Last notes for Net music?

"Just like a carpenter who crafts a table gets to decide whether to keep it, sell it, or give it away, shouldn't we have the same options?" asks Lars Ulrich, cofounder and drummer of the heavy metal band Metallica. Ulrich and other representatives of the music industry, as well as Web site entrepreneurs, addressed the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday at a hearing dubbed "Music on the Internet: Is There an Upside to Downloading?"

"My band authored the music which is Napster's lifeblood. We should decide what happens to [the music], not Napster--a company with no rights in our recordings, which never invested a penny in Metallica's music or had anything to do with its creation. The choice has been taken away from us," Ulrich says.

But representatives from Napster and Gnutella, both music distribution sites, maintain that their websites offer music through file sharing, rather than theft.

"Copyright law is not absolute," says Hank Barry, chief executive of Napster. "We should not brand the 20 million users of Napster 'thieves.'" Barry describes Napster as an internet directory service that does not copy, compress, or transfer files. Instead it creates a "Napster community" by enabling communication and file sharing. The site hosts 500,000 to 600,000 users each day, he says.

"I think Napster has found the technology that defeats the purpose of copyright protection," says Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "[Napster's] very strength, its widespread use, is also its Achilles heel." Joining her at the hearing were Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Senator Charles Schumer, D-New York.

Dilemmas raised by the information technology are "the number-one issue the federal government will have to face" in coming years, Schumer observes.

"I believe we will need some government involvement, but when dealing with a changing world, we ought to be very cautious. It's probably better to let the private sector come up with [ideas]," Schumer says.

Most of the witnesses agree, saying the marketplace and the courts will resolve copyright issues. Some say government involvement is not welcome.

It is nearly impossible for the government or anyone else to stop people from downloading music, notes Gene Kan, a Gnutella software developer. He concedes that some legislative oversight is important, though.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Hunt

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?