File Sharing : Copyright For Information Professionals

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Kristen Hanmer IST735: Copyright for Information Professionals Professor Jill Hurst-Wahl Assignment 3 9 November 2014 File sharing is a widely-used process that allows users to download and upload different types of files and share them with other users either over the internet or on a specific network. Almost as soon as file sharing was introduced and gained popularity with the public it began to raise questions regarding copyright infringement, and the first major lawsuit to deal with file sharing quickly followed. Although that case was decided almost 15 years ago, file sharing continues to remain popular and also continues to raise questions about copyright and intellectual property. In 1999 a 19-year-old college student co-founded a…show more content…
For example, regarding music, copyright law allows a consumer to listen to a CD and even lend the original material to a friend. The matter of copyright infringement begins to come into play if the user decides to make a copy of the item or give a copy to a friend without permission, which is exactly what file sharing does. At the time file sharing was relatively new and many users were not familiar with how copyright was involved. Most people assumed since they paid for and owned physical copies of CDs they should also be allowed to copy that CD into their computer’s memory and share the electronic copy. The amount of file sharing that was taking place soon caught the attention of musicians and record companies who were afraid widespread distribution of the material would lead to huge monetary losses for the recording industry. Some artists were even experiencing “leaked material,” or material being uploaded and shared with others before it was even released publicly. The popular heavy metal band Metallica discovered one of their singles was circulating widely on Napster before being officially released, and even ended up playing on some radio stations. This caught the attention of the band and they soon realized their entire music catalogue was available for free on Napster and decided to file a lawsuit (Doan). Hip hop artist Dr. Dre also filed a lawsuit against
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