World Piracy News
Japan
Malaysia
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Computer Software Malaysian software pirates are selling copies of the next generation of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system, years before its official release and at a fraction of the expected price. Compact discs with a version of the system code-named Longhorn are being sold openly for less than $A 3.50 (£2.00) per copy . Malaysia is one of the worst offenders, with CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs sold openly in stores and street stalls. Longhorn is still in development and won’t officially be ready until 2005 at the earliest. A Japanese peer-to-peer file-sharing network which claimed to keep user identities untraceable has failed to work and two users in Japan have been arrested. The developer of the P2P software has also had his home searched by police. There are around 250,000 users of the supposedly anonymous file-trading network, called Winny, which rides on the more well-known Freenet network. Freenet is an open-source project and is part of a growing number of projects aimed at giving people the ability to communicate online without being tapped, traced or monitored. There is some evidence from the USA that the controversial RIAA lawsuits against ordinary computer users are making…

Chinese Rights Owners Seek Payment For Mobile Telephone Use
China
South Korea

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Telecommunications The Music Copyright Society of China is seeking US$1.4 million, from China’s second biggest mobile phone operator, TCL Mobile Communication and its distributor, Beijing Digital Electronic Communication Technology, for installing 107 copyrighted Chinese tunes on 12 TCL models. TCL has offered to pay only about a quarter of the damages. A court ruling is pending after a hearing last week in Beijing. China, which is plagued by pirated CDs and DVDs which are on sale on street corners shortly after first release has vowed to crack down on copycats and strengthen intellectual property protection after the country joined the World Trade Organization two years ago. Chinese copyright laws do not specify how much cellphone makers should pay when they include copyright material. “Butterfly Lovers Concerto,” based on a Chinese tragic love story, and “Full Moon of the Fifteenth,” are among the most popular among Chinese cellphone users. China overtook the United States as the world’s biggest cellular market last year. With 244 million users at the end of August. The Chinese copyright owners have demanded 1.4 U.S. cents, for every tune installed on a phone and the dispute is really about how much TCL…

Australian Internet Service Provider Faces Claim For Copyright Infringement
Australia

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet The Australian music industry has listed an internet service provider (ISP) as a respondent in a court case involving alleged music piracy. E-Talk Communications, trading as Comcen Internet Services, has been served with a law suit in Federal Court (Justice Brian Tamberlin) charged with making money from the provision of copyright-infringing music files. This is the first time the music industry has accused an ISP of being directly involved in piracy by allowing its infrastructure to be used for file-trading activities according to Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), who led the industry’s investigation. The tactic marks the escalation in the simmering battle between the music industry and the ISPs over how much responsibility the latter should take for any copyright infringing behaviour of their subscribers. The charge is the result of an 11-month investigation into the web site MP3s4Free.net. The registrant of the domain name, Australian Stephen Cooper, was also charged. The MIPI claimed that the website was highly organised and allowed and assisted users to find and download music files. The site received 7 million unique visits in the previous 12 months and MIPI claim that E-Talk economically benefited by hosting the website….

The GHETTOPOLY Version of Monopoly Leads To a Legal Action
Copyright , Trade Mark / December 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT, TRADE MARK Merchandising Whilst the game of Monopoly may be economically out of date (houses in London cost more than a few hundred pounds now) but the makers of board game are to take legal action against spoof version Ghettopoly, which satirises hip-hop culture. The game, based on the traditional family board game, became an instant hit when it went on sale in the US and Europe earlier this year. However, Hasbro, which makes Monopoly, is claiming copyright violation and trademark rights against Ghettopoly. The game sees players get rich through buying stolen properties. In place of the Monopoly top hat, little car and dog players, Ghettopoly players use machine gun, marijuana leaf and basketball icons. According to Ghettopoly creator David Chang, the game also sees “playas” competing with each other by “pimpin’ hoes, building crack houses and getting car jacked”. And instead of Monopoly’s Mayfair or Park Lane, Ghettopoly’s properties include Northside Liquor, The Pawn Shop, Ling Ling’s Massage Parlour or Tyron’s Gun Shop. Apart from copyright and trademark issues, the game has caused outrage in the States. A number of retailers of the game in the US and Europe have decided to stop selling it. The original…

