Preliminary injunction filed against file-swapping network

NEW YORK — Madster.com, formerly known as Aimster, Wednesday became the latest online file-swapping network to fall prey to the legal onslaught of the record business.

Judge Marvin E. Aspen approved the Recording Industry Assn. of America’s request for a preliminary injunction against the service, which rose to prominence last year by adapting Napster-like functions onto America Online’s AOL Instant Messaging service.

Company changed its name after AOL filed suit for trademark infringement.

Aspen said the injunction will go into effect in five business days. The judge had called for a temporary halt in the industry’s ongoing copyright infringement suit against Madster after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

“This decision helps to support the continued development of the legitimate online music market for fans, which is, of course, our goal in all of our online enforcement activities,” RIAA topper Hilary Rosen said in a statement.

Madster reps were not available for comment.

It’s been a tough week so far for peer-to-peer pioneers. On Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge nixed the proposed sale of Napster’s assets to German media conglom Bertelsmann for just under $10 million, plus $90 million in unpaid debts.

Napster execs had said earlier that the company most likely would have to fold if the deal didn’t go through.

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