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  • 04 Apr 08

    There have been three opinions in six weeks on the suits brought by RIAA in which the issue of the alleged making available right as well as infringement of the distribution right have been raised. They are not the first opinions, nor will they be the last, but they are interesting in their own right, and are noteworthy because the judges involved took the time to address the issues seriously and thoughtfully.

  • 05 Apr 08

    TalkTalk is the first ISP to reject the British Phonographic Industry's(BPI) proposed "three-strikes-and-your-out"' scheme which would require it to disconnect customers who had been deemed by the music industry body to have shared content with others illegally.

  • 01 Apr 08

    After being blown off by the Norwegian police, MPAA lawyer Espen Tøndel is now demanding that ISPs disconnect Norwegian file-sharers from the Internet. According to IKT Norway, an interest group for ISPs, the lawyer has sent a letter to Norwegian ISPs on behalf of The Norwegian branch of the MPAA.

    • In the letter, Tøndel asks the ISPs to notify customers who share copyrighted content, and threaten to disconnect them from the internet. Tøndel also attached a document that supposedly links the IP-addresses of seeders to copyrighted works.

       

      It seems that Norway is not alone in this, Jim Williams, the MPAA’s senior vice president opted for a similar disconnection policy in the US yesterday. IKT Norway is not too happy about the letter though.

  • 03 Apr 08

    Students at the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic are continuing their fight against the RIAA's legal tactics. A motion filed earlier this week on behalf of two "John Doe" University of Maine students sued by the RIAA seeks to not only have the John Doe lawsuit filed against the 27 U of M students thrown out, but to bar the RIAA from bringing any such lawsuits in the future.

    • At issue is the RIAA's practice of clumping a number of Does into a single lawsuit for the sole purpose of serving subpoenas on a single school or ISP. The only relationship between the Does is that they attend the same school or all subscribe to the same broadband provider. The RIAA argues that's a sufficient relationship for the purposes of its lawsuits, but once it obtains names and addresses, that relationship suddenly disappears as individual lawsuits are filed.
  • 05 Apr 08

    A lawyer who sent out hundreds of thousands of threatening letters demanding that alleged file-sharers pay 400 euros, has been banned from operating for 6 months. Elizabeth Martin, who had been working with Swiss anti-piracy outfit, Logistep, was condemned by the Paris Bar Council.

    • For anti-piracy company, Logistep, life is becoming more and more difficult by the day. They have been deemed to be operating illegally in Italy and have been slammed over privacy issues in the home country, Switzerland. Now, according to a report - and to add further insult to this growing pile of misery - a lawyer they’ve been working with in France has just found herself in an awful lot of trouble.

       

      Lawyer Elizabeth Martin had been demanding 400 Euros from hundreds of thousands of file-sharers who Logistep say had been infringing the rights of software company Techland, on their game ‘Call of Juarez’.

  • 05 Apr 08

    University of Florida professor Michael Moulton thinks copyright law protects the lectures he gives to his students, and he's headed to court to prove it.

    • Those notes are illegal, Faulkner and Moulton contend, since they are derivative works of the professor's copyrighted lectures.

        

      If successful, the suit (.pdf) could put an end to a lucrative, but ethically murky businesses that have grown up around large universities to profit from students who don't always want to go to the classes they are paying for.
       

       

      The suit could also have ramifications for more longstanding businesses such as Cliffs Notes, which summarize copyrighted novels.

  • 04 Apr 08

    MySpace has officially announced their new music venture, and as reported yesterday, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, and Warner Music Group are all in as launch partners, leaving EMI as the only major record label not participating

    • Also confirmed by the company, MySpace Music will offer:

       

       - DRM-free downloads
       - Ad-supported audio and video streaming
       - Artists merchandise
       - Concert tickets
       - Mobile content (ringtones, wallpapers, etc.) 

       

      Already, MySpace Music claims more than 5 million artist profiles and 30 million monthly unique visitors. The plan is to integrate these new features directly into artist pages, as well as through user homepages. However, don’t expect to see all of these new features today – MySpace says they will be rolled out gradually over the next few months.

  • 02 Apr 08

    The five year old Creative Commons nonprofit organization announced a new CEO this afternoon as founding CEO Lawrence Lessig steps down: Joi Ito.

    • Joi Ito, who was born in Kyoto, Japan, is a well known investor and Creative Commons board member. Founding board member and Duke law professor James Boyle will become chair of the board, replacing Ito.
  • 02 Apr 08

    Google’s CIO Douglas Merrill is leaving to start as the new president at EMI, the record label giant. This bit of information was confirmed by folks that John Furrier knows close to the issue, however unbelievable it may be. It was so unbelievable, given that it’s April 1st, that I gave him a ring to chat about it.

