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U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, strong supporter and prime author of much of U.S. copyright law and intellectual property rights, weighs in on the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in the Napster case. Hatch has been a very vocal supporter of Napster since this whole controversy began, and has a lot to say on the subject:

“The Napster community represents a huge consumer demand for the kind of online music services Napster, rightly or wrongly, has offered and, to date, the major record labels have been unable to satisfy.”

“I am a longtime advocate of strong intellectual property laws. There is something in our legal system called copyright, and the principle underlying copyright is a sound one. I believe that artists must be compensated for their creativity. And I believe that Napster as it currently operates, threatens this principle.”

“I also believe that the compensation principle underlying copyright can co-exist – and has in fact co-existed – with society’s evolving technologies for generations. And, in each case this coexistence has benefitted both the copyright owner and the consumer.”

“I am particularly troubled because if the popular Napster service is shut down, and no licensed online services exist to fill this consumer demand, I fear that this consumer demand will be filled by Napster clones, particularly ones like Gnutella or Freenet, which have no central server, and no central business office with which to negotiate a marketplace licensing arrangement. Such a development would further undermine the position of copyright law online, and the position of artists in the new digital world that the Internet is developing.”

“Some have suggested that the labels merely wished to establish a legal precedent and then would be willing to work on negotiating licenses. Well, it seems to me that now might be a good time to get those deals done, for the good of music fans, and for the good of the copyright industries and the artists they represent.”

I know… I’ve gotta cut down on the Napster links… It’ll all be over soon, anyway… promise.

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