The last week of July was a busy one for music-industry attorneys—and, by some measures, a successful one. As almost everyone in the world is aware, on Wednesday, July 26, the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) won a round in its fight against Napster
, a San Mateo, California–based software company that enables the sharing of MP3 music files over the Internet. On that day, in a US Federal court in San Francisco, Judge Marilyn Patel decreed that the widespread sharing of music using Napster was a form of wholesale copyright violation, and ordered the service shut down effective midnight on Friday, July 28. Napster, in turn, appealed and won a stay of execution two days after Judge Patel's ruling that will enable it to remain online and in business until at least mid-September.