  • 01 Apr 08

    EMI is suing MP3Tunes for copyright infringement and demanded that the service turn over the more than 100 million music files stored in all 125,000 MP3Tunes accounts. (The argument is that even if there is no sharing between lockers, users are transferring music to MP3Tunes, which is the same as distributing the music—a right only EMI has). A court in New York has denied that request, Robertson writes on his blog.

    • All access to a music Locker requires a unique username and password, and there is absolutely no sharing between Lockers. . . . MP3tunes strongly objected to EMI’s request, because it was both an invasion of user’s personal storage, and because it would create a huge technical and financial burden, with more than 300 terabytes of files in personal Lockers. Files are not MP3tunes’ possessions any more than the contents of a safety deposit box are owned by the bank that houses them.

       

      No corporation should have the right to demand the content of tens of thousands of personal accounts be turned over to them. There’s no reason to suggest that the users are doing anything but listening to their own music collections in a modern manner. There are millions of Gmail accounts that have MP3 files stored in them � same with Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft’s email and hosting services. If EMI can gain unfettered access to wantonly look through personal accounts on MP3tunes those services will be next.

       

      EMI is trying to eliminate online storage and take people back to a prehistoric time before Internet services existed.

  • 04 Apr 08

    The US Justice Department seems to believe that if you tell a big enough lie, people will listen. Here's the latest: Attorney General Michael Mukasey claims that terrorists sell pirated software as a way to finance their operations, without presenting a shred of evidence for his case. He's doing it to push through a controversial piece of legislation that's bad for you.

    • Mukasey went on to cite numerous cases in which the US Justice Department has arrested those who pirate software, and in which the department has cooperated with other countries in investigations. He mentioned arrests in Florida, investigations in China, and warned about the Russian mob being involved in selling pirated software. 

      In not a single instance did Mukasey include a link to terrorism. Not one. You can be sure that if there were any links, Mukasey would make sure to get them on the nightly news. 

      So why is Mukasey trying to convince people there's a link between software piracy and terrorism, even though one doesn't exist? To force US Congress to pass controversial intellectual property (IP) legislation that would increase IP penalties, increase police power, set up a new agency to investigate IP theft, and more. 

  • 04 Apr 08

    Last weekend, a CAM version of the Norwegian movie “Lange Flate Ballær II” leaked onto several BitTorrent sites. Quite surprisingly, the producer doesn’t hold a grudge against the person who leaked the film. Instead, he thinks it’s an honor that someone took the effort to record it in a movie theater.

  • 03 Apr 08

    Book piracy on the internet will ultimately drive authors to stop writing unless radical methods are devised to compensate them for lost sales.

  • 02 Apr 08

    A 23 year old Dubai national has been fined for Dh. 10,000 for illegally downloading and using programmes from Showtime, Art and Orbit on his website.It was also ordered by the court to shut down the website of the convict with immediate effect.He was charged of unlawfully deciphering the encrypted channels — Art, Showtime and Orbit and downloading different programmes, which he broadcast in special forums on the website for a price.

  • 01 Apr 08

    Right before the Man of Steel celebrates its 70th birthday, a federal court judge has ruled (.pdf) that the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel could claim an ownership share of the character’s domestic copyright. The ruling vests in Siegel’s heirs ownership in the first Superman comic, Detective Comics’ Action Comics No. 1.

  • 02 Apr 08

    o get even for a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Zomba Records, Perez Hilton announced last night that he will not blog about any Zomba-related artists, including Leona Lewis, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Pink, and many more. Zomba filed a lawsuit against Perez on October 11, 2007, because Perez allegedly leaked approximately ten songs from Britney Spears’ Blackout album before its release date.

      • Perez makes two big admissions in his strategy announcement:

         
           
        1. Perez claims that Sony BMG — which owns Zomba — is making “outrageous demands” to settle the lawsuit. This means that the parties are discussing settlement, which always starts with “outrageous demands.” Expect Perez to cough up some dinero to make the case go away, although he may be kicking and screaming the whole time.
        2.  
        3. Perez writes, “Sony BMG may win this battle, but at the end of the day we will be the ones laughing.”  If  Zomba’s attorneys are awake, they will grill Perez about this statement in deposition.  Perez clearly has reached the conclusion that he may be held liable.  Find out why!
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