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Napster, Inc., offered a service that allowed its users to browse digital music files on other users' computers and download selections for free. Music industry principals sued Napster for copyright infringement, and the court ordered Napster to remove files that were identified as infringing from its service. When Napster failed to comply, it was shut down.

A few months later, Bertelsmann, a German corporation, loaned Napster $85 million to fund its anticipated transition to a licensed digital music distribution system. The terms allowed Napster to spend the loan on "general, administrative and overhead expenses." In an e-mail, Napster's chief executive officer referred to a "side deal" under which Napster could use up to$10 million of the loan to pay litigation expenses. Napster failed to launch the new system before declaring bankruptcy. A group of song writers and music publishers filed a suit against Bertelsmann, alleging that its loan had prolonged Napster's infringement. The plaintiffs asked the court to order the disclosure of all of Bertelsmann's attorney-client communications related to the loan. (See Confidentiality and Privilege.)

(a) The first group will identify the principle that Bertelsmann could assert to protect these communications and outline the purpose of this protection.

(b) The second group will decide whether this principle should protect a client who consults an attorney for advice that will help the client commit fraud.

(c) A third group will determine whether the court should grant the plaintiffs' request.


Answered 9 months ago
Answered 9 months ago
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