Ghostface Killah Wins Copyright Infringement Case
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Record Labels A New York federal court has upheld the “fair use” doctrine by dismissing a lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment and rappers Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and the Alchemist for copyright infringement. The plaintiff, Abilene Music, accused the rappers and Sony, which released the album, of infringing its copyright in the well known song “What a Wonderful World.” The infraction allegedly occurred when the trio made slang references to marijuana in a rap that began with a variation on the first three lines of the song popularized by Louis Armstrong (news). The defendants successfully argued that while the song’s lyrics were adapted from “What a Wonderful World,” they were protected as fair use under the Copyright Act. In granting a summary judgement for Sony and the rappers, Judge Gerard Lynch said the rap was clearly a parody, intended to criticise and ridicule the cheerful perspective of the original song. The judge also noted that the rap made key changes to the lyrics and to the overall effect of the lines, and it was not an imitation of the original. The Judge held that whereas the original first three lines of ‘Wonderful World’ describe the beauty of nature,…

Sampling Newton -v- Diamond and Others (2003)
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Record Labels, Artists In 1992 the Beastie Boys got a license from ECM Records to sample a copyrighted sound recording from James W. Newton Jr.’s flute composition, Choir. The group sampled and used a six-second, three-note sequence and looped it throughout its song “Pass the Mic,” featured on the Capitol album “Check Your Head.” In 2000, Newton who also composed the work, sued the Beastie Boys, alleging that the remix infringed the “heart” of his flute composition, and that the band should have obtained a license from him as the composer of the underlying work in addition to obtaining a sample to use the recording. The US Appeals Court, affirming the court of first instance’s decision, held that there was no infringement because the use of the sample was minimal and there were no substantial similarities between the two works or that the average person would recognise the appropriation. COMMENT : The band clearly felt that they had obtained the relevant appropriate licence: They had gone to the owner of a recording they wished to sample and licensed this. As they had only used three ‘unidentifiable’ notes in sequence they believed (rightly it seems) that they hadn’t used the…

Massive Piracy Raid in Italy
Copyright , Record Labels / December 2003
Italy

COPYRIGHT Record Labels Police in Italy have dismantled a major organised ring involved in the mass duplication of music, movies and software. The raids, in the Naples area, struck a blow against organised CD-R and DVD burning and distribution in the country. The raids followed months of investigation, and involved 50 of Italy’s Fiscal Police who located and seized six undercover burning laboratories in the suburbs of Naples on October 24. The raids netted 496 CD and DVD burners, including 200 CD burners found at one location. Over 60,000 burned CDs and DVDs ready for distribution throughout Italy were also found. They included the latest film and music titles, such as Tomb Raiders II and The Best of R.E.M. The value of related equipment, including computers, burned CDs and DVDs and blank discs is estimated at hundreds of thousands of Euros. Nine people have been charged with criminal copyright law infringement. The BSA (Business Software Alliance), FAPAV (the Italian branch of the Motion Picture Association) and FPM (Italian Record Industry and the IFPI) assisted in the raids. See: http://www.ifpi.org

US Copyright Office Review
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Computer Technology, Internet, Telecommunications The U.S. Copyright Office has rejected dozens of requests to relax a 1998 federal copyright law, including proposals to allow people to play DVDs bought in other countries and to copy DVD bonus materials for non-commercial use. This week’s ruling concludes a review conducted every three years on whether the legal use of some copyright materials has been hurt by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which bans the bypassing of copy protection on digital music, movies and other works. More than 50 requests for exemptions were made but the Copyright Office granted only two new exemptions. One permits access to electronic books by software for the blind and to computer programs and video games distributed in formats now obsolete.

R v Clark (2003) Re-broadcasting Foreign Television Signals
Copyright / December 2003
UK

COPYRIGHT Televison, Radio Pubs and clubs which illegally screen live football matches from the English Premiership league in England face prosecution as the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) which acts for Premier League, which owns the copyright to the matches, takes action against infringers. Live football is banned in the UK on Saturday afternoons to promote match attendance and income from TV rights. In R v White, Hertfordshire bar manager William Clark was found guilty of copyright infringement and fined £500 and £720 costs. The maximum fine in a magistrates court is £5,000 for this offence. Foreign signals (which of course can be legally transmitted in the countries to which they are licensed) but which can be downlinked in the UK include Canal + in Holland and Poland and Sport TV in Portugal. All show live Premiership matches, although without English commentary. The Evening Standard, 4 November 2003

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Back The ‘Broadcast Flag’
Copyright / December 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Film, Television The US FCC has approved plans to embed a digital marker or flag in all digital television programmes in order to prevent their illegal distribution over the Internet as broadband develops. Broadcasters and film makers are particularly concerned that illegal copies will reach foreign markets in a digital form before foreign broadcasters have had a chance to legally broadcast there. In the UK, a number of foreign series such as Friends are often months, if not years, behind first transmission in the US. But the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have voiced serious concerns about the broadcast flag and its impact on the manufacturing of digital televisions and DVD recorders as well as on the personal liberty of consumers – “The FCC today has taken a step that will shape the future of television,” said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “Sadly, this represents a step in the wrong direction, a step that will undermine innovation, fair use, and competition.” The EFF’s pre-ruling ‘action alert newsletter’ commented: Hollywood is at it again, trying to control the design of new digital technologies. If the motion picture studios have their way, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will force manufacturers to include…

