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Internet Publishing and Digital Rights:
The Changing Balance between Access and Ownership

(Released July 2004)

  by Alison Knight  


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  1. Pirates loot the film and music giants' coffers

    Doward, Jamie

    Observer; 8 Feb 2004, pp.16-17

    It is now apparent that an increasing number of pirated movies are perfect copies, raising fears that a network of industry insiders, from awards judges to distributors, are becoming bootleggers. This would explain why many films are now available on the black market weeks, sometimes months, before their release dates. The growing role of organised crime in media piracy has set alarm bells ringing among the intelligence agencies. There are links between media piracy, trafficking in weapons and people, and pornography.

  2. Why the suits are calling the tune

    Ayres, Chris

    Times; 26 Jan 2004, Section 2 pp.4-5

    914 individual Americans are being sued for millions of dollars by the Recording Industry Association of America for breaking copyright laws by downloading music from the Internet - with the latest batch of 532 lawsuits filed last Wednesday. So far, no one in Britain has been sued; the record companies, however, have made it clear that illegal music downloaders on this side of the Atlantic could be next. (Quotes from original text)

  3. Is this man the unacceptable face of the music business?

    Atton, Chris; Bulkley, Kate; Sexton, Paul; Terazono, Emiko

    Financial Times; 4 Nov 2003, Creative business pp.8-9

    Kazaa's Alan Morris defends his product against charges that it encourages illegal downloading. Sexton interviews Morris, while Atton, Terazono and Bulkley report that he is not alone in challenging the accepted view of copyright. (Original abstract - amended)

  4. At war with copyright

    Quint, Barbara

    Information Today; 20 (9) Oct 2003, pp.7

    Discusses copyright in the infotainment field. Warns that consumers and their information professional representatives need to keep a constant watch to see which new alterations in the law might extend the power of vendors over their markets. If people do not pay attention, copyright law developments and new forms of intellectual property "protections" may slip by without much consumer input. Reports on the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) launch of an attack on consumers with lawsuits designed to instil fear in file-swapping users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has started countersuits against RIAA, and techies have launched alternative services that employ techniques designed to make users' identities impenetrable. Notes a shrinkage in the public domain following the Sonny Bono Act, which extendedthe duration of copyrights.

  5. The day the music died?

    Kaser, Dick

    Information Today; 20 (9) Oct 2003, pp.16

    Reports that in September 2003 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed copyright-infringement suits against 261 individuals for allegedly "illegally distributing substantial amounts (averaging more than 1,000 copyrighted music files each) of copyrighted music on peer-to-peer networks". One of the accused was a 12-year-old girl. The RIAA claims that, since it announced its intent to go after individual file-sharers, its surveys show that "the public understanding that song-sharing on peer-to-peer networks is illegal" has risen from 37%in Jun to 61% in Aug.

  6. Striking back

    France, Mike; Grover, Ronald

    Business Week; 29 Sep 2003, pp.85-86

    Looks at how the U.S. music industry plotted its crusade against Web pirates. From a purely logistical standpoint, this antipiracy Campaign is the most complex and controversial one in history. According to Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, nothing about this campaign was improvised; all the details were thought through long before the first lawsuit was filed. Music companies are the first to wage a wide-scale attack against people who steal digital property over the Net, and therefore, the RIAA's legal war is being closely scrutinized by everyone from artists to civil libertarians,not to mention managers in industries facing similar threats.

  7. The recording industry faces the music as online distribution Becomes more popular

    Thomas, Daniel

    Computer Weekly; 8 Jul 2003, pp.18

    After years trying to stifle the growth of online music downloading, the major record labels appear to have finally acknowledged the distribution potential of the Internet. The success of Apple Computer's online iTunes Music Store, which sold over 5 million tracks in just 8 weeks after it launched in April, has persuaded firms like Warner and EMI that the Internet can drive rather than harm CD sales. EMI has revealed ambitious plans to offer more than 140,000 of its tracks online to European consumers. More than 20 online retailers, including HMV, Freeserve and MSN, have signed up to the scheme, which will enable customers to burn tracks onto CD-ROMS, copy tracks onto portable players and buy singles before they are released in stores. However, the emergence of legal downloading services has a number of implications for IT directors in the music industry, including: ensuring websites can accept micropayment services allowing customers to spend between 5p and 5 online; implementing a tracking system such as the Global Release Identifier that allows publishers to ensure artists are compensated; and add Digital Rights Management software on tracks so music cannot be passed freely to third parties. (Quotes from original text)

