Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Moving Picture Expert Group Audio Layer 3, or MP3s, computer audio files transmitted over the Internet, have emerged as powerful challengers to the current music distribution system. MP3s challenge the recording industry on two fronts: piracy and sidestepping industry distribution channels. This note explores how copyright law applies to computer sound files, including MP3s, and demonstrates how advances in MP3 technology have made infringement concerns a significant problem. This note concludes that the record industry must radically change its current marketing scheme and adopt a low cost licensing approach in order to adapt successfully in the digital age.