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Judge In Napster Trial Plots Copyright Reform Plan

November 13, 2008 11:04 AM ET

The judge who presided over the original Napster-killing trial seven years ago proposed a plan yesterday to reform copyright and establish both private and public organizations to license and enforce the law in this digital age. "There needs to be a comprehensive revision of the provisions that relate to the administration of copyright licensing, royalties and enforcement," Judge Miriam Hall Patel said. "I propose that a joint public/private administrative body made up of representatives of all competing interest, including the public, be established and authorized to, among other powers, issue licenses; negotiate, set and administer royalties; and adopt rules and regulations to carry out these purposes." Patel also recommends that "manufacturers and developers would need approval from this body before introducing an application or device capable of recording, distributing or copying music to consumers," described by Patel as "sort of like the FDA, but much faster." Patel realizes now that legislation is not the answer, saying "Our copyright laws have become a patchwork of amendments that are adopted as emergencies arise."

Related Stories:
Lars Ulrich: "Napster Wasn't About Money, It Was About Control"
Best Buy To Buy Napster For $121 Million
Napster Joins DRM-Free Revolution, Announces Start of MP3 Sales

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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