  8. Big brother invades the campus and workplace: infotainment and the copyright cops

    Ebbinghouse, C

    Searcher; 11 (5) May 2003, p.18-23

    Reviews the current state of the ongoing struggle between the recording industry and those wishing to gain access to music and entertainment on the Internet. Focuses on the activities of the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Music Publisher's Association (NMPA) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) in joining forces to bring pressure to bear on academia, particularly the colleges and universities to seek out and remove questionable files from their computers. It is hoped that this current action sparks off further debate concerning the issues of individual freedom, personal responsibility, privacy, security and acceptable use.

  9. Enforcement of DMCA criminal penalties suffers setback

    Gasaway, L

    Information Outlook; 7 (3) Mar 2003, p.22-3

    Discusses 2 cases concerning the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which did not result in prosecution. Section 1201 of this Act is known as the anti-circumvention provision, and it includes criminal as well as civil penalties. The 1st test of these criminal penalties was U.S. v. ElcomSoft. A Russian company was charged with creating software that could remove the use restrictions contained in Adobe Acrobat PDF files and files formatted for the Adobe ebook reader, and selling the software over the Internet. In a similar case, the USA pressured Norway to file criminal charges against a 19 year old creator of DVD encryption software, developed when he was only 15. Because Norway does not have anti-circumvention legislation, he was tried under criminal digital piracy laws.

  10. A real song and dance

    Brass, M

    Information World Review; (183) Sep 2002, p.18, 21

    The Internet and the availability of the MP3 file compression format, that has facilitated the downloading and swapping of digital music, has faced the music industry with a serious challenge to its traditional approach to selling and licensing music in a form that split the rights on a geographical and artist basis. The legal backlash brought about by the music industry, particularly the lawsuit against Napster, was used as a framework for a discussion of likely future ways for the industry to ensure its continuing profitability and survival, especially in the ways that copyright might be enforced and protected.

  11. Digital downloads, access codes, and US copyright law

    Landau, M

    International Review of Law, Computers and Technology; 16 (2) Jul 2002, p.149-70

    Article included in a special issue devoted to the theme: Intellectual property. There has been much controversy and litigation, regarding the legal status of unloading and downloading music and video files via, Napster and other file-sharing services or software. In addition, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the difference between decryption of copy code for purposes of 'access' and purposes of 'copying'. In recent cases in the USA, courts have: found liable for infringement; found Napster liable for infringement; and held that the posting of DeCSS, software to defeat the copy code used on DVD videos, was an infringement. Addresses the legal issues related to, Napster, and DeCSS by discussing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Audio Home Recording Act and the 'fair use' doctrine. In doing so, it examines arguments presented by various sides and presents the author's views on the scope and interpretation of the various statutes. In addition, it explores whether traditional concepts of 'rights' and liability should apply and whether expanded use of compulsory licences, blanket licences, and/or subscription models of distribution are fitting in the electronic age. Finally, the question of whether a contract model of distribution for content is at odds with the guiding principles of copyright law is analyzed. (Original abstract)

  12. The music wars

    Conhaim, W W

    Link-Up (USA); 19 (2) Mar/Apr 2002, p.3, 8-9

    The listening to, and downloading of, music is becoming one of the most popular applications of the Internet, with 38 per cent of the US users regularly listening to music from the World Wide Web. According to market research conducted by Edison Media Research, some of these music downloaders, who comprise Americans aged 16 to 49, have been downloading music for years from the Web, have not bought a music CD-ROM or cassette in the past year; a finding which the music industry finds disturbing. The radical change in the US music industry that the Internet may be triggering is considered with particular reference to Napster,, peer-to-peer music exchange and the recent court cases involving copyright issues. Concludes with a review of fee based music services on the Web.

