Whether it is legal for students to share music online?

Essay by xuerhUniversity, Master's November 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.7 1 reviews

By now you may notice that there are many lawsuits about intellectual copyrights these days. For example, Recording Industry sued Napster (an online repository of downloadable music files) last December, alleging it had contributed to numerous copyright violations. In addition, a heavy-metal band Metallica and rapper Dr. Dre also filed their own suits against Napster. And now the industry is going after students over music sharing online. The controversial issue here is whether it is legal for those students to share music online since they are doing so not for profit, but for entertainment only. On the one hand, some people may feel that Matallica is a big name band that has made tons of money on their fans. So, who cares if they lose $.50 a disc on a few thousand discs--they've made millions, right? On the other hand, others may think that sharing music online has thrown a panic into the music industry and it is necessary for the industry to try such legal approach.

As far as I am concerned, on the surface it may appear to be millionaires fighting over pennies, actually it boils down to the protection of intellectual property. Because unauthorized copying of digital music breaks the copyright law and encroach the hard-working artists' interest, recording industry need to take some action to solve this problem.

First of all, according to the Federal Law, it is illegal to copy and distribute copyrighted music without permission, even though the music is online. It is true that many of the bands do allow free music trading and they also enjoy the supreme benefits of the free "word-of-mouth" advertising that trading provide. So, some people may think that it's okay to make other people's copyrighted music available on their Web Server as long as they...