Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

Read and write messages for me!

 About Me
 World News
 ICQ Chat
 Contact Me





Now Watch TV Online for free with my new site -

Click Here to return to the previous page


Paul Sparks, Online Business English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Grade 2 English Conversation Lessons at Xiangtan Normal University...




Lesson 5 - Music - The Issue of Copyright

Lesson Objectives: To debate the two sides of the issue of copyright in the Music Industry. By using open discussion and debate to gain an understanding of the Copyright laws in the UK, as well as gaining knowledge of Music as a business.


Lesson Activities: Lecture about Copyright, followed by a debate between two groups of students.


The problems facing the Music Industry: In this lesson, students will explore the meaning of copyright and copyright issues surrounding the use of downloaded music. They will create an argument either for or against the most recent ruling against "Napster", a company that allows users to download music.

Copyright: The Music Industry makes money from the number of CD’s sold in the shops. Because it is now becoming easier to copy CD’s, there are many fake, or copied CD’s available to buy or swap cheaply. When copies or fakes are bought the music industry gets no money from the sale of that CD. CD Rewriters (CD-RW) now make it possible to copy CD’s with very good quality and quickly. Music from the Internet also has an effect on the music industry. Music can be download from the Internet, using MP3 files.


Class Debate about Copyright: Class divided up into 5 Judges and 2 groups. One group are the Music Industry, who are against the copying and downloading of music. The other group are representing “Napster” online music download website.


By using the enclosed article about “Napster”, the debate will focus on…..


  • Examination of the issues facing MP3 and Napster, as well as consumers, record companies and recording artists around the use of downloaded music.
  • Why do you think copyrights were introduced? 
  • Do you believe that music should be free? Support your answer. 
  • How do you think artists, musical and other, might feel about Napster and MP3? Do you think there is agreement within the artistic community? 
  • Should copyright law change because of the Internet? How? 
  • Why would some bands think that exchanging music over the Internet would reduce sales? Has this proved to be true?
  • Technology- The Internet has made it possible for popular bands to promote themselves worldwide at little cost, and has made it possible for fans to communicate and share their interest in these artists. Surf the Web for a favorite popular musical artist's "official" Web site and fan sites (some artists will also have "hate" sites). What do you find on these sites? Do any of these offer "unauthorized" files with music by the artist featured? How do the sites present the artist? What would you include that you do not find?


UK Copyright Law

This fact sheet outlines the laws covering copyright in the United Kingdom and the work to which it applies.


1. Introduction
Copyright law and copyright originated in the UK from a concept of common law, the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


2. About copyright law
Copyright law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions rights to control the ways in which their material may be used.
The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public.
In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions and mutilations of his work.
International conventions give UK copyright protection in most countries, subject to national laws.


3. Types of work to which copyright applies
a. literary
song lyrics, manuscripts, manuals, computer programs, commercial documents, leaflets, newsletters & articles etc. 
b. dramatic
plays, dance, etc. 
c. musical
recordings and score. 
d. artistic
photography, painting, sculptures, architecture, technical drawings/diagrams, maps, logos. 
e. typographical arrangement of published editions
magazines, periodicals, etc. 
f. sound recording
may be recordings of other copyright works, e.g. musical and literary. 
g. films 
h. broadcasts and cable programs 
Computer programs regulations in 1992 extended the copyright of literary works to include computer programmes.


4. When copyright occurs
Copyright arises whenever an individual or company creates a work:
A work is subject to copyright if it is regarded as original, and must exhibit a degree of labour, skill or judgement.
Interpretation is related to the independent creation rather than the idea behind the creation. For example, copyright will not exist in names, colours or ideas, but will exist in a work composed of these elements.
In short, copyright may protect a work that expresses an idea but not the idea behind it.


5. Who Owns The Copyright On A Piece Of Work
Normally the individual or collective who authored the work will exclusively own the copyright. However, if a work is produced as part of employment or under contract to a third party (i.e. freelance work), then normally the copyright belongs to the person/company who hired the individual or commissioned the work, (unless an agreement has been drawn up to the contrary).
Copyright does not subsist in any part of a work which is a copy taken from a previous work.
For example, in a piece of music featuring samples from a previous work, the copyright of the samples would still remain the property of the original author.
Only the owner, or his exclusive licensee can bring proceedings in the courts.


6. Duration of copyright
The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states the duration of copyright as; 
1. For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies, or, if the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or if made available to the public in that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available. 
2. Sound Recordings and broadcasts
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created,
or, if the work is released within that time:
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released. 
3. Films
70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies,
or, if the work is of unknown authorship:
70 years from end of the calendar year of creation, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year the film was first made available 
4. Typographical arrangement of published editions
25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published 
5. Broadcasts and cable programs
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made.


