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Durham e-Theses
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The mp3 trilogy: a critique of the recent us cases involving the digital distribution of music

Kerai, Prakash (2003) The mp3 trilogy: a critique of the recent us cases involving the digital distribution of music. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The goal of copyright law has always been to balance society's interest in access to information against the right of the creators to profit from the fruits of their labour. However, every so often copyright law comes up against a new technology that threatens the ability of copyright holders to enforce their rights. Initially, these new technologies seem to be the death knell to copyright protection, but in nearly every case copyright law has adjusted to the new technology. In the process often creating a lucrative source of revenue for the copyright holders who had initially been so opposed to its introduction. The Internet is the most recent in a line of copyright-threatening technologies. In the context of digital music, the Internet has upset the balance between the consumer and the copyright holder in an unprecedented manner. From the US perspective this thesis examines some of the first high-profile cases involving the Internet and digital music distribution. Firstly, the thesis provides a background to music, technology, and copyright law. Secondly, it details and critically analyses the Diamond, and Napster cases. Next, the thesis highlights some legal and technological solutions to the current problems. Ultimately the thesis concludes that the legal legacy left behind by these cases is unsatisfactory. Questions remain unanswered and it seems that a landmark ruling is necessary on the legal status of everyday practices such as 'space-shifting' and 'sampling'. Furthermore, this thesis calls for the recording industry to consider cheaper and more secure alternatives to the current methods of distribution. If other more suitable alternatives are implemented successfully and the above legal questions answered decisively then a working business model compatible with the online environment could pave the way for the future, not only in the context of music but for all types of digital content.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Thesis Date:2003
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:37

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