  13. Technological and social drivers of change in the online music industry

    Fox, M

    First Monday; 7 (2) Feb 2002, No page numbers

    The full text of this electronic journal article can be found at [URL:]. Considerable attention has been given to the legal implications arising from the distribution of music in a digital format via the Internet. However, less attention has been paid to the technological and social drivers of change in the music industry. Demonstrate the significant impact that social and technological forces have on the music industry, especially regarding lowering barriers to entry. (Original abstract)

  14. Music in the age of free distribution: MP3 and society

    Kasaras, K

    First Monday; 7 (1) Jan 2002, No page numbers

    The full text of this electronic journal article can be found at [URL:]. Presents and critically discusses the phenomenon of music piracy on the World Wide Web. The main arguments approach the phenomenon from two directions. The first one attempts to present the MP3 phenomenon as a part of the challenges that the music industry had to face. It is argued that in the past several technological developments have already challenged the music industry's status quo in similar ways. The second direction is attempting to situate the MP3 phenomenon in its general technological, economical and political framework. In other words, the MP3 phenomenon should be examined as a part of the cultural transformation that the Internet 'explosion' produces on a global scale. (Original abstract)

  15. Musique et Internet. Music and the Internet

    Rettel, G

    Bulletin des Bibliotheques de France; 47 (2) 2002, p.45-50

    Explains the technical and economic aspects of the dissemination of music via the Internet and presents a typology and list of Web sites. Discusses the implications for libraries of audio technologies in terms of lending and producers' intellectual property and identifies their position regarding the use of music resources and the Web.

  16. Research on intellectual property right problems of peer-to-peer networks

    Dong, Y; Li, M; Chen, M; Zheng, S

    Electronic Library; 20 (2) 2002, p.143-50

    Article included in a special issue devoted to the theme: [The impact of computer games]. The Napster case has drawn enormous attention to digital intellectual property right problems of online file swapping. These peer-to-peer network technologies represent a powerful new paradigm for networking. Attempts to sort out the intellectual property right problems of peer-to-peer networks, in order to deal with potential digital piracy to avoid similar litigation. If libraries can embrace peer-to-peer technologies into their own services, they will possibly develop new service models, or improve existing ones. (Original abstract)

  17. EMI blames scourge of piracy for drop in music sales

    Cope, N

    Independent; 20 Nov 2002, p.24

    EMI, the worldas third largest music business, has called on governments to crack down on piracy in order to protect intellectual copyright, but observers say that piracy is being used by the music industry to cover up other failings. (Quotes from original text)

  18. Ron 'n' roll suicide

    Lawton, G

    New Scientist; 175 (2350) 6 Jul 2002, p.42-5

    When the record industry introduced the CD nearly 20 years ago the record industry and music sales boomed. Now these CDs and their digital music have given rise to a serious threat to its profitability and survival. The idea that people could swap digital music files over the Internet gave rise to Web sites such as Napster and this service and its successors have caused the record industry to feel threatened and to seek a way of countering the threat. The major record labels plan to launch a technological and legal battle against file-trading networks such as KaZaA and Grokster, while at the same time invading their territory with official websites that give fans the music they want, but at a price. It is not easy to see what the eventual outcome will be but it seems possible that the same mix of technology and legislation that is being aimed at the pirates could also be turned against more innocuous infringers, such as people who copy a CD to play in their car or who make a compilation tape for a friend. (Quotes from original text)

  19. Music and the internet: friends or foes?

    Mason, R

    Economic Review; 19 (3) Feb 2002, p.30-3

    Investigates how the ability to download music performances from the Internet raises some interesting economic issues about copyright and incentives. (Original abstract)

  20. Challenging intellectual property law in the Internet: an overview of the legal implications of the MP3 technology

    Anestopoulou, M

    Information and Communications Technology Law; 10 (3) Oct 2001, p.319-37

    Article included in a special issue devoted to the theme: Multidisciplinary perspectives on E-commerce. Attempts to provide an understanding of the contrast between the fundamental notion surrounding the Internet that global society should benefit from access to free flow of information, whilst unauthorized copying of material normally protected by copyright can be facilitated. Focuses on the legal implications of the emergence and widespread use of the MP3 technology for the digital compression and distribution of audio music files over the Internet. The analysis explores issues of copyright infringement and unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted music over the Internet as highlighted in two separate cases concerning two start-up Internet companies, and Napster. Additionally, to the extent that the outcome of the aforementioned cases are likely to influence the future of copyright protection in the online environment, addresses the legal implications of the MP3 technology in relation to the applicability, adequacy and effectiveness of the existing legal framework to reach a fair balance between the rights of the users of the Internet to free access to information and the protection of the rights of copyright holders, thus providing us with the opportunity to question the fundamentals of copyright protection in the electronic environment. (Original abstract)

