Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Instructions if Your Napster Account was Banned for Sharing Copyrighted works.

During the ongoing Napster legal battle, a method to control copyright infringing activity was added to the file sharing system. This allowed Napster to ban a users account for repeatedly sharing copyrighted works. ZDnet offered a tutorial to get you back onto Napster as though nothing had happened. The banning of specific Napster users was part of a legal remedy to stop the sharing of copyrighted works.

Section 1201 of the Copyright Act, enacted as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), makes it unlawful to "circumvent" any technology aimed at protecting a copyrighted work. Although, Section 1201 was intended to defeat technologies to circumvent encryption type protection, I argue that it may apply here. A technology WAS applied to protect copyrighted works from continued infringement. ZDnet offered ways to circumvent the technologies. (Also Cnet recommended File Name Changing Software to Prevent Music Names from being recognized and blocked.)

For consideration I must add that under the "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act:

• The online service provider ("OSP") must (1) adopt, reasonably implement, and notify its users of a policy of terminating the accounts of subscribers who are repeat infringers; and (2) accommodate and not interfere with "standard technical measures" that have been widely adopted on the basis of industry-wide consensus.

I argue that ZDnet offered a method to "Interfere with standard technical measures", to restore full use of the Napster Service to those accounts that had been terminated for being engaged in Copyright Infringing Activities, evidenced in these following screen captures.

CLICK IMAGE to Enlarge , Screen Capture of Article from ZDnet dated September 07, 2000

Here is a link to an Online "TechDirt forum from 2000 discussing the ban with a link to these instructions!