Online music: What constitutes "fair use"?

Recent efforts by the music industry to stop Napster from its "unlawful distribution of music" have brought new scrutiny to the music industry's own illegal activities.

As artists such as Courtney Love are apt to point out, musical acts' contracts, price fixing and "Mafia-style" strangleholds on distribution channels are just some of the techniques the music industry has used for years to stay in power and to control the business.

As the potential for digital distribution of both music and movies comes into focus, it should be pointed out that the labels and studios knew full well many years ago that this day and age was coming. However, because of inherent bureaucracy, they resisted any effort to allow digital distribution of anything.

Their greatest fear was that they would lose the one thing that has kept them in business: total control over the distribution channels to customers.

News source: ZDnet

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