Legal Boundaries Between Internet Piracy and a Legal Exchange of Files Through the Internet
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Copyright is a field of legal science which requires constant amendments to adjust it to the pace of development of modern technologies. One of the problems that has not been precisely regulated by the branch of intellectual property rights is the issue of legality of multimedia file downloading from the Internet. Across the world the position of legal professionals is divided on the issue of admissibility of both downloading and uploading. Free downloading of music or films has led to losses of millions and millions of dollars among the producers of these works on CD/DVD medi. Corporations decided to take care of their business by intensifying the fight against Internet piracy through a series of free educational programs to shame participants in this phenomenon as well as by lobbying for appropriate laws. As a result, within the last years this matter has been reviewed and developed in certain legislative acts (e.g., French law HADOPI, international agreement ACTA) dedicated to fighting Internet piracy. And they raise the questions which should be answered basing on the contemporary legal situation in our digitising world. What are the legal consequences for unauthorised placement of a copyright file on the Internet? Is file downloading always a case of Internet piracy? What features distinguish a crime having been committed? The author presents a full legal analysis of file distribution and downloading on the Internet basing on the Polish law and a comparison to legal regulations and judicature of the EU and other countries.
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