The Digital Reckoning

Listen up. The music industry is being kidnapstered, and it's fighting mad

The legal system may be the last refuge of doomed business models. When Big Steel and the auto industry were under pressure during the '70s from low-cost imports, their first instinct was not to change their outmoded manufacturing plants but to beseech the courts to bar the outlanders. The record industry has taken a similar tack, charging the purveyors of digital music with violating copyright law and Fair Use agreements. But even favorable rulings like the one the Record Industry Association of America won in district court against popular music website MP3.com provide only temporary respite. Sooner or later,...

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