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Rock News: MP3 player wins legal victory.
One the hot bed issues on the internet is MP3's. The recording industry hates the compressed file format, because fans are able to make near perfect copies of songs and distribute them to other people. Last year Silicon Valley computer component maker Diamond Multimedia released the Rio Player. With the Rio, MP3 enthusiast can listen to the high quality songs away from their computer with the small walkman type device. 

The Recording Industry of America Assc. (RIAA) quickly filed suit against Diamond claiming the player violated the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act.  This week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that the player did not qualify as a primary "digital audio recording device" and therefor the 1992 act does not apply.  The player does not record MP3's, the user must first either record the tracks on their home PC or download them from the internet, then transfer them into the Rio player.

Needless to say the RIAA was disappointed with the decision.  According to a press release issued after the court made it's findings the RIAA stated, "We filed this lawsuit because unchecked piracy on the Internet threatens the development of a legitimate marketplace for online music, a marketplace that consumers want,"

Diamond on the other hands thinks that the decision will help open up a whole new world of opportunity for the MP3 format.  There are a few more hardware vendors that will jump into the market place with their own version of MP3 players. 

The RIAA and Hardware vendors are working together  on developing the  Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) which would provide guidelines for a format for legal distribution  of MP3's.
 

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