India’s State Broadcaster To Take Action As Cricket Footage Is Illegally Broadcast On Rival Channels
Copyright / December 2003
India

COPYRIGHT Film, Television Indian state broadcaster, Prasar Bharti, is planning to take legal action against a number of privately owned news and sports channels which are re-transmitting cricket footage which is owned and licenced to Prasar Bharti’s national Doordarshan channel. Under Indian national custom and practice, other channels can air up to 30 seconds from rival broadcaster’s footage for news and review purposes provided that dues acknowledgement is given to the copyright owner. Using more than 30 seconds is a copyright infringement. See: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=270364

Piracy News From Around The World
Malaysia
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet A recent report published by NPD in the US shows that the threat of legal action against individuals who download copyrighted songs and swap files has led to a reduction in the number of infringements. The number of US households acquiring digital music via p2p file-sharing services declined by 11% from August to September and the total number of music files downloaded decreased 9%, says the company. However, the report also shows that the public image of record labels has suffered badly. In Malaysia, the record industry has resorted to ‘digital watermarking’ preview CDs sent to journalists after numerous album titles were found on the Internet before release but after review copies had been sent to the press. The watermarking is a series of invisible and unique digital codes embedded onto the CD which allows investigators to trace the source of the download. However, and in contrast to the problems reported by the record industry, US collection society Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) which represents music publishers and artists such as Britney Spears, Sheryl Crow, Pink and Eminen has announced increased annual revenues for last year, pre record industry actions. The performing right organisation distributed…

Will Smart CDs provide an answer to file swapping?
Copyright , Record Labels / November 2003
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels Recording companies are looking at a new generation of smart CDs that promise to stifle music fans’ ability to use file-swapping networks while still allowing them some freedom to make copies and share music. BMG Entertainment’s new album by hip-hop singer Anthony Hamilton will be the first commercial release to use a technology that restricts copying but lets buyers play protected CDs on computers and burn copies onto blank CDs. Fans can even send a limited number of copies to friends over the Internet. BMG is using the new copy-protection advancements by embedding Comin’ From Where I’m From with MediaMax CD-3 technology from Phoenix-based SunnComm Technologies Inc. With MediaMax CD-3, each song is written onto the CD twice, once in a format readable by standard CD players and the other as a Windows media file playable on a computer. BMG has set up the CD so fans can burn each track three times per computer. Songs can also be e-mailed to a limited number of people, who can then listen to the song up to 10 times each. SunnComm says that most people, unless they are hackers or truly determined, won’t be able to circumvent the limits, including one…

Does the Recording Industry need a new model to exploit copyright?
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet, Artists, Film & Television I remember the first VHS tape I ever brought in 1985. The cassette cost £29.99, a lot in 1985, and far more than I would pay for a film on video or even DVD now. This was at the time of the 1984 Sony Betamax case and the film industry was still coming to terms with the ramifications of the US Supreme Court’s split decision that the Betamax machine was legal. But unlike the current situation with legal actions being filed around the world by the recording industry against the likes of Napster, Verizon, KazaA and even individuals who download files, the film industry made efforts to widen the consumption of their ‘product’ – films – through television, video rental, pay-per-view, sell-thru video and video on demand. Could this approach perhaps have been a useful lesson or basic blueprint for the recording industry? The film industry seems historically to have adapted to changes in consumer habits alongside and embraced changes in technology – cinemas were improved, multiplexes built, new price structures launched and the film companies adapted to and explored the new media. This Law Update it written just two months after…

Germany considers new copyright reform
Germany

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels, Artists, Music Publishing The German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries has announced the “second basket” of reform for copyright laws for Germany. Zypries said she wanted to see the remaining provisions of the EU Directive of Copyright in the Digital Age enacted into law by next summer (see the position in the UK below). In particular the new laws will prohibit the right to make private copies made from digital sources. German commentators have remarked that this provision is similar to that of the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act and have pointed out that such a provision would be unacceptable; Copyright owners who protect their content by encyryption would be relieved from the obligation to offer access for privileged users such as libraries, schools or disabled persons and commentators add that basic constitutional freedoms would be undermined. Eva-Maria Michel, Legal Counsel of the WDR Public Broadcasting Station has said that the provisions would be a violation of the constitutional liberties of the media. Michel warned that the copyright reform focuses too much on combating piracy and thereby destroy basic privileges in the copyright field. The movie and music industries have, by contrast, lobbied to remove the right to…

Nintendo develops low cost ‘piracy proof’ console for China
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2003
China

