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Napster and its legal battles

Do a Web search for stories about Napster and its legal battles at http://www.altavista.com. Why has the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed its lawsuit? How is this different from making a VHS copy of a movie or TV show with your VCR? What legitimate uses of Napster's file sharing abilities can you come up with? What other Web-based sites offer file sharing similar to Napster?

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Why has the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed its lawsuit?
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In 2000, the RIAA sued Napster for providing a service which enabled users to download MP3 files off other users' machines. The RIAA claims that Napster "facilitates piracy of music on an unprecedented scale."

"The overwhelming majority of the MP3 files offered on Napster are infringing -- and the district court found that Napster knows this and even encourages it. Napster is thus enabling and encouraging the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted music. Just because Napster itself may not house the infringing recordings does not mean Napster is not guilty of copyright infringement. Copyright law has long recognized that someone who materially contributes to infringing activity, with knowledge of that activity, is liable for copyright infringement as if that person did the copying him or herself." [1]

How is this different from making a VHS copy of a movie or TV show with your VCR?
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"A VCR can be used lawfully (time-shifting, ...

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