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ERIC Number: EJ861291
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1071-6084
From Jefferson to Metallica to Your Campus: Copyright Issues in Student Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
Cesarini, Lisa McHugh; Cesarini, Paul
Journal of Technology Studies, v34 n1 p45-54 Spr 2008
When Lars Ulrich, drummer for the rock group Metallica, testified before Congress about his group's lawsuit against Napster in 2000, many people who followed copyright issues in the music industry were not surprised (Ulrich, 2000). Ever since downloading audio files became as easy as clicking a few buttons on a personal computer, charges of copyright infringement have been alleged and played out in the courts. The real surprise came when Indiana University, Yale University, and the University of Southern California also were named in the suit for allowing students to use their university computer networks to illegally downloading music files. The idea that colleges and universities could be held liable for their students' actions in this way was unsettling at the time, and to this day, questions linger about the role higher education should play in this arena from both legal and ethical perspectives. Since Metallica's lawsuit against Napster, including three universities, in 2000, higher education has been reacting to and running from potential legal threats, often regardless of the infringing or noninfringing use of peer-to-peer (P2P) software. In this article, the authors discuss the copyright issues in student peer-to-peer file sharing. While ultimately the issue of intellectual property involves legal issues of copyright, trademark, and patent laws, the authors focus on copyright law and the widening gap between it and advances in information and communication technologies. Rather than taking an either/or position as many extremists have done, the authors urge educators to do what they do best: respond to this societal issue by being true to their beliefs, which includes engaging interested parties in discussions on the protection of intellectual property, how technology has changed, and the way people view it, while maintaining a commitment to educate students along the way.
Epsilon Pi Tau. International Office, Technology Building, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0296. Tel: 419-372-2425; Fax: 419-372-9502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Copyright Law 1976; Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998