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MP3 and Software Piracy Information Sheet

Downloading, trading, and uploading MP3's is a hot issue with today's internet. Stanford University is effected by MP3's in several different ways, and has made the following policies and comments regarding MP3 use and distribution.

* Are MP3's banned at Stanford?
No. MP3 is simply a file format for music. It makes no sense to ban a file format.

* Is Napster blocked at Stanford?
Currently Napster is not blocked at Stanford University. There is an active suit against napster by A&M RECORDS. Currently Stanford's position is to let the US judicial system decide on the fate of Napster. Consult the amicus brief available from the US copyright office for more information on this case.

* Okay, but what is Stanford's opinion on MP3's and Napster?
Stanford University position is simply to obey all applicable laws regarding copyright.

* Is trading MP3's illegal?
Unauthorized reproduction or transmission of copyrighted materials is a violation of US copyright law. MP3's quiet often are digitally copyrighted material, so unless you have legal permission to trade, use, or distribute an MP3 you may be violating the law.

* How can I tell if an MP3 is copyrighted?
When in doubt, assume that the material is copyrighted. You should not distribute nor download any MP3 without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

* How can I trade MP3's legally?
First, you must obtain the explicit permission of the copyright holder. That permission must be furnished upon demand. Please note that a public statement by a copyright holder may not be sufficent, as often copyrights are held by contract, not just the specific musician.

* Where can I get information on copyright law?
As always, legal issues are best resolved by a lawyer or attorney. If you're just interested in knowing the law, see the US copyright office's web site at http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
Additionally, you may want to check Stanford's Faire Use Website.

* How do I report a copyright violation?
Stanford maintains a contact point for complaints in compliance with the Digital Millinium Copyright Act (DMCA). See http://www.stanford.edu/group/itss-ccs/security/dmca.html for more information.


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Last modified: Wed Sep 27 16:08:27 PDT 2000
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