.. illenium Copyright Act, were enacted to protect against indirect copyright infringement (7). There is virtually no way to enforce copyright laws on MP3s because it’s so easy to indirectly violate them. When considering what the Internet is, a vast collection of information interconnected for the public, the need for safe harbors becomes apparent. However, it’s these same safe harbors that provide ways to escape liability when an individual does violate copyright laws. Web pages are connected through hyperlinks and search engines so even though a web site might not contain MP3s, it can be linked to other web pages that do (9).
This makes it difficult to zero in on the web site that is violating copyright laws. The problem becomes evident when considering the two types of links, the in-line link and the out link (10). The out link doesn’t provide much information for the destination site and is the most common type of link used on the Internet (10). It simply allows the user to push a button and go to another site. However, an in-line link actually pulls information from another web site into the current page (Anderman and Paez10).
In other words, MP3s could be available through a web page that doesn’t actually host the pirated materials. The problem of linking to pirated material is the easiest way to face liability for infringing materials. For that reason service providers can escape liability by removing themselves from the guidelines set by the safe harbors through in-line links (10). These loopholes make it almost impossible to catch someone who is involved in the copying and distribution of MP3s. Musicians are recognizing that they are losing a lot of money, so they are trying to find some way to put a stop to it and still make money in the process (6).
MP3s eliminate the ownership of a musical piece. This new method for listening to music is threatening the music industry by encouraging copyright infringement of musical works (6). Since MP3s are downloadable for free, no one is going to buy music. Because of this the copyright owner isn’t going to make any money with record labels. Record labels are scared that eventually these new technologies are going to put them out of business.
A recent lawsuit by the Recording Industry Association of America or the RIAA against Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. due to copyright infringement was over royalties (6). The RIAA thought they should get a cut of the profits made by Diamond Multimedia Systems because they were facilitating piracy. Record labels will soon be a thing of the past because most musicians will be on an independent label and eventually sell their music via the Internet (MacDonald 1). Web sites will start paying musicians for the right to host their musical works online and allow members, who have paid a fee to join the service, to download the material in MP3 format (2).
The Secure Digital Music Initiative or SDMI is an example of businesses already beginning to exploit the digital music market (2). mp3.com is an alternative to retail distribution that has the Big Five record labels shaking in their boots(MacDonald1). According to Michael Robertson, CEO of the web-site, mp3.com has captured the digital-music revolution. It’s changing the way people listen to music(qt. in MacDonald 1).
BMG Entertainment is also launching a new web site called GetMusic.com that will sell music online (Anderman and Paez 6). Under SDMI, the distribution of music in digital format won’t violate copyright laws. This new process, SDMI, was planned by the RIAA, which means that it is a last resolve to take control of the music market back and still make money (6). MP3s are available on the Internet for free, and because of this there is no way for a musician to make any money. Right now MP3s violate copyright laws because the majority of them are duplicated without the author’s consent. However, there is a way to distribute MP3s on the Internet and still allow the artist’s to make money.
Because a musical recording is licensed, a fee would have to be paid to the copyright owner for the right to distribute their music online (8). However, the fee paid would only be good for a certain allotted number of transmissions, and monitoring and controlling how many times a MP3 has been downloaded is not easy. There are ways to get around the methods that MP3 distributors are using now to record how many times a file has been downloaded to another computer. System caching is the method in which web sites are stored on a computer (8). Because of this an individual could listen to the same MP3 multiple times off of one download.
This makes it very difficult for the copyright owner to make money from their music because they can easily be cheated out of their share of royalties. An online MP3 distributor can pay the copyright owner to make their musical piece available for a specific number of transmissions and go way beyond that allotted number of downloads without the author even knowing (Anderman and Paez 8). To avoid this regulations were placed on Internet Service Providers that require them to refresh the system cache so often to prevent the MP3 from being available too long (8). Both recording artists and the record industry need to realize that we are approaching a new era of technology in which the Internet will play a key role in everyone’s daily activities. Everything from services to material objects is becoming readily available at the click of a mouse button via the Internet.
Waiting for a musical artist’s new CD to be released only to pay an outrageous price for it is a thing of the past (MacDonald 1). The need for a record label is slowly deteriorating. Eventually every musician will have their own independent label and therefore have their music readily available through the Internet, so mp3s should not violate copyright laws. The sooner record companies stop resisting the era that precedes us, the better for the music lovers all over the world that want every kind of music available at their fingertips without ever leaving their home. Bibliography Works Cited Anderman, Jason M.
and Mauricio F. Paez. Down & Dirty With DMCA. Online. Internet. MacDonald, Patrick. Music Industry Hearing a Whole New Song.
Seattle Times. 4 Oct. 1999. Online. 13 Oct.
1999. Simple Net. Home Page. 13 Oct. 1999.