Cary Sherman

Profit vs. Fair UseBy David DritsasWASHINGTON, D.C.—"I've never seen so much seriousness over bullshit." Those were the words of Chuck D, rap artist and founder of rapstation.com, summing up the events that have surrounded the Napster controversy. He had just come in from a Recording Industry Association of America press conference, which occurred right next door to The Digital Download: Public Access to Content in a Digital World conference held by the Consumer Electronics Association early last month. But if the conference showed anything, it was that many in the industry, as well as government officials, are approaching the topic with great concern. The

Digital recording technologies, teamed with the Internet, are pushing the envelope of the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), and, consequently, sometimes the products are stalled at their introductions. AHRA-compliant products incorporate Serial Copy Management System (SCMS) technology that only allows a first-generation digital copy to be produced. In addition, a royalty is added to the cost of the player/recorder and the blank media. Shipment of Diamond Multimedia's Rio, a device that stores and plays back music downloaded from the Internet using MP3 compression, was delayed when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed a law suit against Diamond alleging the Rio violating the

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