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Appeared on: Tuesday, April 11, 2000
Napster suit tests new copyright law

"..A new copyright law designed to protect the works of songwriters, artists and movie directors is being tested in a case that pits the powerful recording industry against a wildly popular, but controversial music start-up.

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed two years ago, was considered an important legislative battle for the entertainment industry. But it may already be out of date.

Lawyers for music upstart Napster are now trying to use that same law to derail a multimillion dollar copyright lawsuit in San Francisco, the outcome of which could weaken the hard-fought act. A decision is expected as early as this week on a defense motion to throw out the suit under the DMCA's so-called safe harbor provisions, despite claims that the service facilitates rampant music piracy by allowing music enthusiasts to swap digital recordings, called MP3s.."



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