Sneaky court rulings: The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in late March, ordered Napster to remain offline until it can comply with an injunction that demands it remove all copyrighted material from its service. However, the same appeals judge ordered that the major record labels must supply Napster with documents that disclose copyright infringement…Napster hasn't been online in many months; instead, it has concerned itself with creating a paid online music service. Kazaa has beaten Napster to the punch. Riddled with copyright-infringement complaints, the file-trading network announced a legal, paid subscription service with assistance from Double Click, an Internet advertising company. Kazaa will come embedded with software that allows companies to deliver ads straight to your desktop. No online date was given.
It's not my responsibility: As more and more online music delivery services make their legal debut, the old adage of government vs. big business roars throughout the music industry. The topic: Should the government become involved in, or even spearhead, the initiative to add copy-protection to all media: CDs, DVDs, videotapes, MP3s, etc.? Copyright owners seem unsure about how to proceed. One proposal (dubbed the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act) offered by Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., requires that computer manufacturers install software, dubbed “policeware,” that will essentially rat out consumers who save/download illegally copyrighted material. Co-sponsors of the bill include Ted Stevens (R-Ala.), John Breaux (D-La.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). If caught, users can face a penalty ranging from a $500,000 fine to five years in prison. For more in-depth coverage, check out this month's “Insider Audio.”
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