LAW_723 - Law 723 Final Paper Is it possible for industries...

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Law 723 Final Paper Is it possible for industries that deal with intellectual property, namely the music industry, to counter the recent extraordinarily high levels of copyright infringement? This question has plagued the minds of industry leaders and law makers as they scramble to deal with this ongoing problem caused partly by the popularity explosion of the internet. This is a relatively new but very important aspect of internet law because it deals with a new style of crime that so far has been undeterred by lawmaking efforts. It is important to understand the background of this ongoing issue, as well as the current remedies available to deal with copyright infringement over the internet. Also it is important to evaluate possible future solutions to determine if this problem is nearing a permanent solution. One thing is certain, P2P applications such as Napster and KaZaa have created an easy way to infringe on the copyrights of others and it is causing major problems for the legal system because of their inability to fully destroy copyright infringement over the internet. The internet and its increasing availability to the general public has continuously created issues over copyrights and licenses. One such example is the case of the United States v. ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) where the definition of a live performance of a musicians work was in question. When a piece of music is created it takes on a dual identity; the composition and arrangement of notes is protected by copyrights as a musical work, and the actual sound that you can hear when you listen to the musical work when it is played is protected as a musical performance. Some companies recognized the beneficial aspects of the internet as a tool for selling music and began to setup online carriers to distribute to the public. These companies; including America Online, RealNetworks, and Yahoo! quickly
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became under attack by ASCAP and associated organizations in terms of licensing. ASCAP argued that “all digital transmissions of music constitute ‘public performances,’ whether they are pure downloads (full or conditional), pure streaming transmissions, or hybrid transmissions.8 Therefore, the PROs have long insisted that a download provider, in order to transmit music files over the Internet to its customers, is legally obligated to pay the PROs for a public performance license in addition to the mechanical license that the download provider must already obtain from HFA.”(Knobler, 2008). Because the digital file of music is “transmitted” to the purchaser, ASCAP believed that this transmission of the work constituted a public performance, as the music is also “transmitted” to the listener. The judge in this case ruled that this was a false claim because a public performance must be perceived by the consumer and a digital transmission of music cannot possibly be perceived in any way. This is important to understand the distinction because a positive ruling for ASCAP would have resulted in any legal transmission of musical
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LAW_723 - Law 723 Final Paper Is it possible for industries...

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