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Napster Inc is San-Mateo based small company that distributes a free software called MusicWare that allows users to exchange MP3 music files stored on their own computer hard-drives directly among users Napster maintains a server that maintains only names of music files and location which becomes available when users with MusicWare software logs in to Napster server This facilitated free music file sharing among users Recording companies in this case AM Records Inc argued that Napster violated their copyrights by contributing to the copyright violations performed by Napster users This paper is to discuss whether Napster has committed contributory copyright infringement as recording industry suggests Copyright violation is the unauthorized printing selling andor exhibiting of written material musical compositions art works photographs movies TV programs and other creations placed in a tangible preserved medium of expression Users of Napster are clearly violating this Copying songs typically constitutes copyright infringements although there are some exceptions that will be discussed later in this paper A Copyright owner has the exclusive right under the law to reproduce and distribute the copyrighted work Napster users who copies songs to MP3 digital files and distributing them over the Internet without permission is clearly a violation of intellectual property law Even Napster acknowledged that downloading and uploading music from one user computer to another was copying of that music However they also claimed that users are engaged in the fair use of the copyrighted work There are 4 factors that contribute to the fair use A Character of the use B Nature of the Use C Amount of Use and D Effects of Use on Market Character of Use asks where such use is for commercial nature nonprofit or personal nature Also commentary and transformative use of the work is considered a fair use As for Napster case transformative use of the work does not apply From the process of converting from CD quality audio files
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