7. Acts restricted by copyright
It is an offence to perform any of the following acts without the consent of the copyright owner: 
1. copy the work, 
2. rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public, 
3. perform, broadcast or show the work in public, 
4. adapt the work. 
The author of a work or director of a copyright film may also have certain moral rights; 
5. the right to be identified as the author, 
6. right to object to derogatory treatment.


8. Acts that do not infringe copyright
'Fair dealing’ is a term used to describe acts which are permitted to a certain degree (normally copies of parts of a work) without infringing copyright, these acts are; 
1. Private and research study purposes. 
2. Performance, copies or lending for educational purposes. 
3. Criticism and news reporting. 
4. Incidental inclusion. 
5. Copies and lending by librarians. 
6. Acts for the purposes of Royal Commissions, statutory enquiries, judicial proceedings and parliamentary purposes. 
7. Recording of broadcasts for the purposes of listening to or viewing at a more convenient time, this is known as ‘time shifting’ 
8. Producing a back up copy for personal use of a computer program. 
9. Playing sound recording for a non profit making organisation, club or society. 



July 28, 2000
In Victory for Record Industry, Judge Bars Napster Music Site 

In a major victory for the recording industry, a federal judge today ordered the Napster online music service to stop permitting the exchange of copyrighted music owned by the major music labels. 

Napster's lawyer said the decision could effectively shut down the service altogether. Chief Judge Marilyn Patel of United States District Court in San Francisco ruled that the popular Napster service was used primarily to trade copyrighted material, a behavior that she said Napster knew about and had started the service to make easier. "A majority of Napster users use the service to download and upload copyrighted music," the judge said.

The case has become the rallying point for competing interests in the unresolved copyright issues on the Internet, with lawyers, consumers, policy makers and entrepreneurs watching closely. Legal experts have said the implications for the case extend beyond music, to the sharing of other media like movies, and may set a tone for how “intellectual property law” is defined on the Internet.

Napster's lawyer, said the company would appeal immediately. He said Napster did not have the ability to sift out which of the millions of songs on Napster represented copyrighted works and which did not.

Hank Barry, the company's interim chief executive said "We'll fight this in a variety of ways, to keep the Napster community going and strong," The company says 20 million people have downloaded its software. 

The recording industry declared the decision a complete victory. "This sends the message to others who are building businesses based on other people's copyrighted works without permission," said Cary Sherman, general counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America.

Howard King, who represents the rock group Metallica and the rap artist Dr. Dre in separate lawsuits against Napster, said, "From the judge's language, this was not a close call." He also said the decision was a "huge win." The recording association said it would post a $5 million bond requested by the judge against any financial losses Napster could suffer from being shut down pending the trial. 

Napster, a year-old company based in San Mateo, Calif., makes software that allows computer users to download free software that lets them in turn post to the service lists of music files they store on their own home or office computers. Other Napster users then can listen to or download music kept on one anothers' home computers. It is not alone; other services that permit file sharing, like Gnutella, have grown, too. 

The legal battle over Napster began in December when Time Warner Inc., the Sony Corporation, Bertelsmann and other record companies, represented by the recording association, sued the service for copyright infringement. From a technical legal standpoint, the Recording Industry Association of America, asserts Napster is guilty of contributory copyright infringement. The industry contends that Napster has built a business by encouraging individual users to share files of music they do not own.

But Napster says its users are doing nothing wrong, and therefore it is doing nothing wrong. Rather, it says, they are engaging en masse in a practice that has been permitted all along -- the copying of music and other media for personal use. Judge Patel concluded that Napster users were engaged in "wholesale infringing," and that the users were not engaged in "typical personal use of music copies, as Napster lawyers asserted."

Moreover, she said the users reap economic advantage from making copies on the Napster service by getting music free they might ordinarily pay for. In seeking the preliminary injunction, lawyers for the recording industry said Napster was on pace to have 70 million users within six months. The lawyers said Napster users already download 14,000 songs a minute. "This is the most worst case of massive copyright infringement that has ever existed," Russell Frackman, a record label lawyer, told the judge.

One study, commissioned by Napster and prepared by Peter S. Fader, associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, found that "over 91 percent of Napster users buy as much or more music than before they used Napster, with 28 percent purchasing more."

Meanwhile, according to a survey the recording association commissioned from the Field Research Corporation, a San Francisco-based research firm, 22 percent of Napster users said that because of Napster, they did not buy CD's any more or they bought fewer CD's. 
Judge Patel suggested that by the time of the trial, more work on the effect of Napster will have to be done, noting that none of the studies presented were "without flaws."

Click Here to Return to Top of Page