  21. Giving away music to make money: independent musicians on the Internet

    Pfahl, M

    First Monday; 6 (8) Aug 2001, No page numbers

    The full text of this electronic journal article can be found at [URL:]. No one has felt the impact of music on the Internet more than the independent musician. The recording industry has dominated the production and distribution of music for many years. The big six recording labels are making a push to incorporate the Internet into their distribution process. Standing in their way is the issue of security. It seems that music files on the Internet, no matter how secure they may seem, are susceptible to tampering. This will force a shift in distribution away from selling music on the Internet in compact disc or MP3 file form and towards artists creating communities of shared interest that provide music to their audiences free of charge. New revenue sources will be created using streaming audio and video technology in a pay-per-view format, among others. This will drive the demand to see an artist in concert and increase the revenue that is generated from live performances. Addresses the current state of the industry and the battle between the Internet world and record companies. Relates various plans for the creation and distribution of music on the Internet and proposes a comprehensive strategic plan for successful Internet commerce by independent artists that will be based on artists giving away all of their music free via the Internet. (Original abstract)

  22. Listen up

    Fox, B

    New Scientist; 169 (2278) 17 Feb 2001, p.34-7

    The music industry was desperate to find some way to stem the flood of commercial recordings being illicitly posted on the Net, and downloaded for free by anyone with a computer and a modem. So it came up with the idea of indelibly watermarking every song it released. But many insiders believe the system offers little defence against determined pirates and, worse, it disfigures the music it is designed to protect. So is it really possible to regulate the music market or is the mighty recording industry heading for oblivion? (Quotes from original text)

  23. The sound of silence

    Matthews, G

    Personal Computer World. Vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 150-2, 155-7. Jan. 2001

    Earlier this year, Napster took on rock band Metallica and the music industry - and lost. 'They created a monster', said US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of Napster's founders, when she came seriously close to closing down the MP3 music distributor. In the event, she granted it a precarious stay of execution pending the appeals process. That process is still going on, but regardless of its outcome, history will judge that Napster tilted the world of mass entertainment a little on its axis. The case has also helped to redefine the meaning of intellectual property in the digital age. When Shaun Fanning, an 18-year-old made headlines in the US with his music website, neither he nor anybody else initially realised just what a furore would ensue. Napster's novelty was that it enabled music fans worldwide to swap and share music using the MP3 file format, but most of the music was copyrighted. Even if Napster is shackled, it is unlikely that downloadable music will disappear, as there is no shortage of other players ready to jump into the void - many forearmed with tactics that will make them almost impossible to beat in the courtroom. Gnutella is 1 of these, and is designed from the outset to be lawyer-proof. It has no central server, does not charge users anything and guarantees anonymity - aiming to create self-perpetuating networks of users, with no identifiable hosts for the authorities to locate. The point about Gnutella, and similar sites such as, and is that they are, in the main, unprofitable and aggressively anti-establishment. (Abstract quotes from original text)

  24. Peer-to-peer pressure

    Economist; 357 (8195) 4 Nov 2000, p.109-10

    On 31 October 2000, Napster, the Silicon Valley start-up, and Bertelsmann, the German media group, announced an alliance, with the purpose of turning Napster into a secure membership-based service that pays fees to artists and record labels. The agreement is a gamble for Bertelsmann and its music division, BMG, the world's fifth-biggest record label, albeit with limited risk and a potentially huge upside.

  25. Cyber-raiders attack

    Alexander, G

    Sunday Times; 6 Aug 2000, Section 3 p.5

    Failure to close websites using Napster software that allows copying of music and movies has thrown the entertainment industry into turmoil. (Original abstract)

  26. 'Mom, I blew up the music industry'

    Walsh, N P

    Observer; 21 May 2000, Review p.5

    Shawn Fanning wrote a free piece of software called Napster. It creates a directory of the best MP3 music files available on the Net and creates a link to them. The Napster has transformed MP3 from a techie pastime to one of the prime social activities of US college life. This has caused panic in the music industry. The band Metallica has sued Fanning's Napster Inc for copyright infringement.

  27. Little audio dynamite

    Adshead, A

    Computer Weekly , pp. 49. 6 July 2000

    The Motion Pictures Expert Group's MP3 file format has enabled near-CD quality music to be transmitted over the Internet, then subsequently downloaded and decoded by a computer or specialist compact portable player. The technology and availability of these players has stirred up a hornet's nest with the big music companies regarding copyright issues.