Learn more about why file sharing is not theft and the false claims of the RIAA due to P2P, From the Educational CyberPlayGround.
Music: Copyright Law Book 1 • This is Page 4
Music: Free Music Book 1 • This is Page 8
Free Music Downloads:
Why file sharing is not theft
"Copyright violation is NOT a crime, unless in the pursuit of profit. It is and always has been a civil matter at the end user level. Of course, if you press 1000 DVD's with the motive to sell the work, that is in fact a crime.
When will informed people stop towing the MPAA/RIAA line of misstatements around as gospel. Simply read the FBI warning on ANY DVD word by word and you'll note the subtle distinction, as they cannot call it a criminal offense, and do not, because simple filesharing and personal violation of copyright is not a crime.
(Note: Rather than suing end users, do you not think it would be easier for the RIAA/MPAA to simply swear before a magistrate for an arrest warrant if they could?; they cannot, and therefore, are only able to extort via threat of civil judgements)" ~ Andrew Burnette
Courtney Love gave an excellent unedited speech to the Digital Hollywood online entertainment conference, given in New York on May 16, 2000 on the creative math that the record companies do with regards to the artists. 6 pages long - good read. takes on record label profits, Napster and "sucka VCs."
Today I want to talk about piracy and music. What is piracy? Piracy is the act of stealing an artist's work without any intention of paying for it. I'm not talking about Napster-type software.
I'm talking about major label recording contracts. I want to start with a story about rock bands and record companies, and do some recording-contract math:
This story is about a bidding-war band that gets a huge deal with a 20 percent royalty rate and a million-dollar advance. (No bidding-war band ever got a 20 percent royalty, but whatever.) This is my "funny" math based on some reality and I just want to qualify it by saying I'm positive it's better math than what Edgar Bronfman Jr. [the president and CEO of Seagram, which owns Polygram] would provide.
What happens to that million dollars?
They spend half a million to record their album. That leaves the band with $500,000. They pay $100,000 to their manager for 20 percent commission. They pay $25,000 each to their lawyer and business manager. That leaves $350,000 for the four band members to split. After $170,000 in taxes, there's $180,000 left. That comes out to $45,000 per person. That's $45,000 to live on for a year until the record gets released. <snip/>
Artist Courtney Love issued a letter to the music industry explaining that until recently, Congress believed that the RIAA spoke for recording artists, and not a trade group that is paid for by record companies to represent their interests. Her letter calls for support over collective bargaining in negotiations with record companies because singers are served by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and musicians are served by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), and there is no single organization to negotiate health care and pension plans . In her speech to the Digital Hollywood Online Entertainment Conference in 2000, she tells the story of a Congressional aide named Mitch Glazier, who, with the support of the RIAA, added a "technical amendment" to a bill that defined recorded music as "works for hire" under the 1978 Copyright Act. Under the 1978 Copyright Act, artists could reclaim the copyrights on their work after 35 years. This amendment would mean the copyright would never revert back to the original owner. Ever. On the bright side, three months after the "amendment", the RIAA hired Mr. Glazier to become its top lobbyist.
 Michael Robertson, Chairman and CEO, MP3.com, Inc., Testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee
 Hank Barry, CEO, Napster, Inc., Testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee
 Supreme Court Reaffirms Rejection Of Prior Restraints in CBS Inc. v. Davis, U.S., 114 S. Ct. 912, 127 L. Ed. 2d 358, 22 Med. L. Rptr. 1285  Justice Blackmun. An article about this case is on Negativland's website.
FAIR USE Why File Sharing Is Not Theft
Bob Dylan has written folksongs and explains what influenced him.
Never forget that the height of Napster coincided with the greatest CD sales in history. The original Napster had a fine proposition: they would charge their users for signing onto their network and write a cheque for as-many-billions-as-you-like to the record industry every quarter. After all, they had the fastest-growing technology in the history of the world at their disposal, 70 million internet users in 18 months, and they'd found that the average American user was willing to spend $15 a month for the service. The record industry sued them into a smoking hole instead, and out of the ashes of Napster arose dozens of new networking technologies. Each one was more hardened against monitoring and disconnection than the last.
