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.