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet Nintendo has revealed plans to market a cheaper version of its Game Cube console in China, with a flash memory card instead of the optical disc reader found on models sold in other countries. Game Cube software is normally stored on proprietary 1.5GB optical discs. Optical discs, such as DVDs and music CDs, are routinely counterfeited in China. Chinese users will have to take the Game Cube card to a shop and pay for the download of new games. The data cannot be extracted or cloned from one card to other cards, nor can a card for one console be used on other consoles. Nintendo hopes that the modified Game Cube overcomes to two obstacles holding back console makers from the potentially lucrative China market – the spending power of the consumer and rampant software piracy. The game device – dubbed iQue Player – is said to be capable of playing both SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and Nintendo 64 titles, and will sell for 498 yuan (US$60), including the memory card, according to games web site Total Video Games. It will be sold from mid-October in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in an effort to enable…

Taiwan copyright law revisions ‘a step backwards’
Taiwan

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists, Film, Television The Taiwan Anti-piracy Coalition have said that the country’s revised copyright laws are a step backwards in the fight against piracy. The Coalition said the removal of minimum penalties on some intellectual property offences was a major concern. The Legislative Yuan passed the revised Copyright Law in June 2003 after making a total of 53 changes to a draft originally proposed by the Executive Yuan. According to the Coalition, these changes have seriously weakened copyright protection, especially regarding penalties for copyright violators, since the law now defines a copyright violation as making more than five copies of a product or selling copies that are worth more than NT$30,000 on the street. This means that persons who make fewer than five copies or less than NT$30,000 will not be regarded as criminals. In addition, the Coalition argue that the removal of the minimum six-month prison penalty would make people less worried about infringing copyright. The Coalition said the lack of adequate intellectual property protection will have serious consequences for industry and the future of the nation’s economy. See: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2003/09/17/2003068192

Ghana to introduce new copyright legislation
Ghana

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet The current Copyright Bill before Ghana Parliament will provide for the creation of a Copyright Tribunal which would have substantially increased penalties available against those who infringe the rights of authors and composers in Ghana. Professor George Hagan, Chairman of the National Commission on Culture, said the Bill met the minimum requirement of the World Intellectual Property Organisations (WIPO) Internet Treaties. At a four day conference, over 30 executives from African intellectual property organisations looked at the problems of piracy on a pan-African level as well as the negative affect of piracy of Western copyrights on African culture. “African culture faces the real risk of being adulterated under the guise of foreign influences, whilst the advanced world are progressively adopting measures to protect and promote their cultural heritage,” Prof. Hagan said. Ghana, through the active collaboration of the WIPO, International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisation (IFRRO) and the Reproduction Rights Organisation of Norway has now succeeded in establishing a Reprographic Rights Organisation. The Conference was convened under the auspices of the Copyright Society of Ghana in collaboration with the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and the WIPO. See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=44752

Japanese authors to win lending right
Copyright , Music Publishing / November 2003
Japan

COPYRIGHT Publishing The Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency intends to require major book-lenders to pay copyright royalties to novelists, cartoonists and other holders of copyrights. The plan is part of an effort to address growing concerns that an increase in the number of major chains entering the book-lending business could violate cartoonists and authors’ copyrights. For years, shops renting out books, magazines and other publications have been exempted from the law governing payment of copyright royalties. The Agency plans to submit a bill to revise the Copyright Law to the next ordinary session of the Japanese Diet. Under the proposed bill, major book-lenders will be obliged to pay royalties to copyright holders, such as novelists and cartoonists, starting in 2005 at the earliest. Copyright holders have the right to restrict the lending of copyrighted material under existing Copyright Law. With videos of Japanese movies, video rental shop operators buy the videos for three to four times the market price to cover the cost of copyright royalties paid to film companies and scriptwriters. In the case of music compact discs, composers, performers and music production companies have the right to lend out the copyrighted material on the CDs. According to the Agency,…

Sentencing for online film piracy
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Film & Television, Internet, Record Labels A New Jersey man who pleaded guilty to illegally copying and posting a digital version of summer action movie “The Hulk” on the Internet received a three-year probation, was fined us $2,000 and was ordered to serve six months confinement in his home. He also must pay $5,000 in restitution to Universal, the company that produced and distributed the movie. Kerry Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of copyright infringement. He admitted to receiving an unfinished copy of the movie from a friend who in turn sourced the ‘work print’ from a third party who worked for an advertising agency. No one from the ad agency has been charged. The FBI traced the Internet copy back to Gonzalez through an encoded “security tag” on the print. The Motion Picture Association of America already puts the number of films pirated off the Internet at 400,000 to 600,000 a day, and no one has calculated what that costs the industry. Jack Valenti, the president of the MPPA, went before Congress in March to warn that “America’s crown jewels – its intellectual property – are being looted”. See: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/2003/09/27/news/local/6873888.htm

