By Sherri Mabry Gordon
Writer Sherri Mabry Gordon explains how peer-to-peer dossier sharing works, what's criminal and what's now not, and he or she explores new methods of utilizing know-how which may profit all people.
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Extra resources for Are You Downloading Copyrighted Stuff?. Stealing or Fair Use
Moreover, hundreds of colleges and universities started blocking student access to Napster. In April 2000, Metallica, a heavy metal rock group, became the first band to take legal action against Napster, suing it for copyright infringement. Rapper Dr. Dre filed a suit just two weeks later. 3 It was the beginning of a long and heated court battle—a battle that would change Napster forever. Just five months after the RIAA filed its suit, a federal court in San Francisco ruled that Napster was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The NET Act was passed to close a copyright law loophole. A loophole in the law is a way for someone to avoid punishment. Before the NET Act was passed, a person could be punished for copyright infringement only if he or she made money. This loophole first became an issue during a criminal trial against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student named David LaMacchia. LaMacchia transferred, or moved, computer games from one BBS to another BBS. 10 LaMacchia was found not guilty because he was not paid for the games.
The key is that you have to already own a copy—in other words, you purchased or paid for it—to be able to make copies. Here is a summary of what you can do legally: You can make a backup copy of any piece of software or CD you own in case your original gets damaged. You can transfer any piece of software or CD you own to another format. 7 There are a number of things you cannot do with copies of software, CDs, and movies. Here is a summary of what is against the law: You cannot give an MP3 version of a CD you own to a friend.
Are You Downloading Copyrighted Stuff?. Stealing or Fair Use by Sherri Mabry Gordon