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Music on the Internet: A New World Is Waiting

Author(s): Cary Sherman


Source: The Brookings Review, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 35-37
Published by: Brookings Institution Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20080959
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on

the

A
by Cary

New

Is Waiting

World

Sherman

about the threat posed


uch has been written
to the record
industry.
by the Internet
Headlines
suggest that industry executives,
their heels dug into the "traditional" way of
court chal
things, spend their days plotting
to restore
and legislative appeals to Congress

doing
lenges

"status

the

contrary
quo." But
record
large
companies,

media,

the promise
more
Cary

of

consumers
Sherman

is senior

executive

the Internet:
in ways
vice president

never
and general

to

in the
image
small, are alert to

their

and

to get more
before
counsel

music

to

imagined.

of the Recording

Industry

Association

of

America.

WINTER

2001

35

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by illegal dis

Still, the threats posed


on

tribution

the

to

devastating

potentially

are

Internet

any

legitimate

can

music

online
root

take

company

tial, the record


consumers

about

poten

online,

for

law, and worked

and develop
delivery mechanisms
standards to protect
technological

open

use

consumer

start,

of

the

initial explosion of Internet


files of copy
sites offering illicit MP3
consumers
to think
led
music
righted
is free for the taking, along
that music
industry. The

focus

and

consumers

that

idea

they

generation

to

industry

against

the

Internet

unfortunate
that

piracy

artists,

songwriters,

no

value,

nies have

And

and

producers
record

America

the

not

expected

piracy: there will


steal copyrighted

to

so-called

Left

a business

companies

access

tomorrow

services

to millions

of
for

pay
when

district

Francisco

agreed

finding

that Napster

Internet

eliminate

always be those who


the
works. Rather,

federal

would
why
a
subscription
is free?

court
that

with

in San

reasoning,

is actively facilitat

copyright infringement
ing widespread
and, in doing so, directly affecting the
for copyrighted
market
legitimate
works.
are

countered

Napster

merely

engaging

in fair

strangers

on

the

Internet

technology

to make

companies
the

Internet,

selection

available

for

with

use.

online.

standard
and

recording

working

new

develop
tent

to

labels

compre

legitimate

are also

record companies
ways

to deliver

consumer.

webcasts,

interactive
stored

music

and

downloads,
radio-style

webcasts,
in

con
record

Many

offer music

compilations,

to

companies

technology

already

music

consumer.

the

the

on

available

a more

of

custom

to music

music

creating

hensive

shar

fair

music

technical

sophisticated
technical
of music. The
the delivery
framework developed by the companies
involved in SDMI will encourage more

use

is not

technical

voluntary

protecting

and

to

isworking

to develop
companies
new business models
for

Individual

that sharing copyrighted music


know
on a CD with millions
of anonymous

tech

security

SDMI

artists

its users
by

Inter

electronics,

accepted

enable

information

and

open,
for

that

network.
the Napster
ing files within
use
doctrine requires
the fair
But while
a complicated
and fact-specific
analysis,
one needn't be a copyright
lawyer to

technology

companies.

framework

a
con

and

including

providers,

an

can

offering

service

Napster's

has
compa

songs,
such

service

of

consortium
representing

consumer

A widely

Internet

launched

of

spectrum

develop
if

Even

companies

companies

nology

Napster

?^^?????

and ^^^^^WBM|
launched
in the Secure Digi

Initiative,

technology,
net

the opportunities

marketplace.

legitimate

ser

com

to develop

industry

200

tent

is often

unchallenged,

The

record

and

online,

actively participates

wide

works.

litigation

online

technology standardsto protect j^^^^^^^^?


digitized music as well as^^^^^^^^^^^k
forming partnerships with ^^^^^^^^^^^H
technology companies.
^^^^^^^^^^^H
As part of this effort, the ^^^^^^^^^H

some

use

"file-sharing"

to

alternative.

are working

tal Music

MP3

where

copyrighted

The

for infringing sound recordings and to


take action to close down illegal sites.
The RIAA s Internet enforcement
pro
is

service

piracy, the
of
Association

to monitor

began

of

to online

Industry

is built

as

and

strategy. Ulti

response

legitimate

music

buy

record

have

unauthorized

illustrates why

consumer

of music.

