"...Apparently hoping to avoid the firestorm of fan criticism that Metallica received recently for shutting down Napster MP3-trading accounts, Dr. Dre has asked Napster to block MP3 copies of his work from being traded on its software — but not to block the users allegedly trading that work.
Wednesday (May 17), the rapper/producer turned over a list of 239,612 Napster user IDs to the company, according to papers filed by his lawyer, Howard King. He charges that the users are trading 935,509 near-CD-quality copies of 34 songs, including "The Watcher" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Still D.R.E." (RealAudio excerpt), for which he owns the copyright.
Hard-rock outfit Metallica recently gave the San Mateo, Calif., company a list of 317,000 users allegedly trading copyrighted work using Napster, all of whom have since had their access to the software blocked. About one-tenth of those users have applied to have their accounts reinstated.
But unlike Metallica, Dr. Dre turned over a list of "MD5" files. Each MD5 is an electronic signature file linked to a specific MP3 copy of a song, according to King. With that information, Napster can block files without shutting down accounts, he wrote.
Because Metallica did not provide the MD5 information, Napster could block only the accounts of users trading Metallica MP3s, not the MP3s themselves. The move has generated bad feelings toward the band from several Metallica fans, who have been posting their complaints in online forums..."