11 Colum. J. Eur. L. 375 (2005)
Amanda M. Witt. Associate at Lord, Bissell & Brook, LLP, studied law at Emory University School of Law (JD, 2000), and received her LLM at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (LLM, International Intellectual Property, 2004).
The “digital age” has arrived in the music industry. The fact that technical terms such as “peer-to-peer” and “MP3” have become part of the vernacular and software companies such as Napster and KaZaA have become infamous indicate how relevant technology is in today’s music world. The music industry is currently waging a battle against digital music piracy, first initiating lawsuits against software companies and Internet service providers and next targeting individual consumers. Because of the nature of the Internet, digital piracy is an international problem. Like the American industry,Europe’s music industry is also actively pursuing legal remedies against this phenomenon. This article, in Part 1, describes the current state of the music industry, which blames its massive economic losses on unauthorized file-sharing. Part II examines the legal measures taken by the American music industry to stem the tide against digital copyright infringement. In Part III, the existing law as it pertains to copyright protection in Europe is introduced.
The enforcement of copyright laws and issues of jurisdiction in Europe are both examined in Part IV, with particular emphasis on the recently passed European Union Directive concerning the enforcement of intellectual property rights. Importantly, Part IV also investigates the legal basis upon which European individual users are likely being sued for digital infringement of copyright laws. Part V examines whether European individual users should be sued for the digital infringement of copyright laws and the apparent shift in the balance of interests in favor of right holders over those of users.
Finally, Part VI looks to the future of the music industry, from fee-based downloading to technological measures intended to deter or prevent piracy while also examining the future of the artist within the music industry.