Why Most Artists Profit from Piracy
Piracy is not all that bad for musicians. In fact, research has shown that less popular artists actually profit from piracy. This can be concluded from, and is supported by several studies. Frustrated as they are, the music industry claims that they lose millions a year due to piracy, but is this really the case? Two facts:
- Album sales are declining.
- 75% of all artists profit from filesharing.
Ohio University (April 25, 2007)
announces changes in file-sharing policies April 25, 2007 Ohio University announces changes in file-sharing policies.
In an effort to ensure that every student, faculty member and researcher has access to the computer resources they need, Ohio University announced today it will restrict the use of all peer-to-peer, or P2P, file-sharing on the campus computer network. http://www.ohio.edu/students/filesharing.cfm
- "illegal" can mean many things.
- Ohio University, an agency of the state, is inspecting the content of packets being sent between ordinary citizens in its enforcement activities in this regard. While employers have a precedent regarding inspecting *employees* network data transfers, there is little precedent for inspection of packets of citizen-customers (i.e. students who pay tuition and room and board, which includes payment for Internet services).
- CALEA provides facilities. However, use of those facilities to spy on traffic requires a judicial warrant. It is not proper or legal for the owner of network facilities to use those facilities *as if they are a law enforcement agency*. Ohio U is not a law enforcement agency, and its CIO has no judicial warrant.
- Professor James Gibson of the Richmond Law Intellectual Property Institute approves of distributing the Institute's movies via p2p software, specifically bittorrent compliant clients. Podcast
- "After students at Swarthmore College posted the files, Diebold made a demand under the DMCA that the college remove the materials or face suit for contributory copyright infringement. The students were therefore forced to remove the materials. However, in order keep the materials available, the students asked students at other institutions to mirror the files, and injected them into the eDonkey, BitTorrent, and FreeNet file-sharing and publication networks.
Ultimately, a court held that the unauthorized publication of files that were not intended for sale and carried such high public value was a fair use." source
- CALEA Compliance for Packet Equipment, And Equipment for Facilities- Based Broadband Internet Access Providers and Providers of Interconnected VoIP http://www.fcc.gov/calea/
All facilities-based broadband Internet access providers and providers of interconnected VoIP service have until May 14, 2007 to come into compliance with CALEA.
CALEA only requires surveillance under a court order, which Ohio University doesn't have "across the board".
Under CALEA, the University almost certainly operates a private network. In reviewing concerns about CALEA raised by the acadamic community, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected those concerns specifically because private networks are not covered by the order requiring compliance by May 14, 2007. As the Court confirmed:
"The Order on review-like CALEA-expressly excludes "private networks" from its reach." See Circuit Lead Decision at page 20. So, although some universities are going down the CALEA road in an overabundance of caution, they are not obligated to take any action under CALEA.
Whoever owns the Language Owns the Conversation
" Susan Crawford, a professor at the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University and an author of the report said that a growing number of business leaders are worried that the trend toward 'equating intellectual property with physical property' might be hampering innovation. 'Bits are not the same as atoms,' she argued, contending that the distinction is being blurred by Hollywood. 'We need to reframe the legal discussion to treat the differences of bits and atoms in a more thoughtful way.'" http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/01/technology/01rights.html
The Committee for Economic Development (CED), http://www.ced.org/
"Promoting Innovation and Economic Growth: The Special Problem of Digital Intellectual Property,"
http://www.ced.org/docs/report/report_dcc.pdf [full report
January 2012 Filesharing is a religion in Sweden
The church, called the Church of Kopimism is devoted to filesharing and won official recognition in Sweden. Philosophy student and church founder is Isak Gerson. The fact that the religion is officially recognised does not mean that its members can lawfully download and share material without inspection by ISPs.
"There's still a legal stigma around copying for many. A lot of people still worry about going to jail when copying and remixing. I hope in the name of Kopimi that this will change." ~ Isak Gerson
At its heart is the belief that people should have the right to share and that people whose work is shared should be glad about that.
"The missionary kopimistsamfundet is a religious group centered in Sweden who believe that copying and the sharing of information is the best and most beautiful that is."
"Throughout history, various groups around the world have been persecuted by oppressors. It has since taken refuge in religion and wanted a peaceful coexistence. Without threats and harassment. In our belief, communication is sacred. Communication needs to be respected. It is a direct sin to monitor and eavesdrop on people.The absolute secrecy is holy in the church of kopimism."
