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Recording Industry Association of America Vs. MP3.com

On January 12, 2000, MP3.com launched Instant Listening Service and Beam-it, free services that allow users to listen to their music CDs through their computers using MP3's applications and technology. A user loads CDs into his or her CD ROM drive, and the CD is then matched to one of the 40,000 CDs in MP3.com's database. Then MP3.com transfers a MP3-formatted copy of the CD from their database into the user's MP3.com account. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that these technologies infringe on the Copyright Act of 1971, which allows only the copyright owner to make a copy of a recording. An exception to this law, the Home Recording Act of 1992, was created by Congress in order to protect consumers from being sued by record companies for copying recordings for their own use. The RIAA believes that MP3.com is not covered by the Home Recording Act, because the company has made the copies, not the consumers, themselves. In a letter to MP3.com CEO Michael Robertson, RIAA CEO Hilary Rosen sums up her organization's stance: "Simply put, it is not legal to compile a vast database of our members' sound recordings with no permission and no license."
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