Web Reviews – Artists win right to protect music from net-based

Members of the European parliament have voted to accept proposals which ban web-based music copying systems, just days after a US court rejected Napster’s appeal in its fight against US music giants, writes Ian Lynch.

The amended copyright directive is designed to extend copyright protection for artists to the internet, next-generation mobile phones and digital television. At stake is an estimated Eu20bn (#13bn) worth of copyrighted material a year which is duplicated without permission, according to a 1998 Forrester Research report.

Last week, the European parliament’s legal affairs committee approved only a handful of 197 proposed amendments to copyright law suggested by EU bureaucrats.

The committee’s position gives artists and producers exclusive rights to their work including copying by ‘natural persons for private use for ends that are neither directly or indirectly commercial.’

The music industry, itself the subject of a price fixing investigation, wanted MEPs to forbid people to make copies of songs without paying royalties, which is how Napster works.

– This article first appeared on

Napster’s website is at

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