posted Aug 07, 2000

Piano Scrolls and the Law Music & MP38/7/2000; 3:24:14 PM Two articles that go well together:The Standard has ''The Piano-Scroll Precedent'', a retrospective on copyright law and past technology.'Technology, then and now, takes unexpected twists and turns, and copyright law struggles to keep up. Today, as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ponders the Recording Industry Association of America's complaint against Napster, people trying to cope with the fast-changing Internet might draw some lessons from history.'And a reminder from Salon that the law is not the immutable thing that some believe:'...And for six months, two questions have persistently filled my e-mail in box from perplexed or outraged readers. 'First: Why do so many people think it's OK to break the law and cheat artists out of their income? Second: If I'm so smart, what do I think the record companies should do? 'These questions share some unspoken assumptions that are worth noting -- like a belief that the law is always unambiguous and unchangeable, and a notion that the interests of "artists" (creators) and record companies (distributors) are identically aligned. But the people asking the questions are sincere, and they deserve answers.'


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