Sentencing for the online sale of pirated CDs
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet New Yorker Alan Davis was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of using the Internet to sell hundreds of CDs that were loaded with unauthorised copies of songs. Davis, 42, of Brooklyn, was also ordered to pay $3,329.50 (£2,000 approx). Judge Walton in the US District Court of Washington DC also sentenced Davis to one year of supervised parole, to be served upon his release from jail, and barred him from using a computer for one year. Davis had admitted using his site, EmpireRecords.com, to market more than 100 different CDs and cassette tapes featuring compilations of copyrighted materials from various musical artists. He was caught after an FBI agent ordered 200 CDs and had them shipped from New York to Washington. The Web site has since been shut down. See: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/business/legal/0,39020651,39117063,00.htm

Suspended prison sentence for contempt of court for repeat copyright infringer: PPL v Tierney
UK

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Live Concert Regular ‘users’ of music who either refuse to pay licence fees at all or who do so only under threat of legal proceedings are the bane of music collecting societies. The threat of legal proceedings does not always dissuade a repeat infringer. Furthermore, some infringers are prepared to ignore court orders or undertakings which they have given to the court. In this case the defendant Mr Tierney, the proprietor of an establishment in Guildford, breached a court order by failing to pay licence fees to Phonographic Performance Ltd in relation to certain sound recordings played at his establishment. He had also failed to comply with undertakings given to the court on a number of occasions. Failure to comply with a court order is a contempt of court which is punishable by a fine or an order for committal to prison. PPL applied for an order to commit Mr Tierney for contempt of court in respect of his failure to comply with the court order. It had reportedly made seven previous applications of this nature against Mr Tierney. PPL succeeded in its application. Mr Tierney had been warned of the consequences of further breaches…

EU Copyright Directive will finally be implemented in UK law
EU

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Film, Television Legislation implementing the European Copyright Directive has finally been laid before the UK Parliament. Among other things, it extends the UK’s copyright laws to deal with digital piracy, albeit ten months behind the EU’s deadline. The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 will amend the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 and will come into force on 31st October. The Copyright Directive, passed in 2001, was the EU’s attempt to update copyright protection to the digital age. It is also the means by which the European Union and its Member States will implement two 1996 World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Treaties: the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. The new Regulations are available at: http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032498.htm

Nokia hit by piracy of handset games
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2003
EU

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Telecommunications, Internet The secret codes protecting games which can be played on Nokia’s combined telephone/games platform N-gage have already been cracked and the games can be downloaded from the internet and can be played on other games consoles. The software for the games had already been licensed to a number of companies including Samsung and Siemens. Source: www.timesonline.co.uk/business

MPAA BRINGS ACTION AGAINST PRODUCER OF DVD COPYING SOFTWARE
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / October 2003
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet, Film & Television In a case reminiscent of the 1984 ‘Sony Betamax’ case, the Motion Picture Association of America has launched an action in the High Court of England & Wales against 321 Studios which produces software which allows the copying of DVDs by consumers. The MPAA has already filed an action in the US (December 2002) seeking to prohibit the sale of 321 Studios’ software titles DVD X Copy and DVD Copy Plus. It also wants any profits from sales as recovery of damages. 321 Studios says it has sold a total of 150,000 copies of the two software titles. 321 Studios insists that its software does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US which outlaws providing information or tools to circumvent copy-control technology. At the same time, the movie studios are using the Digital Millenium Copyright Act against a software package produced by Tritton Technologies. The studios have filed a suit in a Manhattan court to block the sale of “DVD CopyWare” that allows DVD owners to backup their DVD collection to DVD-R media. Also named in the suit are three website hosts selling the software. Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox…

LIABILITY FOR EMPLOYEE’S COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Copyright , Internet / October 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet Lowry’s Reports Inc v Legg Mason Inc et al In this case, two related financial services companies were found to be vicariously liable for copyright infringement as a result of the acts of an employee. The employee re-distributed e-mail newsletters containing a daily stock market analysis originating from the plaintiff, Lowry’s Reports Inc, by posting these on Legg Mason’s intranet which was available to all brokers and by e-mailing copies of the newsletter to other Legg Mason employees. The Lowry newsletter contains up to date stock market information and valuable predictive data calculated using confidential algorithms. Lowry’s require subscribers, who are limited to individuals and cannot be corporations or organisations, not to make unauthorised copies nor to disseminate the newsletters or their content. An existing Legg Mason policy prohibited copying of such copyrighted materials by employees. The US District Court in Maryland ruled that the activities of the defendant’s employee infringed the plaintiff’s copyright. The defendant was found to be vicariously liable for copyright infringement because it had (a) the right and ability to supervise the infringing activities and (b) it has an obvious and direct financial interest in exploitation of the copyrighted material. The fact that the employee’s actions…

