Summarized by Kent Larsen
Hatch listens to Metallica for Senate Hearing
CNN All Politics 11Jul00 N2
By Mike Ferullo
WASHINGTON, DC -- Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary
Committee and LDS songwriter, told a Senate hearing Tuesday that he had
listened to Metallica that morning, "Pretty darn good" was Hatch's reaction.
He also downloaded a song by the heavy metal group Creed to demonstrate how
easy it is to get music from the Internet. The Senate hearing looked at
digital music copyrights, following the phenomenal growth of on-line music
services like Napster and MP3.com, which allow users to share music, many
times in violation of copyright law, according to the Recording Industry
The issue was brought to almost a crisis earlier this year when the rock
group Metallica filed a lawsuit against Napster, an on-line music directory
and sharing service, claiming that Napster allowed its users to violate
Metallica's copyright. Metallica was particularly frustrated when a rough
cut of a song the group was still working on became available on Napster.
"While we were still working on the song, it started being played on 30 or
40 radio stations across the country -- and our reaction was, 'Excuse me?
Can we finish it first?'" said Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich. Napster is
also being sued by the Recording Industry of America, on behalf of all its
members, which include virtually all major US record labels.
Major Mormon artists, those that have made an impact in popular music
outside of the Mormon community, are also readily available through Napster,
Mormon News has discovered. Music by Gladys Knight, the Osmonds and the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir are all being shared on Napster. Both Randy Bachman
and Tal Bachman's music is available, as is music by the Jets. However,
musicians that principally target the LDS market, such as Julie De Azevedo,
are generally not available.
However, Napster and MP3.com claim that their services are permitted under
the law. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed into law two years
ago, generally protects Internet Service Providers from responsibility for
information passed through their systems, much like the phone company isn't
responsible for violations that occur over the phone lines. Napster claims
that all it does is allow its users to share the files they have, so any
violation is committed by its users and not by Napster itself.
In his opening statement for the hearings, Hatch said the goal was to find
the right balance between competing interests, "We must protect the rights
of the creator, but we cannot in the name of copyright unduly burden
consumers and the promising technology the Internet presents to all of us,"