"Dec. 22 2005 -- The French Parliament voted last night to allow free sharing of music and movies on the Internet, setting up a conflict with both the French government and with media companies." -- " The amendment, which is attached to a bill on intellectual property rights, states that ``authors cannot forbid the reproduction of works that are made on any format from an online communications service when they are intended to be used privately'' and not for commercial use." If the amendment survives, France would be the first country to legalize so called peer-to-peer downloading, said Jean-Baptiste Soufron, legal counsel to the Association of Audionautes, a French group that defends people accused of improperly sharing music files. The law would be a blow to media companies that increasingly use the courts worldwide to sue people for downloading or sharing music and movie files. Entertainment companies such as Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and News Corp.'s Fox say free downloading of unauthorized copies of TV shows and movies before they are released on DVD will cost them $5 billion in revenue this year.
The Technology - What is peer to peer file transfer?
It is software that when downloaded onto someone's computer, enables that person to access another person's hard drive and to find and copy certain files that the software is designed to recognise. In effect, it allows a direct link between two computers and can be an effective way of transferring data."Some Like It Hot" by Lawrence Lessig " Wired" 3/2004 page 103
P2P - Much of the 'piracy' that file-sharing enables is plainly legal and good. It provides access to content that is technically still under copyright but that is no longer commercially available - in the case of music, some 4 million tracks. More important, P2P networks enable sharing of content that copyright owners want shared, as well as work already in the public domain. This clearly benefits authors and society.
Moreover, much of the sharing - which is referred to by many as piracy - is motivated by a new way of spreading content made possible by changes in the technology of distribution. Thus, consistent with the tradition that gave us Hollywood, radio, the music industry, and cable TV, the question we should be asking about file-sharing is how best to preserve its benefits while minimizing (to the extent possible) the wrongful harm it causes artists."
Matt Blaze - For the historically minded, my 1992 dissertation, which anticipated what we now call "peer-to-peer file distribution" by at least five years, can be found here, in PostScript format. Of course, you can still only get it via a centralized server...
Understanding BitTorrent: An Experimental Perspective 11/10/05
BitTorrent is a recent, yet successful peer-to-peer protocol focused on efficient content delivery. To gain a better understanding of the key algorithms of the protocol, we have instrumented a client and run experiments on a large number of real torrents. Our experimental evaluation is peer oriented, instead of tracker oriented, which allows us to get detailed information on all exchanged messages and protocol events. In particular, we have explored the properties of the two key algorithms of BitTorrent: the choke and the rarest first algorithms. We have shown that they both perform remarkably well, but that the old version of the choke algorithm, that is still widely deployed, suffers from several problems. We have also explored the dynamics of a peer set that captures most of the torrent variability and provides important insights for the design of realistic models of BitTorrent. Finally, we have evaluated the protocol overhead. We have found in our experiments a small protocol overhead and explain under which conditions it can increase.
Learn how nginx! is aggregating user generated content is going to reshape the entertainment business in the coming years and Hype Machine http://hype.non-standard.net/ is a perfect example.
Anthony Volodkin, a 21 year old Russian immigrant who now studies at the City University of New York's Hunter College created it. "The Hype Machine is a MP3 blog aggregator with slick tools to listen and read about music. Once you register with THM (for short) an MP3 feed is created. This MP3 feed encloses each MP3 in your blog separately. You can then take this feed, run it through FeedBurner and enable SmartCast. Now you have an MP3 music blog and podcast.
Use Google to find files hosted at free file hoster like rapidshare.de or Megaupload. 22 file hosters are included: rapidshare, megaupload, mediafire, mytempdir, slil, sendspace, turboupload, speedshare, hyperupload, getfile, depositfiles, webfile, file2share, rapidupload, yourfile, yourfilehost, filehd, mooload, scambia, filepost, justupit, simpleupload.
FFHS- Firefox version enter something, for example "spiderman 3 trailer" You will be redirected to a Google result page.swen.antville.org/
FFHS - IE version
Bookmarklets do a Google search for Audio and Video files at the same time.
