Monday, February 07, 2005

Norwegian Court's Ruling

A Norwegian student who ran a website which linked to downloadable MP3 files has been ordered to pay compensation by the country's Supreme Court.

This is incomprehensible to me. Read the story and see if you don't find it absurd. This guy was linking to sites offering MP3 downloads. He wasn't serving them. He wasn't emailing songs upon request. He wasn't compiling the music into a CD and then selling or trading them. He was only linking to other sites that served MP3s.

Isn't this the main purpose of the WWW? We talk about something and we link to it. Just as I'm linking to the BBC story. This doesn't mean I'm advocating anything. I am linking to something that I've found interesting and wish to share with you. The RIAA and its cohorts have really gone to the extreme this time. Now, we're not free to link to other sites without fear of repercussion.

Instead of the recording industry and music organizations/associations expending energy on stuff like this, they should be studying why iTunes is such a hit and focus their combined energy on emulating and improving it. They're going to legislate, prosecute and alienate the very people they need to fill their coffers!

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