Julian Dibbell on 28 Jul 2000 22:02:33 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> echoes of napster digest

sez Rebecca Lynn Eisenberg:

> It doesn't matter that Napster increases sales.  Under the law as it
> currently exists, a copyright holder has the right to do what she wants
> with her copyrighted materials - - for good or for bad.

Really? I know that the doctrine of fair use has been whittled away to
within an inch of its life, but it still survives, and it still puts limits
on what copyright holders can do with their copyrighted materials. The
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, among other variously heinous legal
developments, has severely curtailed the space in which the consumer's
fair-use rights pertain, but the turf's still worth fighting for, both in
and out of the courtroom.

And if I'm not mistaken, that's exactly what Napster's lawyers were trying
to do when they brought up the surveys showing that Napster increases CD
sales. I mean, am I wrong about this? Isn't fair use partly determined by
whether the copying in question caused economic damage to the copyright
holder? Calling all legal eagles.

In any case, it almost certainly does matter, as a matter of law, that
Napster increases sales. Why else would the RIAA's lawyers have bothered
introducing the surveys that show precisely the opposite? The wily bastards.

Julian Dibbell
infringing copyrights as we speak!

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