Digital Millennium Copyright Act Term Paper

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[. . .] (Rules for Sellers: Overview)

The 'Tax Policy' makes sure that a seller would follow all the rules and regulations that are in existence about using eBay and its services, and also act according to the listings that have been elaborated in detail for the seller to follow. (Tax Policy) Ebay also makes sure that the seller is aware of the rules and regulations concerning selling a particular product in a particular country, outside their own. Generally, most of the paperwork is filled in by the postal service that ships the item to the buyer, but the seller must do a fairly thorough research on the laws of that country. In the case of a small item being shipped to a high bidder, there would be no problem, whereas in the case of bigger items it is wiser to follow all the rules in the book, like for example, legal compliance in both countries, and the application of special licenses for certain products that cannot otherwise be shipped out of the country. (International Trading-Sellers) Likewise, certain countries like Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Iraq are banned from being able to export any items from the U.S. (Embargoed Goods, Prohibited Countries)

In some ways eBay certainly holds itself liable for the proper conduct of all its members and provides security and safety to those who use its services. The various policies of the Company regarding these issues are rigorously upheld and violators are punished in a manner that ensures non-repetition of the mistake committed. The question of 'bootlegging' is an entirely different matter that, though adequately controlled by the Company, goes on in disguise. There has been a lot of criticism of eBay regarding bootlegging where some people go to the extent of stating that eBay has actually been encouraging the theft and piracy of music and related products through its lax attitude. For example, Michael Black in the Asbury Park press dated 5 June 2004 insists that there has been a large volume of sales of bootlegged CDs as well as DVDs that is almost unnoticed by the watchmen of eBay. He states an example of the sale of Bruce Springsteen's DVD which turned up at the auction about 88 times. Most of these sales, states Black, are from bootleggers. The latest technology available wherein a CD can be copied and sold within minutes is responsible, as is the Company that encourages such sales (eBay)

He also says that eBay was a responsible enough company that protected adequately the rights of the artist, but it is no longer so. The site, he says, is actually flooded with offers of CDs and DVDs on sale when the fact is that the site is truly meant for auctions and not for sales. The copies of an album may be made from recordings made at the site of the concert by hidden recorders, or even by illegal copies of as yet unreleased albums. Michael Black says that these items are proudly displayed on eBay despite the eBay police being aware of the fact that these are bootlegged materials. He then states the eBay does nothing and takes no action on reports of such thefts and illegalities; an automatic generated response thanks the person who has reported the crime and that is all. This practice of bootlegging is unhealthy and criminal and has to be stopped immediately, he says. (EBay helps bootleggers steal)

Another writer says that eBay is a site where all manners of thieves and con artists and bootleggers and swindlers are allowed to ply their trade without any restraints. Though this may be an exaggeration, there is some truth in it because the writer says that there is no easy way to file a complaint against bootleggers and the process is so tiresome that one would generally give it up midway. He also promotes the use of some other sites similar to eBay, which, he feels is better at security than eBay. These are 'MusicStack' and 'eRock'. (My Newest Reason for hating eBay) The DMCA strictly states that the offences of fixation and trafficking in music videos of performances by musicians is a serious crime, and the offenders will be punished with a prison term of not less than five years the first time, and if repeated, with a prison term of ten years. (Unauthorized Fixation of and Trafficking)

The DCMA also states that all persons who use any device that would store digital information would have to compulsorily have it fitted up with a government approved anti-piracy device, and if this were not done, the punishment would be a lengthy prison term. There are criticisms for anything and everything and the writer Jeremy Sapienza asserts that this results in the customer paying more, and that's all. He feels that this law is nothing but a means for the government to make more money because it intrudes into your privacy to pass a law that has to be followed blindly. In short, he says, the government actually ends up owning private property and jailing a person for making some small alterations to something, in this case, a computer, owned by him, privately. He goes so far as to say that the 'napster' belongs in a dustbin. (The Real Napsters)

The writer was talking about the amicus curiae brief passed by the U.S. government, Department of Justice in September 2000 for the case of A&M Records vs. Napster wherein Napster Inc. was excused from the laws of copyright infringement. (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) Napster was considered by some to be the veritable equivalent of a person walking into a music shop and walking out with a whole lot of CDs, and when a rule forced it to shut down, everyone was able to relax in the fact that there would be no more infringement on copyright laws. However, feel some that was the very day when free music all over the world died. Though Napster was killed, the resulting influx of new and latest methodologies of 'file sharing' is even worse than the original napster. What, then, has been achieved by this ban on Napster to protect the entertainment industry from illegal piracy and infringement on copyrights? The answer is, nothing. It has, in fact, led to more innovative infringements. (Morpheus 4.1)

Morpheus is similar to the Napster in that it allows users to share files over the net with millions of users by connecting to users of programs such as Kazaa, eDonkey, and iMesh. (Morpheus 4.1) Kelly Truelove and Andrew Chasin write in O'Reilly.com on 7 February 2001 that all the previous users of Napster would eventually have to go elsewhere for sharing their numerous files. This place is the Morpheus network of millions of simultaneous users that, they claim, has far surpassed Napster as well as Gnutella and Lime Wire. The Morpheus- KaZaA network has served its purpose well, they say. The fact that Morpheus does not maintain a central content has paved the way for it to be free of a troubling and irritating filtering of its content. Napster would only support the file sharing of MP3 audios, whereas Morpheus supports the sharing files of audio and video and images and document files. Metadata is used to describe the contents of the files, while Napster would merely allow a centralized search. (Morpheus out of the Underworld)

While it is true that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act managed to exercise tight control over file sharing software such as Napster, and also ensured the security of those whose copyrights would be infringed upon by others, it is at a loss when it comes to dealing with complaints about certain auction sites such as eBay which encourage people from all over the world to buy and sell their products over the Internet through cyberspace. For example, in the case of Hendrickson vs. eBay, the 'safe harbor' provision of the DMCA protects the eBay from being held secondarily responsible in any way for the selling of a pirated film 'Manson' on its website. While this case may have been a simple one, there have been others that are not as simple. However, the outcome of this case is that it came to be recognized that the DMCA is essentially focused on building and developing better e-commerce and related fields within the U.S.A. The ruling of the DMCA in the case of Hendrickson vs. eBay that stated that eBay would not be held responsible for the sale of illegal products on its site also provided relief to eBay which thereafter came to be recognized as a qualified 'Internet Provider'. (Cyberspeak)

This act also served to provide good incentive and encouragement to such service providers and also copyright owners so that they would want to willingly report any infringements of copyrights to the courts without fear of being trapped and penalized for something that they are not responsible for. The Judge who ruled the case, Judge… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  (2004, August 24).  Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/digital-millennium-copyright-act/7876618

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"Digital Millennium Copyright Act."  24 August 2004.  Web.  22 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/digital-millennium-copyright-act/7876618>.

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"Digital Millennium Copyright Act."  Essaytown.com.  August 24, 2004.  Accessed February 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/digital-millennium-copyright-act/7876618.