Mp3 Podcast: Conceptual artist, writer and musician Paul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, joins Word of Mouth to talk about what "digital culture" means today. Greg Gillis talks about the [mashup] "hunter-gatherer" image of DJ culture, and sampling as a primal quest, and a route to reconnect us to our tribal roots. His fourth LP "Feed the Animals" will be available for download this week. The album will take advantage of the so-called "Radiohead" model of making digital copies available as a download for whatever people choose to pay, and later releasing physical copies.
Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix
The best-known "mashups" are astute combinations of artistic product -- vocals from a hip-hop album laid over Beatles tracks, for example, or a Sergio Leone film set to a new score. But as Brian Lamb points out in Educause Review, the world of mashups now incorporates not just art, but also online applications and other forms of digital media. Mr. Lamb, the manager of emerging technology and digital content at the University of British Columbia, makes a strong case that professors ought to take mashups seriously. That doesn't mean every educator should painstakingly edit Disney films into a treatise on copyright but it does mean that professors should learn about "data mashups" and strive to make course content open and remixable. "We might ask if the content we presently lock down could be made public with a license specifying reasonable terms for reuse," Mr. Lamb writes. "When choosing a content management system, we might consider how well it supports RSS syndication."
What can't be copied?
Eight Generatives Better Than Free: Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage, Findability.
The next time you're called for jury duty and the judge tells you "We don't have that here; you must take the law as I give it to you," you have two choices. You can tell him he's lying (in which case he'll send you home), or you can keep your mouth shut, get seated on that jury, and then tell your fellow jurors the guy in black has been lying, once you're safely ensconced in the jury room.
If you think the RIAA War on File Sharing is absurd, counterproductive, or unconstitutional (it's all three) and you find yourself on a jury, you have a moral duty to vote to acquit no matter what you believe the defendant did.
If you can't get all your fellow jurors to go along with you, hang the jury. Refuse to let it convict. They can't do anything about it. Make the state re-try the case. Chances are there'll be even more opponents of the RIAA war on the defendant's next jury--providing everyone keeps their mouths shut during "voir dire" and doesn't help the court to stack a jury full of obedient pro-RIAA stooges.
In United States v. Moylan in 1969, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence."
If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.
RIAA needs the IP address to catch suspectied Filesharer
Innocent UK Gamers Collateral Damage in P2P War
- RIAA's Mass Litigation Strategy for Making Money
RIAA breaking the 10,000-person barrier this week in its lawsuits against file sharers 5/4/05, and with no indication of slowing down, it seems timely to look at how much the recording industry is recovering in these lawsuits. The paper argues that the file sharers sued by the RIAA have a constitutional right to pay much smaller penalties than the millions of dollars they can be liable for under copyright law's minimum damages of $750 per song. Such a right to pay smaller penalties could reduce the settlement pressure on file swappers and could change the economics of the RIAA's mass litigation.
- The False Mathematics of the RIAA Februrary 2005
- Music Industry Doesn't Need More Government Protection (21st February 2005) Michael Geist
- Debunking of RIAA's claim that their revenue decline is due to piracy.
The record industry blames piracy and downloading for sagging sales here's the whole story.
"Ziemanns assessment, the combination of fewer releases and higher prices not free downloads caused sales to slump. His argument is bolstered by Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research, who pointed out in a report issued last August that this isnt the first time booming CD sales have plunged. For instance, during the recession in 1991 long before anyone even knew what a download was CD sales growth fell from 15% to 4%. When you consider that the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) declined 36% in 2002 and the S&P 500 dropped an equally depressing 28.78% during the same period, the recent 9% decline in sales doesnt seem so dramatic particularly for a format thats been around for 20 years."
