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Appeals court to rule Monday on the future of Napster Inc.

SHARE Appeals court to rule Monday on the future of Napster Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The federal appeals panel considering Napster Inc.'s immediate fate will issue its ruling Monday in the high profile music-sharing lawsuit, the court announced Friday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a decision by the three-judge panel will be released by 11 a.m. The decision will be posted at the court's Internet site.

The court, which in the past year has issued rulings in favor of technology despite concerns of copyright infringement, national security and Internet monopolies, heard the recording industry's case in October against Napster, whose site acts as a gateway for millions of online surfers to exchange and record copyrighted music.

The recording industry wants Napster shut down, alleging it is contributing to widespread copyright infringement, and is pursuing legal action against the company in federal court in San Francisco.

The question before the appeals court is whether to remove Napster from the Internet or allow it to keep operating while that case continues. The 9th Circuit temporarily halted a federal judge's July order shutting down Napster so it could decide Napster's short-term status for itself.

Napster maintains it is just providing a service for users to share music and not all of the music is copyright protected.