Second Academy Brief Accuses Napster of Violating Copyright Laws, Argues for Intellectual Property Rights
SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Sept. 8, 2000--In support of artists' rights, the Recording Academy has filed an amicus curiae brief asking the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals to enjoin Napster, the digital file-sharing service that has been accused of copyright infringement by the record industry.
This is the second brief submitted by the Academy. The first was filed in the state court in the early stages of the litigation which resulted in a preliminary injunction.
The submission of briefs demonstrate the Academy's continued leadership in the battle for intellectual property rights. In fact, the Academy was the sole entity to seek amicus status in the case in the district court and was the first to file a brief before many other organizations and record labels.
"The interests of musicians must be protected," said Recording Academy President/CEO Michael Greene. "When a `service' like Napster steals the intellectual property of artists which impacts their livelihood, we must do all that we can to ensure that the creative community is protected."
In its most recent brief, the Academy argues that Napster irreparably damages the music community by facilitating the searching, locating and copying of copyrighted music files. Napster is blurring the distinction between what it calls "private" and "non-commercial." "Although the law permits a private individual to privately copy musical recordings which he has lawfully acquired, it cannot be done commercially," the brief states.
Further, according to the brief, not only does it harm musicians, it also negatively affects society as a whole by undermining the fundamental tenets of copyright law. By not securing a fair return for an author's creativity, Napster discourages individual effort for personal gain.
The brief further stresses that it is not punishing the technology; it is asking the court to recognize that Napster is infringing on copyrighted materials. "Napster is liable for its ongoing conduct -- not for the development of `peer-to-peer' (or any other) technology," states the Academy's brief. "Napster's entire raison d'etre is to facilitate infringement: even though the choice of what to duplicate is made by the users, Napster makes it all possible."
Napster was issued an injunction on July 26 by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, which was stayed by the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals on July 28. Napster filed its brief on Aug. 21 stating that Judge Patel did not allow its attorneys to present critical evidence before the injunction ruling. Included in the evidence, according to Napster attorney Jonathan Schiller, were arguments that Napster's service results in more CD purchases by users who utilize Napster to sample music.
A court date for oral arguments has not yet been set.
Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Inc., also known as the Recording Academy, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural conditions for music and its makers. An organization of more than 16,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals, the Recording Academy is internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards, and is responsible for numerous groundbreaking outreach, professional development, cultural enrichment, education and human services programs.