Net File-Sharing Doesn't Hurt Most Artists - Survey Sun Dec 5, 2004 http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=582&u=/nm/20041205/wr_nm/tech_music_dc&printer=1
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most musicians and artists say the Internet has helped them make more money from their work despite online file-trading services that allow users to copy songs and other material for free, according to a study released on Sunday. Recording labels and movie studios have hired phalanxes of lawyers to pursue "peer to peer" networks like Kazaa, and have sued thousands of individuals who distribute copyrighted material through such networks. But most of the artists surveyed by the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project said online file sharing did not concern them much. Artists were split on the merits of peer-to-peer networks, with 47 percent saying that they prevent artists from earning royalties for their work and another 43 percent saying they helped promote and distribute their material. But two-thirds of those surveyed said file sharing posed little threat to them, and less than one-third of those surveyed said file sharing was a major threat to creative industries. Only 3 percent said the Internet hurt their ability to protect their creative works. "What we hear from a wide spectrum of artists is that, despite the real challenges of protecting work online, the Internet has opened new ways for them to exercise their imaginations and sell their creations," said report author Mary Madden, a research specialist at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The nonprofit group based its report on a survey of 809 self-identified artists in December 2003. The survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Toronto Star 11/29/04 Numbers don't Crunch re: Canada's copyright legislation and music industry CRIA posts its members' monthly record sales data directly on its Web site. According to CRIA, Canadian CD sales in 1999 generated almost $700 million. That figure declined annually, to $690.3 million (2000), $645.8 million (2001), $609.5 million (2002), and $559.7 million (2003). Using CRIA's own numbers and 1999 as a benchmark, the cumulative decline in CD sales revenue in Canada is $294 million. Given that total CD sales revenues during the period totaled $3.2 billion, the percentage decline is a relatively modest 9 per cent.
While a $294 million decline may still hurt, the source of that decline must also be examined. The uncertainty associated with the financial impact of file sharing arises since the losses tied to file sharing are only those that displace a potential sale, not all downloads. Moreover, those losses must be offset against downloads that involve sampling before purchasing, downloads of music that is no longer for sale, downloads of music that is in the public domain or available with the express permission of the copyright holder, and downloads that are compensated in Canada through the private copying levy.
A recent Economist article reported that an internal music-label study found that between two thirds and three quarters of recent sales declines had nothing to do with Internet music downloads.
That view was echoed in a recent Ministry of Canadian Heritage-commissioned report which concluded that "[t]he assumption by the recording industry that demand for CDs is fundamentally strong and that Internet piracy is to blame for falling sales is a simplistic reaction to a complex problem . . . to place the burden wholly or partly on illegal downloads from the Internet is to ignore a host of other reasons." The "other reasons" include the growth of DVD sales, which accounted for zero revenue in 1999, but generated nearly $105 million in new revenue from 2000 to 2003. The popularity of DVDs is surely related to the decline in CD sales and the shrinking shelf space allocated to CDs by music retailers.
The shift in music retail merchandising and marketing has also had an enormous impact on CD sales. The Recording Industry Association of America, CRIA's U.S. counterpart, reports that the dominant retail chains are now big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart.
In Canada, Wal-Mart and Costco now account for 25 per cent of the music retail marketplace, while in the U.S., Wal-Mart, Target and BestBuy are responsible for over half of all CDs sold.
This shift affects the music industry in two ways. First, while traditional record stores carry 50,000 or more titles, Wal-Mart focuses primarily on new releases, featuring only 1,500 to 5,000 titles. The decreasing availability of older titles hurts an industry that traditionally depends upon catalogue sales for 25 to 40 per cent of its retail music revenue.
Second, Wal-Mart has placed new price pressures on the retail pricing of CDs — capping retail pricing in the United States at $9.72 (U.S.) per CD. The pricing pressure has had a dramatic impact on the revenue generated from each CD sale. According to CRIA's own numbers, revenue from the average CD this year is $10.72, down 10.7 per cent from $12.00 per CD in 1999. The bottom line impact has been to shave $47.8 million in revenue for sales in 2004 (through October) when compared with the same unit sales in 1999. The per-CD decline in revenue in those ten months alone is equal to 16 per cent of the total drop in revenue for the entire 1999-2003 sales period.
IS SUEING YOUR CUSTOMERS A GOOD IDEA?
Fred von Lohmann is a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
Unfortunately, the evidence thus far suggests that the RIAA litigation campaign has had little, if any, effect on P2P file-sharing. the "education by lawsuit" of American music fans is also off to a rocky start. While the authorized music services are attracting a modest number of customers, it is also clear that they together account for a trivial percentage of the total number of digital music files being downloaded today. In fact, it is fair to say that all of the authorized music services together do not yet amount to a drop in the digital music-downloading bucket. the music industry needs to give up its dreams of controlling distribution in favor of collecting fair compensation. In other words, we need a mechanism that collects a pot of money from file-sharers and divides it up among artists and copyright owners. Some (most notably Harvard Law School's Professor William Fisher) advocate a broad levy on Internet access and technologies, with proceeds payable to the copyright industries. But there is a better way, one that keeps the government out of it. Known as "voluntary collective licensing," the concept is simple: the music industry forms one or more collecting society, which in turn offer file-sharing music fans the opportunity to "get legit" in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per month.
