This case is an appeal by Napster of an injunction that does not require the plaintiffs to provide any individual file names of potentially infringing works available on the Napster system. The orders require the plaintiff to provide notice to Napster of copyrighted works by providing the title and artist name for each work. When given a list of copyrighted recordings, Napster would have three days to search all files on its system and prevent the transmitting or distribution of those files. Plaintiffs had sent in notices of hundreds of thousands of copyrighted works without the corresponding file names in the Napster system. Napster complained that the plaintiffs did not provide variants in song and artist name and could mix complying items in the same notice as non-complying items because Napster could not check in the time allowed by the injunction. The consequence was that Napster would end up blocking many authorized files. The arguments were that the DMCA set limitations on the judicial power of ISPs such as Napster, did not assess the "staple article of commerce" doctrine set forth in Sony, and that Napster has commercially significant non-infringing uses but is forced to block sharing of files even though the names do not always correspond with the contents of those files.
This case brings up some important points in my research about why copyright holders are finding it beneficial in some cases to waive some of their copyright in order to use new technologies such as MP3 blogs to promote music, while they continue to fight similar technology such as peer-to-peer services. Any discussion of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) liability is important because it affects how people can make blogs and share new things over the internet. There are several ISPs which allow anyone to create a blog from them, and these businesses are based on previous cases such as the Sony Corp v. Universal City Studios, Inc case where liability of technology providers is limited if they do not have specific knowledge of infringing uses of the technology. It also shows how even though a company can send take down notices, it is still difficult and costly to actually take a case to court and win it, no matter how clear cut it originally seems.
This essay describes what an MP3 blog is, and how record labels want to capitalize on the promotion that they provide while fighting file sharing at the same time. The essay discusses the types of copyright infringement and fair use and how they apply to MP3 blogs, as well as the factors that cause the court to view MP3 blogs more favorably than peer-to-peer networks. It discusses law suits against Napster and also by the RIAA against peer-to-peer users. The article explains what establishes liability for infringing use, and the different expansions of the Copyright Act which have been brought by copyright owners in addressing new technologies. It then discusses some of these acts and gives some examples of violators. The next section explains the defense used when copyright owners bring suits, which is fair use, and it lists and describes the four factors in deciding fair use on a case by case basis.
This essay incorporates basically every aspect of my research into why copyright holders are willing to waive certain copyright in cases such as MP3 blogs, while they continue to fight against much of new technology such as peer-to-peer services. It describes what MP3 blogs are and how they are used and different sites that can link to the unauthorized music. It shows what the copyright holder needs to look for in order to bring a suit against infringing users, and also explains how the user of the work can try to use fair use as a defense.