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Who owns music?

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The recording industry keeps suing online music companies for copyright violation. They have destroyed MP3.com’s music locker service, Napster, and Kazaa and are attempting to do the same to MusicCity and others.

But do they have the right to do so? Do they legally hold the copyrigth to the music in question?

If person working for a newspaper writes a column, the newspaper owns it. But if I write a book and have it published, I own the copyright because I am not an employee of the publishing company.

A judge in the recording industies case against Napster has asked if musicians should hold the copyright to their works. They are not employees of the record company and get paid royalties based on how well the music sells. So are the musicians freelancers who should retain the rights to their work?

For more, read Wired News: Judge: If You Own Music, Prove It.

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