[Cdn-DMCA] Napster North
russell at flora.ca
Sun May 5 12:36:23 EDT 2002
On Sun, 5 May 2002, Jason Young wrote:
> I think Napster would not be considered an ISP were it based in Canada
> or, if it were, would not be able to claim protection from liability for
It is true that Napster would not be considered an ISP, because it is
not an ISP. It is a 'directory service' - essentially, a phone book that
lists music titles rather than names of people.
Just as the producers of the phone book should not be held liable if the
people listed just happen to engage in criminal activity, neither should
Napster or related services be held liable.
The more we communicate with invalid analogies by suggesting that
Napster is 'communicating a work', the harder it will be for government to
understand the nature of the debate. Citizens communicating music to
unknown recipients is a communication to the public as far as I am
concerned, and I happen to agree that this should be considered illegal.
I believe that it should be the citizen, not an ISP or some third party
directory service, that committed a crime.
Does Internet file sharing, even one that only shares audio, have a
non-infringing component? The music cartels will always say "no" as they
don't wish anyone to recognize music not under their control. There will
always be music from independent musicians who actually wish to benefit
from the "shareware" like aspects of services such as Napster.
The music cartels wish to have the government make their live easier by
making the 'middle men' liable. It is simply a laziness on their part and
not something which the government should get into the business of
When music is illegally shared online, the crime is being committed by
the individual citizen. This is the only party which should be said to be
liable. If it is too expensive to track all these individual citizens
down for their minor crimes (an online equivalent of jay-walking as far as
I'm concerned), then maybe that is a problem which the music cartels need
to deal with in their marketing, education and business models. They
should not be inflicting laws onto all of us which are simply there for
the music cartels convenience.
Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
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