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THE MORALITY OF MP3S



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Harvard Journal of Law Technology Volume 18 Number 1 Fall 2004 THE MORALITY OF MP3S THE FAILURE OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY S PLAN OF ATTACK Stacey M Lantagne TABLE OF CONTENTS I INTRODUCTION 270 II THE RISE OF MP3S NAPSTER AND A NEW NATIONAL PASTIME 271 A The Birth of File Sharing 271 B Music Downloading Sweeps the Nation 273 C The Appeal of P2P 274 III THE RECORDING INDUSTRY S FIRST ROUND OF ATTACKS AGAINST FILE SHARING 275 A Attacking P2P Vendors 276 B Appealing to Morals 277 IV THE FAILURE OF THE RECORDING INDUSTRY S APPEAL TO AMERICAN MORALS 277 A Shrugging Off the Moral Argument 277 1 High CD Prices 279 2 Perceived Hypocrisy 280 3 Public Apathy 281 4 The Mores of the Internet 281 B Copyright and Moral Rights in the United States 282 V LAWSUITS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS 284 A The Decision to Bring the Lawsuits 284 B The Impact of the Lawsuits 285 VI THE FUTURE OF MUSIC DOWNLOADING 288 VII CONCLUSION 292 Ms Lantagne received her J D from Harvard Law School in June 2004 and is currently a law clerk to The Honorable Martin L C Feldman District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana She wishes to thank Professor Arthur Miller for supervising this project Helen Lantagne for editorial input and Nathalie Abreu for research assistance 270 Harvard Journal of Law Technology Vol 18 I INTRODUCTION The popularity of downloading music over the Internet began inauspiciously enough in a college dorm room with the creation of Napster the first peer to peer P2P network that brought MP31 filesharing into the mainstream 2 In the span of a few short years so many students in college dorm rooms spent so much time downloading music that university bandwidth was quickly becoming overloaded by file sharing 3 The widespread use of Napster and successor programs like Kazaa and Morpheus was perceived to be suffocating the music industry 4 which soon fought back against music downloading The Recording Industry Association of America RIAA attacked the legality of P2P networks that enabled the



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