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CNET News.com: Napster suit tests new copyright law

Apr 11, 2000, 19:26 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patricia Jacobus)

"The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed two years ago, was considered an important legislative battle for the entertainment industry. But it may already be out of date."

"Lawyers for music upstart Napster are trying to use that same law to derail a multimillion-dollar copyright lawsuit in San Francisco, the outcome of which could weaken the hard-fought act. A decision is expected as early as this week on a defense motion to throw out the suit under the DMCA's so-called safe harbor provisions, despite claims that the service facilitates rampant music piracy by allowing music enthusiasts to swap digital recordings, called MP3s."

"If Napster wins this, then presumably everybody that is propagating MP3 files and movie files will be protected," said attorney Carl Oppedahl, of Oppedahl & Larson in Frisco, Colo. "And every time the music industry faces a technological change or an unfavorable ruling, they run to Congress to plug the latest hole in the dike."

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