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A Legal Analysis of Copyright Protection of Music on the Internet

Enström, Åsa (1999)
Department of Law
Abstract
The global music market is huge. Record companies make their money by exploiting the copyright in the music and lyrics of artists signed to their labels. Now the music industry is taking its first tentative steps into cyberspace and at stake is a potentially lucrative method of distributing music in a new way. First, however, significant difficulties need to be overcome, not the least concerning the legal protection of copyrights. The record industry is currently asserting that they are under threat from the Internet. Many record companies fear that the consumers will use the Internet to access musical works from an illegitimate source and thereby depriving the record companies of remuneration. What mainly concerns the record industry, the... (More)
The global music market is huge. Record companies make their money by exploiting the copyright in the music and lyrics of artists signed to their labels. Now the music industry is taking its first tentative steps into cyberspace and at stake is a potentially lucrative method of distributing music in a new way. First, however, significant difficulties need to be overcome, not the least concerning the legal protection of copyrights. The record industry is currently asserting that they are under threat from the Internet. Many record companies fear that the consumers will use the Internet to access musical works from an illegitimate source and thereby depriving the record companies of remuneration. What mainly concerns the record industry, the artists, musicians and the collecting service societies is the fact that the mp3 technology and other similar compression technologies enables the audio music files to be extremely easily copied without authorisation from the copyright owner. The illegal copies can very easily be distributed and sold over the Internet. Instead of buying the CD from the record company consumers will be able to download high quality music from the Internet as digital signals directly to their computers. To make a copyright protected work available on the Internet it is necessary to receive permission from the copyright owner, the artist and the record company holding the copyright. It is also necessary to pay royalties to the copyright owner, the artist and the record company for distributing their music on the Internet. If permission is given there is no legal problem to upload and download music files with protected music on the Internet. It is allowed to download music for private use and other exempted purposes without the authorisation of the copyright owner. There is no doubt that what is published on the Internet is protected by existing copyright laws and that current copyright law is sufficient to handle the technological advances on the Internet. The problems remaining are the pirate copying of music files and the copying for private use. The illegal reproduction is a criminal act and can be fought by copyright legislation, while the copying for private use is a question of economic, political and cultural dimensions. The extent of exemptions, such as copying for private use, from the exclusive right enjoyed by the copyright owners must be decided by legislators and politicians. In the society today a balance between the economic and cultural interests is to be preferred. Neither a total copyright system with no exceptions nor the absence of copyright protection would promote the economic welfare or stimulate cultural activities. The current exemption of copying for private use must therefore be considered to be a satisfying solution. The pirate copying of music can be fought with means other than the law. The new technology available offers very efficient ways of fighting the pirate copying and the illegal copying for private use. The copyright owners have a tremendous possibility to take advantage of the situation and fight the infringements of copyright with new technological means. The copyright owners should also have a lot to gain by adjusting to the situation and instead of fighting the new technology, embrace it and use it to their own advantage. (Less)
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author
Enström, Åsa
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Immaterialrätt
language
English
id
1557244
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:20
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:20
@misc{1557244,
  abstract     = {The global music market is huge. Record companies make their money by exploiting the copyright in the music and lyrics of artists signed to their labels. Now the music industry is taking its first tentative steps into cyberspace and at stake is a potentially lucrative method of distributing music in a new way. First, however, significant difficulties need to be overcome, not the least concerning the legal protection of copyrights. The record industry is currently asserting that they are under threat from the Internet. Many record companies fear that the consumers will use the Internet to access musical works from an illegitimate source and thereby depriving the record companies of remuneration. What mainly concerns the record industry, the artists, musicians and the collecting service societies is the fact that the mp3 technology and other similar compression technologies enables the audio music files to be extremely easily copied without authorisation from the copyright owner. The illegal copies can very easily be distributed and sold over the Internet. Instead of buying the CD from the record company consumers will be able to download high quality music from the Internet as digital signals directly to their computers. To make a copyright protected work available on the Internet it is necessary to receive permission from the copyright owner, the artist and the record company holding the copyright. It is also necessary to pay royalties to the copyright owner, the artist and the record company for distributing their music on the Internet. If permission is given there is no legal problem to upload and download music files with protected music on the Internet. It is allowed to download music for private use and other exempted purposes without the authorisation of the copyright owner. There is no doubt that what is published on the Internet is protected by existing copyright laws and that current copyright law is sufficient to handle the technological advances on the Internet. The problems remaining are the pirate copying of music files and the copying for private use. The illegal reproduction is a criminal act and can be fought by copyright legislation, while the copying for private use is a question of economic, political and cultural dimensions. The extent of exemptions, such as copying for private use, from the exclusive right enjoyed by the copyright owners must be decided by legislators and politicians. In the society today a balance between the economic and cultural interests is to be preferred. Neither a total copyright system with no exceptions nor the absence of copyright protection would promote the economic welfare or stimulate cultural activities. The current exemption of copying for private use must therefore be considered to be a satisfying solution. The pirate copying of music can be fought with means other than the law. The new technology available offers very efficient ways of fighting the pirate copying and the illegal copying for private use. The copyright owners have a tremendous possibility to take advantage of the situation and fight the infringements of copyright with new technological means. The copyright owners should also have a lot to gain by adjusting to the situation and instead of fighting the new technology, embrace it and use it to their own advantage.},
  author       = {Enström, Åsa},
  keyword      = {Immaterialrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Legal Analysis of Copyright Protection of Music on the Internet},
  year         = {1999},
}