P2P File Sharing: The Digital Dilemma
Transcript P2P File Sharing: The Digital Dilemma
P2P File Sharing: The
Group Project: Cathie Arnold, Melissa
Barker, and Allen Bullock
Who are we?
Our organization is a radio station conglomerate.
We own many large and several small radio stations
throughout the Southeastern United States.
Our organization employs many radio personalities,
technicians, and other personnel needed to run the radio
Upon being hired into our organization (whether at the
corporate headquarters or at a small station) the
Acceptable Use Policy is explained.
Each employee receives a copy of the Acceptable Use
Policy (AUP) and they sign the policy stating their
understanding and acceptance of the policy.
We received notice that a technology support employee
at one of our small affiliate radio stations was cited for
illegal file sharing.
As the parent company, we could also be held liable for
illegally downloading copyrighted materials.
Upon an initial investigation, we discovered that music
files had been shared through P2P file sharing web sites
through the use of the radio stations network server.
Our station management team has instructed us to
create a committee to address this problem from a
multitude of angles.
We have decided to focus on the business, legal, and
creative points of view at this time and since in this
instance we are the end users, we will look at our point
of view lastly.
Legal Point of View
The underlying question to
the controversy of
whether P2P file sharing
is legal or not is held
within the US copyright
Copyright laws keep others from ‘copying’ original
work and profiting from its sales.
Contributory infringement laws are similar to the
‘aiding and abetting’ laws.
One person can be held accountable for the actions
Penalties for infringement of copyright are most
often civil remedies, this in laymen terms is money.
Courts have stated…
P2P websites can be held liable because… “one
who, with knowledge of the infringing activity,
induces, causes, or materially contributes to the
infringing conduct of another, may be held
liable as a contributory infringer.” (Court
Rulings in Lohmann)
P2P File Sharing Sites
Believe they are not liable for how others use their
Believe they cannot control nor keep track of every
file sharing incident
Argue that their P2P file sharing system has
The Supreme Court
found that the
could not affect a
produces a device that
is “capable of
Business Point of View
Music Industry / ‘Recording Companies’
Unable to invest in new talent due to
monies lost because of P2P
Payment to artists and creators has been
reduced greatly due to P2P
Receives about $7.50 per CD sale
(Online and Small Retail businesses)
Online music stores have suffered monetary loss in
sales due to the rampant use of P2P illegal file
Small retail stores have downsized or closed due to
sales that are no longer made due to the availability
of these items free through P2P networking
Creators’ Point of View
Creating and performing music and song
This capability is both a gift and a talent.
Creators typically want to share their gift/talent with
Sharing their talent with others presents the opportunity
to make money , which allows the ‘creator’ to focus their
full attention on creating more music
Many ‘creators’ are unhappy with the
current music industry.
Despite the above, many creators do not
agree with the current illegal use of P2P
They should have the right to maintain control
of their music.
They should have the right to be compensated
for their efforts.
Historically there has been only one method of getting
their songs/music to the masses…by signing a contract
with a record label, which then takes control of the
music and develops a plan for marketing and
distributing to the masses.
Upon signing a record deal, the creator often gives up
rights to the music, turning the copyright over to the
The creator also loses rights to much of the profits
produced from CD sales.
Distribution of Music
Unknown artists can post their music to
soundclick..com or MP3.com in hopes of being
discovered and selling music.
Artists can now make their music available through P2P
networks in hopes of creating a demand for their music
and ultimately increasing sales.
Much of P2P network sharing of music, however, is
done without the consent of the creator or the
P2P networks take away ‘distribution control’ from the
End User Point of View
End Users believe that P2P file sharing is O.K. because:
The P2P file sharing system promotes ‘new’
CD prices are too high.
CD’s usually only have one or two songs the
Much of the downloaded music is never played
by ‘mainstream’ radio stations.
Participants are not benefiting financially.
End Users believe:
musicians already make enough money from
merchandise and concerts.
P2P sharing is allowing them to take the power
back from the record companies.
The current controversy over P2P file sharing
is the fault of the music industry for not
adapting to new technology quick enough.
Ultimately, because our radio station is
a corporation…the legal point of view
is all that matters. We are a company
and must uphold the current United
States copyright laws whether we
believe them to be right or wrong.
All copyrighted material will immediately be
removed from company servers.
The employee responsible for sharing the illegal
material will be terminated.
A committee will rewrite the company
Acceptable Use Policy.
The policy will be rewritten to specifically
address the issue of P2P file sharing on
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