*HCS* Napster

Michael Bodell mbodell at hcs.harvard.edu
Tue Oct 3 03:01:22 EDT 2000

On Tue, 3 Oct 2000, David Mitby wrote:
> > > On Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 09:16:55PM -0400, Marshall D. Perrin wrote:
> > > > On Mon, 2 Oct 2000, William K. Josephson wrote:
> > > > > The NOC is now imposing limitations.  See harvard.hascs for
> > > > > the usual New Speak drivel.
> > > > Eh. Based on the fact that these are merely bandwidth limits, to slow
> > > > things down but not eliminate them, I don't think this is necessarily
> > > > politically motivated at all. Given the university's official
> > refusal to
> > >   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > I'd be rather surprised if it were, actually.  Nevertheless it is
> > > impeccable timing.
> > So, I thought the RIAA sued Yale and a couple other schools because they
> > were the ones which had partial napster bans (during portions of the day
> > to limit bandwidth), and all three caved due to some legal issue that
> > affected them because they had instituted partial bans rather than not
> > treating napster specially.
> > Does this mean Harvard is now exposed in the event that the RIAA would
> > want to sue Harvard?
> I was wondering about this myself -- does anyone know why Yale caved?  Was
> it simply because they recognized Napster, that they had then proven that
> they had the technological power to stop it, or what?

Yale caved under the legal pressure.  They were one of the first three
schools named, and although they probably would have won had they been
taken to court they decided to skip it by banning Napster until the court
case about it gets taken care of.  In return for their position Metallica
dropped Yale from their lawsuit.  Metallica sent letters to a dozen or so
other schools (including Harvard) threatening to add them to the lawsuit
in the same place they had previously had Yale.  From the sounds of it
Harvard is refusing.  Metallica may then add Harvard but their case is
likely without merit since federal law sheilds ISPs from liability for
illegal material sent over their systems and Harvard would be viewed as an
ISP in this matter.  Of course maybe Metallica alerting them to the piracy
might make them more liable. </not a lawyer>

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