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Copyright Laws For the New Information Age. A good place to start seems to be with stating some facts about copyright laws and providing some background information. In order to make an educated decision on any topic, one should have as much information as possible to make the analysis more complete and in depth. The basis of the copyright laws is that the artist/author/creator is the sole proprietor of his/her creations and it is illegal for outside parties to reproduce and redistribute his work. The first copyright law was adopted in the U.S. in 1790. The current copyright law for the most part adheres to the Copyright Act of 1976. In 1992, Congress agreed to pass the Audio Home Recording Act, which made it possible for people to make copies of music for personal use. In 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which barred people from circumventing password-protected and other secure Web sites that provide access to creative works. The artist/author/creator’s durational limitation on copyrights is the author’s life plus fifty years. This is just some basic information about copyright laws involved in this discussion. Next, we should discuss the issue of Napster’s copyright law infringements (if there are any) and how the lawsuit came about. Napster Inc. was created by Shawn Fanning in May of 1999 in order for internet users to freely swap music (MP3) files. This is how the lawsuit against Napster’s infringement on copyright policies first started in December of 1999: “The music industry's trade group has sued a small startup company, alleging it is operating as a "haven" for music piracy on the Internet by making illegal copies of MP3 files freely available… The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in a lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court in Northern California, accused Napster Inc. of violating federal and state laws through "contributory...

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Napster. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:59, August 21, 2014, from