Recording

on

people's

long

Scour,

best

is

panies

the

such

companies

against

cases

service

of other

and

the

companies

MP3.com,

Board.com?all

as

long

online

principles
offline.

record

major
lawsuits

to

a campaign to get
the true
about
thinking

in response

The

record

launched

consumers

so

necessary,

by

created

the

that it has
record industry understands
to find
customer
to make it easy for the

principles.
copyright
at least at this point,

to businesses

subscription

implication

and

artists

a new

online.

the music

seem

repeatedly.

Solutions
is not a business

Litigation
piracy

impression,

apply
"traditional" copyright
applicable to businesses

for

law and the rights


use

of music

legislation,

in court

Technology

on the

that existing
an adequate
relief against those

could have foreclosed

administra

(and

disregard

New

filed

online

hope is that, after


this principle in early litiga
to argue
not be necessary

issues

these

com

the

music

popular

to obtain

who

not

provide

as offline. The

mately
to

courts

to

recording industry will continue


to rely on existing
law to
copyright
establish that the rights of sound record
owners apply online as
ing copyright
establishing
tion, it will

Internet.

does

is not

for widespread

infringement.

well

The

license.

for

required

use of copyrighted

necessary.

Internet

educate

students

tors) about copyright


and wrongs

gram

nor

own

are

licenses

vice,

partic

greatest,
of

counter

they

initiative?

where

universities,

was

Also

copyright

especially

industry has pursued litigation


to establish the principle
strategically

Napster,

record

the

an educational

at

value

such

recording

or

were

popular recordings.

www.soundbyting.com?aimed

real

Internet,

neither

they

Napster,

that

revealed

anyone's copyright when

response,

launched

Internet.

the

groups

no

had

infringing
downloaded

on

else

everything

access

the

framework

Internet has challenged traditional prac


in the music
tices and value propositions

ularly

to enforce

companies believe
law provides
copyright

the

In

on

of

component

Contrary

Enforcement,

Surveys

necessary

music

digi

and Litigation

with

it offers over the

use

of fair

purpose

a catchall defense
The

record

Education,

From

that

music.

tized

marketplace

The

exist

marketplace.

mercial

new

create

to

companies

technology

with

proactively

can

companies building businesses based on


use of copyrighted
the unauthorized

infringing
to
where
necessary
litigated
established
under
copy
rights

activity,
enforce

legitimate

in

environment

of the benefits

rights

educated

copyright

Internet

the

policed

right

has

industry

pirate

an

create

strategy is litigation

marketplace
its full

realize

and

which

because

distribu
that contemplates
legitimate
tion of music online. To help ensure that
a

to

is

goal

and

real

cyber-lockers.

and

access
And

this is just the tip of the iceberg. Com


BROOKINGS

36

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REVIEW

ing soon will


all kinds.

also

music

to

the

using

distribute

their

ways.These
new
nascence
place

new

offer
consumers.

Internet
music

technology

business
of

models
a

legitimate
consumers

where

of

ways
And

of
net

distribution

Peer-to-peer

works

are

be subscription models
getting

artists

many

to promote
in

creative

and
new

partnerships
online
can

and
the

represent
market
get

the

z
LU
O
<
O
o
LU
>
LU
I
<Z)

even

the most

nologists

be

certain

Internet music will

J
5JP
m

years. Music
through
over

may

be in a few
channels,
or

services,

file-sharing

where

be distributed

subscription

revolutionary

tech

prescient

can

technology

via

not

yet

contemplated. The online marketplace


and consumer demand will
ultimately
sort much of this out.What
is certain is
that the next few years will be critical
in determining
whether
the great
a

of

promise

place
ensure

that

the

created by U.S.
to
music
every

The

when

want,

they

conceivable

Future

want

they

it, in

format.

of Internet

Music

legitimate market for online music


has already begun. In the next few years
consumers

will

see

a virtual

explosion

legitimate music
on

WINTER

the

Internet.

of

available
But

not

in

apply

the

balance

of

is to

incentives

law continues

copyright
online

market

challenge

world.

U.S.

copy

the most extra


right law has produced
and
vibrant
industries in the
ordinary
world by preserving incentives and pro
rewards

viding

The

music

legitimate

is fulfilled. The

and

disseminate

incentives
intact
take

and

must

advantage

promise

200

and

to those who
creative
rewards
encourage
of

the

produce

works.
must

Those
remain

creators

to

extraordinary

of the Internet.
37

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