain that its software was causing on their servers.

Metallica also hired NetPD, a consulting firm, to monitor Napster for users who illegally traded its music. Metallica brought the resulting list of more than 300,000 users to Napster's attention and insisted that these users be banned from its service under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a law passed in 1998 to deal with digital media.

Napster has since complied, and several Harvard students are among the many who found their accounts terminated.


Harvard has noticeably been left out of Metallica's lawsuit--in part because, unlike Yale, Indiana and USC, it never instituted a partial ban of the software.

According to Yale Director of Information Technology Services Daniel Updegrove, that school banned Napster use from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays because the service was using up to one-third of the network bandwidth.

Howard King, a lawyer for Metallica, told the Yale Daily News that the band interpreted this partial restriction as a blatant disregard for copyright law.

In late April, Yale implemented a full ban of Napster use on its campus, and Metallica dropped the school from its lawsuit.

King did not return several requests for comment.

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