Archive for September, 2008

in the news: RIAA and Dept. of Justice

September 26, 2008

* YET ANOTHER COURT CONFIRMED THAT “MAKING AVAILABLE” IS A
BOGUS LEGAL THEORY. In the latest order in Capitol v.
Thomas, the first peer-to-peer jury trial, U.S. District
Court District of Minnesota Chief Judge Michael Davis
agreed with EFF’s view that simply making a music file
available in a shared folder does not violate copyright
law. In addition, Chief Judge Davis called on Congress to
amend the Copyright Act’s oppressive damages provisions.

* Taxpayer-Supported Copyright Enforcement Provision Nixed
After strong opposition from the Department of Justice, the
Senate Judiciary Committee removed a provision that sought
to make federal prosecutors pro bono lawyers for the
entertainment industry.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/09/doj-agrees-ip-enforcement-bill-bad-idea

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Bush admin opposes new RIAA proposal

September 25, 2008

The Bush administration has announced its strong opposition to a bill backed by the recording industry that would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against peer-to-peer pirates.

In a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that amounts to a veto threat, the administration said it was “deeply concerned” that the proposal would divert resources from criminal prosecution to civil enforcement, and create “unnecessary bureaucracy.” Currently prosecutors have authority to file criminal charges.

The two-page letter said that copyright owners already have plenty of legal methods to target infringers, including seeking injunctions, impounding infringing materials, recovering actual damages plus statutory damages, and, in some cases, obtaining attorney’s fees. The letter was signed by Keith Nelson, a principal deputy assistant attorney general, and Lily Fu Claffee, the Commerce Department’s general counsel.

The bill in question is called the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act, which the Senate Judiciary Committee approved in a 14-4 vote on September 11.

In addition, the administration said the bill was “objectionable on constitutional grounds” because it would create an “IP coordinator” inside the White House, the organization of which is traditionally a presidential prerogative.

It’s relatively rare for a pair of federal agencies to oppose a bipartisan bill so strongly–Republican co-sponsors include Arlen Specter and Orrin Hatch–and the implied threat of a veto is likely to doom the proposal in its current form. (It has echoes of the Bush administration’s opposition to an anti-China Internet bill earlier this year, which has gone nowhere since.)

Because usual congressional schedules are in disarray because of the November election, and because work on appropriations bills is even more behind schedule than usual, there’s not much time left for Congress to return to this topic and negotiate a compromise this year.

Supporters of the bill include the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Opponents include the American Library Association and the Electronic Frontier Foundation

RIAA new net radio agreement

September 24, 2008

WASHINGTON — September 23, 2008: The RIAA, the Digital Media Association, and the National Music Publishers Association have announced a new agreement that sets mechanical royalties for interactive streaming and limited downloads, including subscription and ad-supported services. The Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Songwriters Guild of America are also parties to the agreement.

Limited downloads and interactive streaming (that is, on-demand streams of particular songs) will in most cases pay a mechanical royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue, less any performance royalties owed. This royalty goes to songwriters and publishers. Today’s agreement does not affect the controversial performance royalties, paid to copyright owners (ordinarily record labels) for Internet radio. Those royalties were substantially increased by the Copyright Royalty Board last year.

The mechanical licenses issued under the new agreement include all reproduction and distribution rights necessary to provide licensed limited downloads or interactive streams, and allow some royalty-free promotional streaming.

“This agreement provides a flexible structure to support innovative business models in the digital music marketplace that will benefit music fans, creators, and online services,” said RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol. “The agreement demonstrates that our industries can work collaboratively to solve complex issues.”

DiMA Exec. Director Jonathan Potter said, “Innovative music services will enjoy a more stable business enviroment because of this agreement, and that will benefit music fans and music creators alike. DiMA is particularly pleased with the agreement to end litigation and threats of litigation involving several of our companies so that they can focus on building innovative businesses that can effectively fight piracy, the music industry’s greatest threat.”

The agreement also confirms that non-interactive, audio-only streams don’t require reproduction or distribution licenses from copyright owners. The terms have been submitted to the Copyright Royalty Judges for approval. Additionally, the Copyright Royalty Judges are expected to rule next month on royalties for physical product and permanent downloads.

Network LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., the issue of copying

September 10, 2008

Network LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc., — F.3d —, 2008 WL 252614 (August 4, 2008). Instead of taking a satellite signal and broadcasting it straight into your home at the time dictated by the broadcaster, your local cable company sets up a very fancy digital box (Digital Video Recorder or “DVR”). A DVR permits you to use your remote control, point it at the television, and program that digital box to copy a future broadcast. When the broadcast comes in, the digital box copies the broadcast for you. When you want to view the broadcast at a different time, you and your family can access the copy on the digital box.

Most of us think of a DVR as something we buy, put underneath the television, puff out our chests and think “fair use” as we make a personal use copy.

But what if the box is miles away from your home, is owned by your local cable company, and is a massive computer monster that invites everyone to make copies from it. Has the cable company made a copy? Or did you make a copy? And if you play your copy by hitting the remote and putting the copy in the digital box in motion, did you infringe?

Well, one would have guessed that the cable company had engaged in copyright infringement, one way or another. And that’s what the local district court found. But on appeal, in an August 4, 2008 decision that will make happy those who really dig the technological questions involved in litigation over devices that make copies, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed.