AUSTRALIAN TRIO FACE CRIMINAL SANCTIONS FOR ONLINE MUSIC PIRACY
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / October 2003
Australia

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels Three Australian men face jail after pleading guilty last week to infringing copyright in what the Australian recording industry believes is the world’s first criminal prosecution for online music piracy. Until now, legal actions against music websites such as Napster, KaZaA and Aimster have relied on civil law (see Law Updates above). The three defendants, all twenty years of age or under, last week pleaded guilty to infringing the copyright of music giants Universal Music, Sony, Warner, BMG , EMI and Festival Mushroom Records. Police arrested the defendants in April after raiding their homes in Sydney following a joint investigation with Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI), a record industry-funded watchdog. They face up to five years’ jail and $60,500 in fines for illegally distributing up to $60 million worth of music on a website called “MP3 WMA land”. In the UK, the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and Trade Mark Act 1994 both provide for civil and criminal sanctions. Jail sentences can extend to five years in the Crown Court with unlimited fines (see September 2003 Law Updates and April 2003 Law Updates for examples). Whilst traditional piracy such as bootlegging and distributing illegally copied CDs has resulted in…

MOBILE PHONE RINGTONE PIRACY BOOMS IN ASIA
Australia
Singapore

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Telecommunications The phenomenal growth of Asia’s mobile phone market has spawned widespread ringtone download piracy. Copyright owners are battling to claim royalties in Asia – a region which has long been problematical with widespread traditional forms of music piracy, such as the organised distribution of counterfeit and bootleg CDs and cassettes. The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers have said that the problem is prevelant in most South-East Asia territories. Whilst territories such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia have systems in place to govern ringtone copyright, and owners are compensated for use, ringtone downloads in countries like Thailand and Phillipines are almost entirely unlicensed with little legal revenue. The ringtone market is now big business (see Law Updates September 2003). In Japan, music publisher collection society JASRAC receives multi-million dollar royalties from ringtone operators. In Singapore, one of the biggest cellular phone markets in Asia (with an ownership rate of 80 per cent) ringtones cost about $S2 ($1.79) on average in the legitimate market. Whilst a number of favourite downloads are mainstream western artists such as Norah Jones and Britney Spears, Asian composers are also being hurt because local hits are…

EFF FIGHTS BACK AS DirecTV SENDS OUT FIRST WARNINGS TO SMARTCARD OWNERS
Copyright , Internet / October 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Television, Internet The following comment is from the Electronic Frontiers Foundation newsletter of the 16th August 2003, Vol 16 No 21: Satellite TV giant DirecTV has sent ominous letters to an estimated 100,000 individuals, accusing them of purchasing “pirate access devices” and threatening to haul them into court for stealing television channels. The letters tell the unlucky recipients that the prospect of an expensive legal battle will go away if they pay up, usually to the tune of $3,500. Yet, in too many cases, the targets of the letters never intercepted DTV’s signal; they’re only guilty of owning smart card technology. This dragnet is catching innocent security professionals, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs. Without proof of a violation of law, DTV’s unsubstantiated threats to sue are an abuse of the legal system. As if that’s not bad enough, DirecTV has filed over 9,000 lawsuits against purchasers of smartcard technology, employing an army of lawyers to squeeze even more costly settlements out of individuals nationwide. Ask your Members of Congress to initiate an investigation into DirecTV’s misuse of the law and blatant disregard for the public’s right to use technology. See: www.eff.org The DirecTV Defense website sponsored by EFF and Stanford Law School’s Center…

INTERIM INJUNCTION GRANTED BY NEW DELHI COURT
Copyright , Record Labels / October 2003
India

COPYRIGHT & PASSING OFF Record Labels A Delhi court has restrained Sony Music Entertainment from marketing its album titled DJ Heart Remix, containing popular Hindi songs, in response to an action brought by claimant Super Cassettes Industries. Super Cassettes claimed that the title, artwork and content of the product produced by Sony were deceptively similar to their Copyrighted albumDJ Hot Remix. Holding that there was phonetic, visual and structural similarity between the title DJ Hot Remix and DJ Heart Remix, Additional Sessions Judge RPS Teji, in an ex-parte interim order, restrained Sony Music from carrying any business to do with or advertising for the Heart Remix album. The court also injuncted Sony from using the artistic work of the inlay card of the album which was allegedly identical to that of Super Cassettes’ DJ Hot Remix. Besides alleging that there was phonetic, visual and structural similarity in the title of the album, Super Cassettes accused Sony of depicting on the inlay card six common songs in a similar style as well as printing the sequence of three songs in an identical manner. Super Cassettes had submitted that the adoption of deceptively similar titles and features by the rival to promote its product was causing…

