Publication Date



51 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


This article is divided into three sections. Section I consists of a history of how file sharing technology has arrived at its current state of development, ending with some predictions for its development in the near future. This section focuses less on the technical minutiae involved in the evolution of music copying than on the practical influence of each innovation on the public's ability to reproduce and transfer intellectual property. Section II is a survey of copyright law as it stands in the first part of 2001, focusing on technologically-motivated changes in the past three decades, but providing enough history to give the uninitiated a sense of the theoretical and doctrinal underpinnings of recent developments. Section III proposes a model for the development both of copyright law and of the business of creating and protecting content. This article takes the position that if the law becomes more restrictive than the current scheme, owners of copyrights may be placated in the short term, only to be much more severely injured as developers of technology are motivated to circumvent enforcement of the new scheme. If it becomes less restrictive, the rights of copyright holders, although limited at their periphery, may become much more valuable through the availability of widespread distribution, effective enforcement, and reliable compensation.


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.