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Abstract

This Note examines the controversy over consumers' home audio taping activities and finds the legislation under consideration by Congress an inappropriate remedy. Initially, this Note reviews the proposed legislation introduced in Congress addressing the issue of home audio taping. The Note then surveys the rationale behind the Sony decision, which determined that video recorder manufacturers were not liable as contributory infringers, and advocates that audio recorder manufacturers receive similar treatment. Next, this Note analyzes whether home audio recording may constitute fair use under the federal copyright law. This Note concludes that even if certain forms of home audio recording are infringing uses under the Sony rationale, Congress should reject the proposed legislation. In its present form it is overbroad, because it unduly penalizes consumers whose taping activities may qualify as fair use, or who use audio recording equipment in ways that do not infringe on copyright owners' interests.

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