RIAA LAUNCHES FIRST ACTIONS AGAINST US INDIVIDUALS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / October 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet Having fought to obtain subscriber and user details from the likes of Verizon and Universities, The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) filed 261 lawsuits against individuals who are ‘chronic’ abusers of internet download services on the 9th September 2003. US Copyright law allows for damages of up to $150,000 per track infringed, although the RIAA have said they are open to offers of settlement from the individuals concerned. www.globeandmail.com report on the story of twelve-year-old Brianna Lahara’s love for TV theme songs, Christina Aguilera and the nursery song If You’re Happy and You Know It which made made her a target of the multibillion-dollar U.S. recording industry. Yesterday Brianna, a user of KaZaA, promised never again to share songs over the Internet and her mother agreed to pay $2,000 (U.S.). The RIAA issued a statement announcing that Brianna’s mother had settled for $2,000 and quoting the little girl as saying: “I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don’t want to hurt the artists I love.” The release also quoted Ms. Torres as saying: “We understand now that file-sharing the music was illegal. You can be sure Brianna won’t be doing it any more.” The RIAA has…

AUSTRALIAN COURT FACES UP TO THE PROBLEM OF A WORLD WIDE WEB
Copyright , Internet , Trade Mark / October 2003
Australia

TRADEMARK, COPYRIGHT Internet Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v. Chen [2003] FCA 897  The Federal Court of Australia recently had to consider whether or not to issue injunctive relief against a US resident given that there was apparently no mechanism available for the enforcement or registration of the Australian injunction in the US courts. The Court heard that the respondent had operated a website which purported to be an official website for the Sydney Opera House and included a mechanism for ‘ordering tickets’. In fact the website had nothing whatsoever to do with the Sydney Opera House and the site contravened Australia’s Trade Practices Act, 1952 (TPA). The court accepted that in reality it could NOT enforce the injunction. However, the court DID make a formal declaration to mark its disapproval of the respondent’s activities, in part because it felt that such might carry some weight with US domestic law enforcement and trade authorities such as the US Federal Trade Commission. The Australian Court also felt that a formal declaration might act as a warning to consumers. See: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/federal_ct/2003/897.html

JACKSON FALTERS IN SUIT AGAINST MOTOWN AND UNIVERSAL
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / October 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels A California judge has dismissed part of Michael Jackson’s lawsuit against Universal Music in which he claimed he was owed royalties for songs he recorded before 1979 (see Law Updates, June 2003). In a January 1980 settlement with Motown, Jackson gave up rights to songs released before 1979, giving the record label exclusive rights to the name the Jackson 5, the group of Jackson-family members that first put the star on the map. Jackson contends he should be paid for any songs he recorded alone or with his brothers that were re-released after the 1980 agreement. Jackson is seeking payment of royalties he claimed are owed and recission of the 1980 agreement. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias found on Friday that Universal had not breached any fiduciary duty, since Jackson gave up the rights to the pre-1980 tunes.

NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS APPLY TO PUBLIC DOMAIN WORKS IN CHINA
Copyright , Trade Mark / October 2003
China

COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK Book publishing, merchandising Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit books have featured in a recent Chinese court decision where the state-owned Chinese Academy of Social Science Press was fined £30,000 by a district court in Beijing over its translations of Peter Rabbit and three of Potter’s other animal stories without permission. The case was brought by Frederick Warne & Co, which originally published the story in 1902 and is now a subsidiary of Penguin. The case is not a simple copyright case as under Chinese copyright law the literary copyright expired in 1993. Frederick Warne and Co then registered the Chinese characters used in the translation of Peter Rabbit along with all of Potter’s original drawings as trademarks. In Chinese law, copyright subsists for 50 years. In the UK, Potter’s work went briefly out of copyright at the same time, 50 years after Potter’s death in 1943, only to come back into copyright in 1995 when copyright protection for literary works was extended to life of author plus seventy years under the European Directive on Copyright Duration (Directive 93/98). The case is interesting in that the Court accepted that a new IP right was created by use of the drawings…

