CS 301 ESSAY - CS 301 ESSAY The development of Napster...

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CS 301 ESSAY The development of Napster around the turn of the 21st century created shockwaves and a ripple effect throughout the entertainment industry that has become a precedent for the control of intellectual property rights available through the internet. Numerous lawsuits filed by the entertainment industry, most namely , paved the way for how courts decide intellectual property and copyright infringement on the internet. Issues that will be discussed are precedent cases with which the court decided the Napster case, and the case of MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. , another landmark case regarding contributory infringement. Contributory infringement occurs when a company markets a product which encourages infringement of copyrighted works, whereas direct infringement is the act of illegal use of copyrighted works without proper authority. Before the invention of the internet, the legal term of fair use described the action of using copyrighted works within specific requirements. Fair use was the basis of Napster's argument of legitimacy in the field of electronically downloaded music. The concept of fair use was integrated into the Copyright Act of 1976, and was described into three categories. Sampling, space-shifting, and permissive distribution are all acceptable forms of fair use determined not to hinder the rights of the copyright holder. In the Napster case, Napster claimed that their software had non-infringing uses, such as playing music from a copyrighted CD(space shifting), sampling songs to be downloaded, and paying for songs via permissive distribution. On Napster's side was the landmark case of Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc . , also known as the "Betamax" case where it was determined that the VCR/Betamax could still be sold because it had substantial non- infringing uses. Another argument of Napster was that Napster is not in the position of profiting from copyright infringement, meaning they do not make money off of the infringing acts of its users. Overwhelmingly, the opinions of Napster violating the terms of fair use prevailed. It was
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This note was uploaded on 06/27/2010 for the course CS 301 taught by Professor Stew.art during the Spring '10 term at SD State.

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CS 301 ESSAY - CS 301 ESSAY The development of Napster...

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