An Economic View Of Napster Lawsuit Essay

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An Economic View Of Napster Lawsuit Essay, Research Paper One of the most exciting and innovative ways to get music these days is not in the mall and not at a huge mega electronic store, it’s not even by a mail order CD club, it sits right on a desk and can allow you access to almost any kind of music available right in our home. Technology is changing the way we listen to music now downloading music from NAPSTER on the Internet is as easy if not a lot easier than going to the store and buying the CD. MP3 is a community of near CD quality digital recording of a musical piece that is compressed so it can be distributed through the Internet. It seems the high prices, new technology, and a big one is availability are causing most music lovers to turn to the Internet to listen

to their music. It’s convenient to search a database for a song you’ve been wanting to hear by your favorite artist, download it, and copy it on to a CD. More and more people are doing this because with the help of search engines it’s possible to find any song imaginable and download it for free. What most people don’t realize is that the reproduction of a musical work, distribution of copies of a musical piece, and the public performance of the work without the copyright owner’s consent are all violations of copyright laws. Catching people who violate copyright laws is very hard to find out just who is a fault. Is it the web site promoting pirated music or is it the user who downloads it? Do to digital audio compression technologies and using special software that is

readily available and free on the internet, one can download a MPEG 1 layer 3 or MP3 for short, play the music on there computer and with read/write CD’s, even make a CD of there own. That would mean people can from their own home create illegal copies of the copyrighted material at or near industrial compact disc quality. Now they even have portable MP3 players so you don’t even have to burn a CD, you can just download it to the player were it stores it digitally. Being so convenient and easy to do with such minimal risk of being punished. As a matter of law the creation of an MP3 file and sharing it in a noncommercial way does not constitute copyright infringement. In enacting the AHRA (Audio Home recording act of 1992) congress relied upon a report by the office of

technology assessment on home taping that deemed taping of cds or records borrowed from friends, and giving copies of one s own cds or records to be synonymous with personal use. Because, Personal use under the AHRA is non-infringing, even if it could be argued that such use was not a total bar to a copyright infringement claim such use would still be sufficient to bar a claim for contributory or vicarious infringement against Napster. Napster Claims that it does not substantially participate in infringing activity. Napster maintains that it only provides a service for locating MP3 users and serves as a conduit for the users who download the files from other participants NOT Napster. The Record industries answer to this argument is that without the searching and indexing

functions provided by Napster File sharing would not be as easy. Napster does not have a database of files that it shares or does Napster promote the illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Everytime Napster has received claims of infringement at a specific location; Napster has blocked the conduct by terminating the user account and the IP address of the users computer making it impossible for him or her to reregister for the service. It seems that there is a fine line between infringement and fair use. The record industry has known of the existence of the software for creating MP3s from cds but has not intervened until two teenage kids stunned the world by creating an overnight thorn in the record industries side. Studies conducted by Warner in 1998 concluded that the