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Is File-Sharing via Internet Illegal?

Is File-Sharing Illegal?

Abstract: file-sharing violates existing copyright law by facilitating the widespread and illegal distribution of copyrighted material. This paper examines the case against file-sharing, by looking at how the players bear responsibility for the illegal acts currently made possible by this new technology. Finally, it suggests some remedies for file-sharing companies to reform themselves and become a potentially powerful and revolutionary company while still acting in compliance with the law.

Ancient lore told the story of the sirens, beautiful nymphs who would sing to passing sailors, distracting them from their duties and causing the errant ship to crash into the rocks below. Moving to the present time, we see a nascent technology that allows its users to violate the law, perhaps even unknowingly. Nearly everyone who uses the Internet today has heard of Napster, the program invented by wunderkind Shawn Fanning that allows for the millions of net users to share music each other. This technology has come under heavy fire recently, especially from the recording industry, which claims that Napster knowingly allows and even encourages the violation of copyright law, depriving both the artist and the industry of the fruits of their labor. Supporters counter that the technology supports nascent artists, and revolutionizes the music industry. This case is currently in the United States court system, and the question before the government, and indeed the entire web community is simple: Is Napster illegal?

The answer to this question is neither simple nor final, and debate on the subject will definitely continue as the technology and the industry evolves over time….

… middle of paper …

…me a commercially viable business (they have yet to publish a business model) that revolutionizes even further the entire recording industry. But these changes will require an active commitment and involvement from Napster, to which it has heretofore shown extreme reluctance. Until such a time that Napster is willing to reform its errant ways, it will be the wind that blows those poor sailors into the rocks beneath the sirens.






5 “Opposition of Defendant Napster, Inc. to Plantiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction.” Case no. 00-0074 MHP (ADR)

6 Ibid.


My Definition of Success

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
― John Lennon

Let’s begin at the beginning. The universe exists. Reality is real on its own terms, as what it is: self-generated space-time. Also, I exist, as a product of and within that space-time.

That’s why I needed to learn how to think, in order to control the acts that decide whether I go on living or die, and on what terms. Because when I started, I didn’t know how to think, any more than I knew what to think about anything ….

I had to learn how to learn. Other people were useful to me but not primary, so I learned how to get along with them and without them. I was learning to assert my “selfhood” in reality so as to make responsible use of my future adult liberty.

My primary act was egoistic self-assertion — knowing how to conduct myself as a mentally separate, physically separate and ultim…

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