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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 16, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 13Jul00

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, which allow users to share music, many times in violation of copyright law, according to the Recording Industry Association.

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 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," he said.


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