Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Media Law and Policy: Case Study on P2P File Sharing

On February 7, I will be presenting to the class my case study focusing on P2P file sharing technology. First I will look at what exactly constitutes file sharing, and why it is so controversial for many people. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) claims that file sharing is stealing, so we will look at their arguments for that logic, as well as discuss as a class whether or not we believe this to be valid. P2P file sharing relates to this weeks theme in chapter 14 of Media Law and Policy because this relatively new technology is bringing about some very relevant changes in laws and policies which could ultimately affect the way people use the internet.
To fully understand the effect the P2P technology is having we will first look at previous decisions rendered by the Supreme Court such as the Betamax decision of 1984, as well as the more recent Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. We will then look closely at new decisions and policies brought about for the sole purpose of keeping up with P2P technology by examining the case the RIAA brought against Napster in 1999, and also the MGM vs. Grokster case which has been called the most important case for intellectual property of our time.
Finally, we will look at how the RIAA is attempting to stop people from participating in file sharing. College students are considered by the RIAA to be the most avid “pirates” of media so I will focus specifically on the measures they are taking to stop file sharing on University campuses all across America. It is my hope that my presentation will make people aware of the legislation that has arisen to target “media pirates”, especially college students, and in turn more clearly show how laws and policies really do affect the media that we interact with on a daily basis.
The anti-piracy ad I have included was released by the Motion Picture Association of America, however both the MPAA and the RIAA take the same stance, that file sharing is stealing, so I feel it is an appropriate visual aid.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Overall, I think the class discussion and reaction to my presentation was really good. I was happy that so many people could relate to my topic, and that they seemed to take such an interest in it. I also thought the other presenter and I's presentation complemented each other nicely. I hope that the class found my presentation interesting and informative, and I also hope that they are now more aware of the way that companies such as the RIAA can push through laws and policies that in the end are beneficial only to them. In addition I hope that I my case study clarified the way that laws and policies affect everyone’s communication today.