Politicians weigh in on Napster debate

In a letter to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, Hatch, the US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and Utah Republican, said the briefs filed by the government agencies against the music file-sharing company should not be taken as the official position of members of Congress.

"Given the importance of the issues to be decided, I thought it important that the court be under no misapprehension that the brief necessarily expresses the views of the Congress in this matter," Hatch wrote in the letter dated September 14. "Indeed Congress has recently held hearings into the matter and is engaged in ongoing deliberations about its merits as the events unfold in the emerging online music and entertainment market. I believe these factual predicates should be borne in mind as the brief is considered."

On September 8, the US Copyright Office filed a friend-of-the-court brief, which was endorsed by the civil division of the DOJ and the US Patent and Trademark Office. As Hatch notes in his letter, the Copyright Office is an agency of the legislative branch housed in the Library of Congress. There are other references in the brief that suggest how Congress would react to the continued download possibilities of Napster.

In the brief, the Copyright Office suggests that Napster's service isn't protected by the US Home Recording Act, because users exchange music using personal computers and hard disks, and not using any of the devices specified in the Act. The act allows the public to make copies of music for personal use. By downloading music files to a personal computer, Napster's users are not creating "digital musical recordings" in the strict sense that was defined in the 1992 Act, Copyright Office officials also said.

In March, the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA) filed a lawsuit against Napster, alleging that the company had infringed on RIAA members' copyrights. A US district court judge in July ruled that Napster had infringed on copyrights and ordered the music service to shut down. Napster filed an appeal against the judge's ruling and obtained a reprieve against closure of its site from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The court is due to review the case next month, with oral arguments expected to commence October 2.

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.

James Evans

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?