Judge names mediator in Napster case

Tuesday, April 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(SAN FRANCISCO) - A federal judge has named a Silicon Valley high-tech veteran to act as a mediator to sort out technical issues plaguing the record industry and Napster's online song-swapping network, a newspaper Web site reported Monday.

A.J. ``Nick'' Nichols will attempt to smooth disagreements between Redwood City-based Napster Inc. and the record industry about how an injunction ordering the online service to remove all unauthorized music from its site should be handled, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site.

Nichols, who has worked in Silicon Valley since the 1960s, has a doctorate in engineering from Stanford University. He has worked at several technology companies and professional mediation services, including serving as a mediator during a lawsuit between Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

He will report to U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in San Francisco. A meeting is scheduled Tuesday where Napster is expected to report on its progress in blocking unauthorized songs from its site.

The record industry contends Napster is not using all the technology available to keep copyrighted music off its site. The popular song-swapping company disagrees, saying it is doing everything it can to comply with the injunction.