The Napster case
The Napster web site made available the software necessary for the peer to peer file transfer to work. People used it primarily for copying MP3 music files so bypassing the need to actually purchase recorded music from record stores.
The Napster site did not maintain a central database of musical tracks - users did not have to access the site again once they had obtained the software.
Napster was not itself copying the music that users accessed from each other.
It did however provide a database of what was available from other users of the site, making it easier for users to find out whom to go to for certain pieces of music.
It was this database that caused the American courts to find against Napster, not the technology itself. The compilation of the database gave Napster actual knowledge of the copyright infringement that was occurring with the various uses of the software. Under Australian law, Napster, by its conduct, was authorising infringing acts.
Alternative sources of peer to peer file transfer software Although the American decision spelt the end of Napster as a free service (it has recently relaunched as fee paying service but take up has not been great), a number of other operators (Kazaa, Morpheus, Grokster and Gnutella) have stepped in to fill the gap.
These services have avoided the mistake made by Napster and do not provide any central database. All they do supply is the software.
The Dutch decision
The Dutch court ruled that file-trading developers were not liable for the copyright infringement that occurs by people using the Kazaa application.
The decision mirrors rulings in other countries that made the sales of video recorders and MP3 players legal. Indeed it reflects the view of the judge in the Napster case that actual knowledge of infringement cannot be assumed if a technology has the possibility of being used for non-infringing purposes and as well as infringing purposes.
The Record Industry Association of America (the RIAA), in its case against Napster, produced persuasive statistics to show that college students were buying fewer CDs because of the availability of software products like Napster.
An alternative view is that the music industry has done little to help itself by charging high prices for its products and entering into extremely expensive recording deals with artists (and having to pay to get out of them again), so it is not surprising that hard up students will try to find a cheaper way to access entertainment.
Although there is much talk of convergence, the reality is that computers have the edge on traditional media in attracting users and that the traditional media companies are struggling to find their way with the new technology available.
What steps (apart from litigation) are record companies taking to stop the use of file trading technology to copy music files? <snip>
Wallace Wang is the author of Steal This File Sharing Book and Steal This Computer Book.
The fact that file-sharing networks can transmit copyrighted materials to others, then get ready to sue the postal service, the telephone companies and every Internet Service Provider in the world, because their technology can be used to transmit copyrighted materials too.
Technology is never the culprit; it's the people who use that technology who are to blame. File-sharing networks aren't just providing newer and faster ways to violate copyrights. File-sharing networks are also exposing the fundamental ideas behind our copyright laws in the first place.
Suppose you create a new virus. Technically, you're the copyright owner of that particular virus and no one has the right to distribute your work without your permission.
So what happens when anti-virus companies share viruses for analysis? Unless they have permission from the virus creator, they're technically infringing on the virus writer's copyright. When they dissect part of the virus code to store its "signature" in an anti-virus program's scanning database, does that constitute a "derivative" work, thus protected by copyright law?
Here's another legal dilemma. Nobody owns software anymore, they license it. So when you install a program, you must agree to a densely worded license agreement, which nobody pays attention to anyway. So, when the recording industry installs a copy of Kazaa to search for people sharing copyright materials, they must agree to Kazaa's license, which includes the following restrictions of what users may NOT do with Kazaa:
2.2 Harm minors in any way;
2.11 Monitor traffic or make search requests in order to accumulate information about individual users;
2.12 "Stalk" or otherwise harass another;
2.14 Collect or store personal data or other
information about other users; or
2.15 Intentionally make available spoofed files or
files with information designed to misidentify the
actual content of the file.
In order to collect information to sue people engaging in copyright infringement, the recording industry itself must violate the above license conditions to their Kazaa program. So technically, the recording industry is breaking one law just to enforce another.