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Talk About Speedy Delivery

How hard is it to stop web sites that post illegal MP3s? Not very, actually. Doing a search at www.internic.net of any domain name (the words after the www.) will give the owner and phone number of the web site. Because it is a felony under the 1997 No Electronic Theft Act to make illegal MP3s, all a record company would need to do is call and inform the owner of the domain (who is usually unaware that someone is using their server for such purposes) that they are breaking the law and have the offending pages removed. Geffen Records has actually done this, and it is unclear why the Recording Institute is going after Diamond Multimedia instead of the people who are doing the illegal bootlegging.

Still, if people embrace the MP3 format on a wide-scale basis, it will be difficult to stop them. The larger question is what role digital distribution will have in the record industry. Ultimately it will be consumers who decide if MP3 will remain a viable format.

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