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Napster Gets Help From Gracenote

March 14, 2001|Jon Healey

Napster Inc. enlisted the help of Berkeley-based Gracenote in blocking copyrighted songs from its online music-sharing service, as required by a federal court injunction. A single song might be traded on the Napster service under a wide variety of names, yet the pretrial injunction requires Napster to block all such variants when notified by the labels or music publishers. Napster's deal with Gracenote gives it access to the latter's music-recognition database, which includes about 140,000 variations on 250,000 artist names and about 3 million variations on more than 9 million songs. David Hyman, president of Gracenote and a self-described Napster fan, said the variants were culled from artist and song names typed by CDDB users. For example, he said, "We've got 50 different ways 'N Sync is spelled in our database." Napster officials expect to integrate the CDDB variants into their file-filtering system within a week.

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