The Berkman Center, Harvard's Institute of Politics, and the Harvard Political Union presented "The Day the Music Died? Harvard's Policy on Napster and Its Siblings--Past, Present and Future," on November 15 here on the Harvard University campus.
Harvard recently refused a request by attorneys representing Metallica and Dr. Dre in the Napster case to block student access to the MP3 file-trading service, asserting that to do so would be inconsistent with "the values of broad inquiry and the exploration of ideas that Harvard, like other universities, has traditionally sought to protect." However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires as a condition for ISP protection from liability for contributory copyright infringement that a university must implement a policy of terminating its ISP services for "repeat infringers" of copyright law. Further, Harvard has been reported to have slowed down some "Napster packets" for reasons of network integrity.
"The Day the Music Died?" asked at what point a user becomes a repeat infringer, and explored the possible ramifications of a decision by Harvard to suspend such an infringer's network privileges, as well as possible future policies constricting network use as the controversy evolves.
Moderated by Berkman faculty co-director Professor Jonathan Zittrain, the discussion featured panelists Dan Moriarty, Assistant Provost, Harvard University; Berkman faculty co-director Professor William W. Fisher III, Harvard Law School; Frank Steen, Director, Computer Services, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Eva Holtz, Harvard student, Class of 2002.