I would consider the sharing and downloading of songs from the Internet to be wrong when a purchase isn’t made to obtain the download. When ecommerce is circumvented and a song is downloaded from the Internet the effects are felt beyond the large music record companies. The fans of that artist, the employees that manufacture the digital media, even you as the person downloading the content will have consequences. If the demand for a product is high the price for such product does not have to be high. Thus, if I along with many others download my favorite artist’s song the consequences ripple far past the wealthy record companies.
The fans willing to pay will have a higher cost because demand is not reflected accurately. The companies that develop products to create this digital media will have fewer jobs to offer/may require terminating employees. I will feel the effects because my favorite artiest may not put out music due the demand not being accurate. This is a very interesting topic to discuss because here there are laws that protect copyrighted material, as well as technology that solely are used to uphold these laws. In fact, it seems that the technology are the laws regarding digital media and when avoided they are broken. Once constrains on behavior are built into the technical standards governing a technology, the technical standards effectively become a new method for governing used of the technology- in essence, the technical standards become a type of law. ”(Textbook) Lending a CD to a friend is ok. There isn’t infringement to copyrights, and the rights management system is not undermined when doing so. For instance manufactures decide the rules of with the digital media can be used. “In the Case of rights management systems, copyright owners determine the rules that are embedded into the technological controls.
By implementing technical constraints on access to and use of digital information, a copyright owner can effectively supersede the rules of the intellectual property law. ”(Textbook) When allowing a friend to borrow a CD the RMS is not damaged in the process. Letting a friend download, copy to an external drive, or rip to CD music is definitely wrong. It infringes on various copyright statues, as well as undermines any rights management systems that are used with my digital media. To bypass the RMS of digital media would violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and is without a doubt wrong. No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. ”(Textbook) To work around the RMS of a CD and rip songs to a library and then make a copy of these songs to a blank CD violates the DMCA. Using other technology to obtain this media is also wrong. In the case Real Networks, Inc. v. Streambox, Inc. we see that to use software to copy media is another instance of DMCA violation. In this case Real Networks offered a way to stream music for sampling, but if a user wanted to own the copy they must purchase the song.
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RealServers hosted this music and would only play content on RealPlayers. This relationship between player and server was authenticated by means of “secret handshake”. Users who have met content owners preference to download media (i. e. purchased the music) could do so by a “copy switch” authentication method. Streambox VCR allow users to bypass the copy switch mechanism, which allow users to download media without the consent or preference of the copyright holder. We see with this case that if we use software to circumvent the ecommerce process we have violated the DMCA. The DMCA prohibits the manufacture, import, offer to the public, or trafficking in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof that: (3) is marketed for use in circumventing such technological protection measures. ”(Textbook) Allowing this friend to download from a site is wrong as well. It violates the same DMCA standards forbidding working around RMS. Peer to peer sharing we have seen in the case A & M Records Inc, v. Napster, Inc. violates the DMCA if the holder does not grant permission to the content.
To enable the act of infringing even though you yourself are not infringing does not remove liability. “Napster may be vicariously liable when it fails to affirmatively use its ability to patrol its system and preclude access to potentially infringing files listed in its search index. Napster has both the ability to use its search function to identify infringing musical recordings and the right to bar participation of users who engage in the transmission of infringing files. ”(Textbook) I think that the digital copyright laws of today are reasonable.
They protect the copyright holders, but there are still “free use” statues are in place that makes sampling music realistic. Today we have youtube, Pandora, and spotify just to name a few. If I want to sample music or even listen to my favorite genre of music I am free to. I can subscribe to a new artist on youtube and sample their music before I ever have to pay for a CD. Today technology has made it more convenient to be a consumer of media, and harder to protect your copyright for media creators. With every streaming site there is a file-sharing site.
I think that it’s unfortunate that someone who worked hard to create a work of music has to deal with it being stolen, but I think there is a solution in the near future. With everything being hosted in the cloud now a days we see media outlets like itunes and spotify have huge cloud library with the ability to take a physical copy when placing it on an external device. We are seeing less and less local copies of media with the emergence of the cloud, which will make it very hard to circumvent RMS in place. So what should be the law? The laws should evolve with technology, and as of now should remain as they are.
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