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THE INTERNET The Internet has the made the world a smaller place The discovery of digitization yielded an easy and inexpensive method to create an unlimited number of exact copies The Internet allows such digitized information to be instantaneously uploaded and downloaded by an unlimited number of users Information in diversified media can be converted into a single digital stream and can easily be manipulated to create a variety of new works FN1 Thus information is readily available on nearly any subject one can imagine However there is no central authority that controls the content or functioning of the network FN2 This unrestricted accessibility is a significant advancement in the rapidly changing field of computers The frequency of such technological development has made it difficult for the more moderately paced American legal system to keep up The usual legislative process of lengthy discussions between multiple committees before a bill can even be drafted much less passed into law is an inadequate system for regulating the Internet The almost daily technological modification in the realm of computers cannot be sufficiently governed nor can involved freedoms be protected by the delayed response of the law An advanced data compression computer program known as MP3 is a current example of how the law struggles to regulate technology which can profoundly effect traditional rights Armed with a computer a modem and a little technical savvy it has been generally accepted that anyone can surf the Net In addition to individuals corporations and industries have attempted to capitalize on the Internets accessibility Within its entangled sphere of rights and responsibilities copyright violations are frequent because there is no comprehensive way to manage intellectual property or to bill for its use PERTINENT COPYRIGHT LAW In 1971 Congress recognized sound recordings as a copyrightable medium FN3 Under current law a musician is afforded copyright protection as soon as he places his artistic creation into any tangible medium of expression FN4 The performer
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