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And Justice For . . . : An Analysis of Digital Music, Fair Use and Audience Rights | Author: Christopher Cunico

And Justice For . . . : An Analysis of Digital Music, Fair Use and Audience Rights | Author: Christopher Cunico

This paper explores two major themes and what role they play in the current musical environment, specifically within the context of user-distributed content. I argue that the A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. injunctions rested on flawed assumptions that mischaracterized fair use as it applies to user-distributed content.12 In addition, copyright holders’ rights to exclude run counter to the equities of fair use in this application, and that the musical audience possesses rights that the current practices of the musical audience. Admittedly, this is a complex issue that incorporates several different bodies of law. My goal, however, is to mention the various aspects of law and policy that inform conclusions regarding audience rights and the roles those rights play in user-distributed content. Hopefully, given the benefit of hindsight, grounds to reopen the discussion of musical consumption in the digital age will emerge taking into account an alternative set of assumptions. In addition, I hope to emphasize a new perspective on the user-distribution analysis that acknowledges user rights and encourages further exploration of their makeup.

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