Friday, July 29, 2011

Business Law and Those Who Are Hilarious

I have a fellow student in my Business Law class who needs to take a breath. We are three weeks into class and this girl has completely lost it. Here is the gist of this week’s discussion so far. The topic is…..

Courts have ruled that file-sharing, such as Napster for music, does not fall within the fair use. What do you think? Should fair use apply? Why or why not?

My post:

Unfortunately, I can see both sides of the fair use argument. Most DVD’s and CD’s say they cannot be resold. If no one is reselling the music and only sharing the music, then I do not see how it cannot fall under the fair use statute. I am more likely to lean this way than the other. However, if the company providing the platform for the file sharing is making a profit, I can see how that would not fall into the fair use category.

Her response:

According to Miller:
In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work (Miller, 2011, p. 140).
Sharing music with your son is not a violation since he is in your care. He is part of your immediate family and people buy stuff for their immediate family all the time. I am assuming that your son of course is under 18 and still lives with you.
You pay for Directv and DVR services. You cannot copy them with any updated technology. Since you cannot copy them you cannot give them to other people for free use. You had to pay for the material!
If you buy music to put onto your computer and download the bought music to your son’s IPod that is completely legal. If you download music that you bought that is completely legal. If you download music that you did not buy that is a violation of copyrighted material. People earn a living by making these songs that you love to listen to. If we don’t pay for music and movies then people will stop making them.

Miller, R. L. (2011). Business Law Today: The Essentials, 9th Edition. Mason, OH: South Western Educational Publishing.

My response to her:

I understand what you are saying, but I know a couple of things that are not going to stop. People will continue to make music and they will continue to make movies. The reason is that no matter what happen, there will be people who want to make music and movies. They still made a lot of money even when sites like Napster were up and running.
We, as humans, will always want to go to the movies and we will always buy the music we love because radio is just not enough. We, as humans will also need new music and movies.
If we look at the fair use ideal, then why are we allowed to sells used books? Those are also copyrighted works. We can pass them around to our friends without legal repercussions. And no one seems to have a problem with them being sold online through Amazon or Ebay. How do you feel about that? Many of us purchase used textbooks. How does that infringe upon copyrights and reselling issues?

People who are so righteous about their position really annoy me. Then I laugh. I always thought life was more gray than black and white.

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