Digital World Dilemma
Neal agreed but cautioned against creating revised copyright laws in haste. "I think we need to be very careful about creating a premature set of rules," he said. Pam Horovitz, president of the National Association of Recording Merchants, echoed that concern, troubled by the course copyright definitions are taking. "Contract negotiations are being turned into copyright law," she said. Horovitz was also quick to defend her retail community. "Retailers do not see libraries as the enemy," she said, arguing that it is not the retailers who are trying to profit from copyrighted material used for education.
A Question of Profits
Representatives of the content industry insist that profits are being threatened at serious levels by technology, such as Gnutella, a decentralized technology similar to Napter's that allows free file sharing and is allowing the distribution of copyright material for pure entertainment value. Fritz Attaway, executive vice president and Washington general counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., showed a sample of a Gnutella site called sitesound.com that offered downloads of movies, from the mainstream to the obscure. He then quoted numbers from a consulting firm, Viant, that stated 150,000 unauthorized movie downloads occurred every day in 1999, with estimated numbers today being somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000. Attaway further warned that threats to the copyright industry were a threat to the economy, saying that the copyright industries account for 5 percent—around $8 billion—of the Gross Domestic Product of the United States.