A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
114 F. Supp. 2d 896 (N.D. Cal 2000)
A&M Records (A&M) (plaintiff) was engaged in the recording, distribution, and sale of copyrighted musical works. Napster, Inc. (Napster) (defendant) was a peer-to-peer file-sharing program that allowed users to make MP3 audio files available on the users’ own computers. Other Napster users could then download these files from their own computers. Specifically, Napster users could make exact copies of other users’ MP3 files and transfer the files between computers through the Internet. Napster did not upload any of the copyrighted material itself, but Napster did have the ability to block access to infringing users and remove infringing material. A&M sued Napster, alleging that Napster committed copyright infringement. Napster argued that several uses of its program, such as allowing the sampling of copyrighted music, were a fair use.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Patel, C.J.)
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