The paradox of development is that copyrights protection are vital to promote the development of new product and enhanced technology as they are to ensure about safeguarding of well-known ideas. According to the Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA], Internet users illegally download more than 2. 7 billion copyrighted files every month. It is to be noted that there was substantial dropdown in CD shipments by U.
S music companies by more than 100 million units between 1998 and 2002. Further, it has been revealed by Forrester Research, file sharing resulted in the loss or more than $ 700 million to date to the music industry and could result in plummeting of CD sales revenues by about 20% by 2008. Music industry has started to fight back through law suits which intended to warn the public that downloading music for free infringes copyright law and carries factual punishments.
This research essay critically evaluate the extent to which the protection currently offered to internet service providers [the ISP’s] in both Europe and North America and whether it is compatible with the attainment by copyright holders of adequate remedies against infringement. WHAT IS MEANT BY COPYRIGHTS? A copyright represents an original and unique work of authorship in a corporeal form. Thus, the owner of the copyrighted work has the privileges to copy, prepare variant of, distribute, publicly perform and exhibit the work.
The examples of copyrightable subject matter include literary work such as newspaper articles, books, visual creations such as photographs and film, art, dramas, plays, scriptures, musicals or other sound recordings and architectural works. Normally, copyright protection is available throughout the life of the author plus 70 years, 120 years from creation or 95 years from display or presentation to the public, if the work is prepared on behalf of another party.
The copyright statute allows limited copying of copyrighted materials, without permission, for the purpose of teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research under the ‘fair use’ doctrine. NAPSTER CASE: For instance in the USA, Napster company has been sued for the infringement of copyright laws by A& M and other music companies. At last, Napster lost the case as the court ruled that internet consumers who shared music are not a suit of fair dealing.
Free down loading of music is not a problem to a particular nation but it is universal as number of cases and litigation has been filed in most countries on the subject. Napster. com was founded by a 19-year –old Shawn Fanning, a fresh computer graduate from Northeastern University in Boston. Shawn wrote a computer program called “Napster” which allows internet users to download music from other music –lover’s computers via the Internet for free –without downloading through a third-party music provider.
Fanning noticed while he was in college that his college mates were downloading music from the World Wide Web using MP3 technology, software that shrivels music files for easier web transmission. This motivated him to chalk out a way thereby music lovers could share music files over the internet and crafted a software which facilitated them to download the music files without any hassles. He made the Napster online during September, 1999 and it turned to be a record hit instantly. The Recording Industry Association of America [RIAA] sued Napster in Federal District Court of California on December 6, 1999 for alleged copyright infringement.
After several rounds of hearing, the Federal District Court issued a temporary injunction restraining the Napster to offer its free services and asked to shut down temporarily. Aggrieved by this, Napster made an appeal to U. S Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The next day, the Court of Appeals granted temporary reprieve against injunction. The Court of Appeals on February 12, 2001 upheld the lower court ruling confirming that Napster was aware that its clients were swapping copyrighted materials.
According to Audio Home Recording Act, 1992, a legal copy for personal use of any digital resource is legally valid. However, U. S district judge decided that Napster was resorted to copyright infringements. The main contention of the Napster was that its users were sharing music by using Napster’s service, but all the copies of the music they were sharing were legally valid copies for non-commercial and personal usage. Napster contention was that the music files aren’t on the Napster servers as there was no cracking of encryption codes by its software.
Napster another contention was that its service is more or less akin to a search engine and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA] safeguards the search engines against any copyright infringements as they are only providing information that is already available on a digital medium. It took defense under section 512 [a] of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 which provides that Internet service providers will not be held liable for the content that passes through their systems. However, U.
S District Court rejected it and held that ‘Napster ‘is not a ‘service provider’ as it does not actually provide connections to its clients. Napster just only offers address information for two users trying to connect and thus section 512 [a] protections can not be extended to Napster’s service. Napster claimed that it has placed trust on its clients that they will not download or share the copyrighted materials. It was established that though Napster was not engaged in the swapping of copyrighted music, but its clients did.
Recording companies argued that Napster actually engaged in a business and they are enjoying huge profit from their service and hence they were infringing the ability of the music owners of the copyrighted material to spin money off by using their intellectual property. Finally, it was ordered by the Court of Appeals that Napster should be shut down and it should henceforth to cease permitting its clients to swap copyrighted material for free of charge. Napster finally agreed to pay $ 1 billion to the recording industry as a settlement