Students Beware of Music Exchange Liability

by Punch Taylor | 11/17/99 6:00am

To the Editor:

The Dartmouth is running a half-page ad this week from myplace.com inviting students to "share your MP3 music collection online" by uploading MP3's to myplay's site to be shared with other myplay subscribers. Before you subscribe, read the "House Rules" tucked off in a corner of the site. They say that if you upload copyrighted MP3's to myplay's site you are "solely responsible for any infringements of third party rights". Further, it states that by subscribing to their service you agree to "indemnify, defend, and hold harmless myplay ... from any and all third party claims, liability, damages, and or costs (including attorney's fees) arising from your unauthorized or improper use, or your infringement, or infringement by any other user of your account, of any intellectual property, or the rights of any person or entity." In other words, if they get sued because of you, you have to pay the cost of their defense. Myplace may not be able to make all that stand up in court but if you upload copyrighted MP3 music to myplace.com, you are taking a huge risk. Trafficking in copyrighted MP3 music is a crime that can get you busted by local or federal law enforcement. It's also a violation of Dartmouth's Computing Code that can get you Parkhursted. Be careful.