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AN Australian Federal court has ruled this month on the much-maligned Kazaa file-sharing software and web site. There is much to consider, in the light of the technology we absorb so greedily, about this legal case for the future of both the music and film industries. For, arguably, what is unavoidable for music today will be so for the film industry tomorrow.
In ruling on the case brought as a combined effort from the music industry against Kazaa, Federal Court Justice Murray Wilcox found six of the ten respondents had breached music copyright, and he has ordered that the software be modified, so only licensed music files can be accessed. Obviously, the music industry heads are very happy about this. They see direct protection for their industry profits and publicize it to the public as protection for artists along traditional protection of copyright lines.
But in the digital age, as with any age, we must continually question the world around us and the laws that govern it. So, if I may be so bold, I offer an alternative perspective on file sharing in the context of both the music and film industries.
After World War Two and the launch of air travel as a viable …