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CNET News.com: Napster suit tests new copyright law

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 But it may already be out of
date.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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