Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

52 Federal Communications Law Journal 727 (2000)


This Note examines the development of the fair-use defense to other new technologies, such as the VCR and photocopier, and concludes that courts generally make the fair-use defense available in cases involving copying using new technology. Such uses of the technology have contributed, rather than deterred, to both the bettering of the technology itself and increasing the use of a copyright work. Ultimately, the increased uses reward the copyright holder. Next, this Note applies fair-use cases to new technology in the music industry, namely the increase availability of music on the Internet and a device known as the Rio, which stores and plays Internet-obtained music files (MP3 files). The Rio increases the use and portability of the largely-printed MP3 files, threatening copyright protection of the musical work. However, because of the difficulty in identifying the individual placing the pirated music online, the popularity of the Internet, and number of Internet users downloading music files, this Note argues that, if such as case for copyright violation should arise, the fair-use defense should be available to the users of devises like the Rio, who download the pirated music. Finally, this Note proposes that rather than resist uses of MP3 files, the music industry should capitalize on the Internet's popularity to increase its overall sales by making MP3 files another legitimate source and format to obtain music.