So, on Friday, in a desparate attempt to avoid getting shut down, Napster announced they're going to implement sophisticated technology to block songs that copyright holders have identified as protected. This was supposed to happen this weekend, but it's nearly 3pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, and I'm still getting hits on Napster when I type in Metallica.

This begs numerous questions, and belies a fundamental flaw in Napster. The questions are:

This underscores the flaw that Napster is dependent on filenames (and to a lesser extent id3 tags) to identify music. Basically, filtering filenames will probably slow people down for a few days. Also, being dependent on this inconsistent nomenclature prevents Napster from doing cool, useful things like identifying multiple copies of a song, and geographically prioritizing data, or load balancing song requests by redoing search order, and the like. I've always thought that Napster is clumsy, and this whole thing just reiterates that. There's no way for Napster to really know what song is what, they're dependent on users not lying.

I have a feeling this isn't going to stop the injunction.

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