Re: Napster: thoughts and comments?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed Jul 12 2000 - 21:07:12 MDT

> > As I understand it, you don't have to charge money to violate copyright,
> > just damage the author's ability to make money from their work by it's use.
> This isn't true. You have to be actively charging money for providing others
> with the specific enjoyment of its use and NOT paying Metallica or its record
> company a royalty. Playing Metallica in your backyard for a cookout is not a
> violation of copyright, even though your use of their CD in providing free music
> to other people who might not own their CD.

Well, it's not quite that simple (laws never are, and IP laws are much
worse). "Public performance" can be an infringement, and charging
money or not is not the deciding factor. A court decides on a case-
by-case basis. Playing an album at your party is probably okay, even
if you charged for entrance. But waiters singing "Happy Birthday" to
customers is not--that has been ruled an infringement of the copyright
to that song owned by the estate of the Smith sisters, who zealously
pursue such infringements of the copyright--no doubt to encourage the
production of more creative work by their dead ancestors.

If you think "I'm not making money" is an excuse, put up a fan
website for a popular movie or TV show and see what happens.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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