Why? Well, most of us acting as a plaintiff who owned a copyright would have alleged that the cable company had engaged in both direct copying and indirect or contributory infringement. Really, that DVR seems like a very Napster-like infringing mechanism that permits people who pay the cable company to make infringing copies and for the cable companies to profit.

But in a very thoughtful decision that really delves into the technology involved and the legislative history involved, the Second Circuit really digs into the question of what constitutes a copy, what is necessary for fixation of the copy and how much time a copy must exist to be a copy, with a very thorough survey of the law related to various ephemeral copies, such as a copy of a program made that boots up into your computer’s RAM. The Second Circuit found that “fixation” of the copy imposes both an “embodiment” requirement and a “duration” requirement. The Second Circuit found that the machine’s buffering system, which made a copy of .1 seconds of each channel’s programming at any one time and such content did not last for more than 1.2 seconds. The Court found that the plaintiff’s copyrighted material was not “fixed” in the buffers for an amount of time sufficient to satisfy the “duration” aspect of fixation and therefore that the buffers did not make an infringing copy.

The most interesting part of the decision discusses the question of whether or not the cable company is directly liable for creating the copies. And in a discussion of copy shop cases and the Supreme Court’s Sony v. Universal Films case, the Second Circuit emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court and the Copyright Act really make a distinction between direct copying and contributory liability for someone who actively induces an infringement.

So the court found that it is the actual consumer who makes the copy by pre-programming the digital box to capture the incoming broadcast for later use. In the case, the plaintiffs for some reason did not allege that the cable company engaged in contributory infringement, so the lower court’s decision was reversed. The Second Circuit explicitly kept open the question of whether the cable company was liable as a contributory infringer.

On the issue of whether playing the new copy at a different time by the consumer constituted a “performance” which required a license from the plaintiff copyright owners, the court’s answer was “no”.

This is an important, difficult and complex case, and worth reading. It is likely to be influential in litigations involving services that make potentially copyrighted materials available to consumers.

is it true? Bush to get job with RIAA after leaving office?

September 6, 2008

SEEMS LIKE A JOKE.

 
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George W. Bush to head new RIAA unit?

p2pnet exclusive| RIAA News:- With US elections close and almost ex-US president George W. Bush about to move back into the corporate sector, p2pnet has learned he probably won’t be vanishing from public view.

Bush’s administration has been conspicuous in its support of the corporate entertainment cartels and if our information is correct, his unswerving devotion is about to pay off.

A little while back, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG’s RIAA and IFPI came close to being merged, and it was probably just as well the plan didn’t come off.

Recording Industry Association of America International Federation of Phonographic Industry would have been a bit of a mouthful.

But the Big 4 have come up with a solution.

Until now, they’ve been using the services of MediaSentry to do their sleuthing.

However, the company has been sliding down the greasy slope for quite some time, witness its failure to protect China’s online offerings during the recent Beijing Olympics.

Thus, “The RIAA has decided not to waste any more money,” says our source.

“Instead, they’re setting up their own faux private investigation unit with George W. Bush mooted as its chairman and chief executive officer.”

Called Associated Security Section, Homeland Operations Local Enterprise Services, funding will be provided by major entertainment industry interests and a private company headquartered in Saudi Arabia, we understand.

Employees, drawn from enforcement agency retirees from around the world, will be bonded and licensed as private investigators in the US and elsewhere.

Donald ‘Al Quaeda’ Runsfeld will run the interrogation section.

‘We’ll cooperate with, and assist, national and international police in their quests to halt copyright crime,” says a spokeswoman, who preferred not to be named.

Staff will be seconded to the new unit from the RIAA, IFPI, BPI, Apple, Microsoft and the SPCA, she goes on.

Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper has been approached to become Bush’s deputy if, as is expected, his Conservative government is ousted during the upcoming Canadian federal elections, she adds.

another way to market your music?

September 2, 2008

innovtive or what?

 

 

Band Launches Online ‘Reality’ Dating Site
[07-17-2008] Music Industry News Network Url:

http://www.wouldlovetomeetyou.com

London, 15th July 2008: The band Georgia Wonder have today announced the launch of their very own online dating website Would Love To Meet You (http://www.wouldlovetomeetyou.com)

Would Love To Meet You is what the band call a ‘reality’ dating site which actively encourages people to look as dreadful as possible online, thus avoiding the heart-stopping dissapointment and embarassing quick getaways of those tricky first meetings.

Stephanie Grant, lead singer of Georgia Wonder (http://www.gwonder.com) said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our fans the chance to interact with people who may be as scary in the morning as we are. We hope that our new dating site can inspire a new generation of dating hopefuls to put down Photoshop and share with each other the true reality of what they have to offer, even if it is a bit scary. We want our users to see each other’s bad side in the wrong light at the worst possible angle before they commit to meeting in person.”

Julian Moore, the other half of Georgia Wonder, said: “We have also employed the services of dating advice expert Chichi Gigoli to help with the site. There are a lot of people out there who may be ashamed of what they really look like, but his invaluable advice can turn a no-hoper into dating gold, even if they do look a bit funny.”

About Georgia Wonder

Georgia Wonder sound like The Carpenters driving Tom Petty to an R.E.M. gig but getting crushed under the wheels of Pink Floyd’s tour bus while arguing over whether to listen to ‘Love Shack’ by the B52’s or ‘Go your own way’ by Fleetwood Mac.

For more information please contact:
Julian Moore
07806 786 120
julian@gwonder.com
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