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No Electronic Theft Act Essay

3410 words - 14 pages


Within the Internet culture of unlicensed use, theft of intellectual property is growing. Pirating works online is the same as shoplifting a video tape, book, or computer program from a department store. Through a loophole in the law, however, copyright infringers who intentionally pirate works, as long as they do not do so for profit, are outside the reach of our nation's law enforcement officials. In 1997 President Bill Clinton introduced the No Electronic Theft Act (NET), which allows criminal enforcement against people who have no profit motive in the infringement. HR 2265 was viewed as a closing a loophole in the criminal law. Under the old statutory ...view middle of the document...

Anyone who violates any of these exclusive rights is considered an infringer and is subject to civil and criminal penalties. For works created after January 1, 1978, the term is the life of the author plus 50 years. The term for works made for hire is 75 years from the date the work was first published or 100 years from the date of creation, whichever expires first.
A common legal myth is that a work needs to have a copyright notice to be protected. This is no longer true. For works created on or after March 1, 1989, the copyright notice is optional. Another common myth is that it’s okay to distribute copyrighted material without permission as long as you don’t charge for it. With the enactment of the No Electronic Theft Act it doesn’t matter whether you charge for it or not . If you distribute unauthorized copies, it’s still copyright infringement. Some people assume that it’s OK to use copyrighted material without permission if their use would help to promote the work. It doesn’t matter; permission is still required.
Copyright law all started with the "The Statute of Anne," the world’s first copyright law passed by the British Parliament in 1709. Yet the principle of protecting the rights of artists predates this. It may sound like dry history at first blush, but since there was precedent to establish and rights to protect, much time, effort, and money has been spent in legal battles over the centuries. In the United States, the principle took hold during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when James Madison suggested that the Constitution include language "to secure to literary authors their copyrights for a limited time." The provision passed unanimously. It is found in Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers knew copyright protection could improve society by preserving the economic incentive for people to come up with brilliant ideas and inventions. They also realized the fundamental fairness of granting control of the creative work to the author .
President George Washington signed the first copyright law on May 31, 1790. Nine days later, author John Barry registered his work, The Philadelphia Spelling Book, in the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania, making it the first "writing" protected by copyright. Since then, the copyright laws have been revised numerous times. The revisions have been aimed at balancing the author’s right to reap the benefits of his or her work, and society’s ability to benefit from that same work. Today, in the recording industry, singers Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Jay-Z, 50 Cents and many others, are fighting for their rights. Copyright protects the creative process. It’s There is nothing more inspiring to creativity than independence and that requires protection. If you’re an artist that can do something nobody else can, you need to know that your work will not be diluted or mass produced. It’s as simple as that.
The principle that work one creates...

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