UC Law Journal


Twenty years ago the recording industry alleged consumers were killing music sales by recording their own cassette tapes at home. Today, this argument is directed at peer-to-peer (P2P) networks: Illegal file-sharing kills the sales of recorded music. In an effort to determine copyright law's affect on innovation in peer comuting, this Note examines the recording industry's response to P2P networks. The recording industry employs five strategies: (I) public education; (2) licensed online music subscription services; (3) warnings, injunctions, and enforcement; (4) Digital Rights Management; and (5) lobbying Congress for expanded copyright protection. However, the industry's strategy also chills investment in peer computing and drives development in unpredictable directions. While P2P networks are rife with copyrighted works, innovative uses of peer communication are also reshaping how Americans consume and distribute content. In many ways, innovation in peer computing might determine the future of communication. The recording industry and Congress have a choice: shape a future for peer computing, or eliminate a novel form of communication.

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