Digital Millennium Recording Act – Napster By Patrick Sampson 1. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed suit against MP3 community software maker Napster for copyright infringement. 2. This would be both the musician’s and company’s copyright if the copyrights of works created by employees belong to the employer in the first instance. 3. The scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) helps to protect both musicians and record companies. 4. The Napster case set the standard on the liability of providers of free copyrighted content over an online medium.
Napster tried to use the defense of Fair Use under U. S copyright law, safe harbor under the provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and finally the Audio Home Recording Act which states, “No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.
5. Legal Implications of Napster use of copyrighted material was not protected under fair use and this is very important because it means that any file sharing system which is currently engaging or enabling in the transfer of pirated media can’t defend against their actions by a defense of fair use. 6. The ethical implications of Napster’s online music sharing service are * Professional: stealing perspective on behalf of artists * Unfair: to artists and music industry, artists lose recognition * Common good perspective: violated laws of society Napster being platform for other such software: increase in competition, financial loss, discouraging. 7. The nature of file-sharing networks as it implies, to peer-to-peer and decentralized. There is no central server that uploads stores and downloads content – each user (potentially) acts as a server for each other user. One effect of this is that there is no way for the software provider to control what content is made available for sharing, or to check it for viruses, Trojans, or other malware.