US SENATOR VOICES CONCERN OVER RIAA TACTICS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Internet US Senator Norm Coleman, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee of Investigations, is concerned that the recording industry is taking an extreme approach in its attempt to quash online file trading and may hurt innocent people in the process and has asked the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), to provide detailed information about the more than 900 subpoenas it has issued so far. As previously detailed in Law Updates, the RIAA has issued the subpoenas to universities and Internet service providers in order to obtain the names of file traders it suspects are violating copyrights. At the end of the month, the music trade group plans to file lawsuits against those caught offering “substantial” amounts of music for others to share. The Senator has asked for five pieces of information from the RIAA: Copies of all the subpoenas, a description of the standard the RIAA uses to file an application for a subpoena, and an explanation of how the group is collecting evidence against alleged file sharers. Coleman also wants to know how the RIAA is protecting computer users’ privacy and how the trade lobby is protecting people from erroneous subpoenas. The RIAA issued a…

THE COPYRIGHT CAGE
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Companies, Internet, Music Publishers, Artists, Merchandisers, Radio, Television INTRODUCTION : This article, by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, suggests a new approach to copyright law in the digital age. The article was first published on www.legalaffairs.org in their July/August edition. Bars can’t have TVs bigger than 55 inches. Teddy bears can’t include tape decks. Girl Scouts who sing “Puff, the Magic Dragon” owe royalties. Copyright law needs to change. By Jonathan Zittrain. A couple of years ago I was talking with a law school colleague about cyberlaw and the people who study it. “I’ve always wondered,” he said, “why all the cyberprofs hate copyright.” I don’t actually hate copyright, and yet I knew just what he meant. Almost all of us who study and write about the law of cyberspace agree that copyright law is a big mess. As far as I can tell, federal courts experts don’t reject our system of federal courts, and criminal law experts split every which way on the overall virtue of the criminal justice system. So what’s with our uniform discontent about copyright? I think an answer can be gleaned from tax scholars. Without decrying the concept of taxation, every tax professor I’ve met regards the U.S. tax…

R -v- Hunt Sentencing for lower level piracy
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2003
UK

COPYRIGHT Record Labels A 42 year old plumber who turned his hand to selling counterfeit and bootleg CDs from a stall at a Record Fair was sentenced to a 120 hours community penalty and ordered to pay £250.00 costs after Trading Standards Officers seized pirated and bootlegged CDs worth approximately £9,000 in a raid organised by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and EMI Records. Hunt admitted 5 offences under the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and the Trade Marks Act 1994. The 900 CDs and 300 videos found at the Fair in Norwich included bootleg copies of recordings by Bob Dylan, U2 and Elvis.

RINGTONES SET TO OUTSELL CD SINGLES IN THE UK
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2003
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, Telecommunications, Internet  Sales of downloadable ringtones for mobile phones look likely to outstrip CD singles in the UK in 2004. The ringtone market, estimated to be worth more than £70 million in the UK, is increasing rapidly. Sale of ringtones in 2002 were £40 million. CD singles are heading the other way, with sales currently at about ÿ£150 million (2002) but with an estimated 37% drop in 2003 on last year’s figures. August ’03 favourites include Flying on the Wings Of Love by XTN and Crazy in Love by Beyonce & Jay-Z. COMMENT : With ringtones costing between £1.50 and £3 to download in the UK, the mobile phone operators, labels and music publishers have found a lucrative new maket. Another new growth area is the ‘spoken word’ – a voice rather than a ringtone which announces an incoming call or text. This might prove a new area of legal dispute – where imitators provide the voice of well known celebritiy for a download – for example, as Sir Michael Caine or Arnie as the Terminator alongside that star’s well known catch phrase or parody of that phrase. It will be interesting to see if artists seek to assert character rights over…

PROTECTION IN JORDAN EXTENDED TO INTERNET MATERIAL
Copyright , Internet / August 2003

COPYRIGHT Internet Jordan brought its copyright laws up to date by extending protection to the Internet, but proper enforcement remains the next hurdle, businessmen said on Wednesday. Jordan has implemented “100 per cent” of its commitments to various international bodies by extending copyright protections to material on the Internet, Minister of Industry and Trade Salah Bashir said. The change to copyright laws also toughens penalties against those who violate them, for example, by pirating music or computer software, said Tawfiq Tabbaa, a member of the Jordanian Intellectual Property Association. Tabbaa said the laws protecting intellectual property adopted since 1999 are working, noting that software piracy has dropped from 87% in 1999 to 64% this year. Tabbaa said work is going to “increase judicial capacity” when it comes to the often highly technical arguments made in cases over who has the legal claim to a certain idea. He said the government is looking at working with international experts ‘to help judges feel more a part of the changing laws that they will have to start applying in their courtrooms’. Source: The Jordan Times See http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=22321

FOOTBALL EMBLEMS ARE COPYRIGHT
UK

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Football Association Premier League Ltd and others -v- Panini UK Ltd The Court of Appeal has held that the badges and crests of individual English football clubs were the artistic works of the clubs and were entitled to copyright protection. The unlicensed inclusion of these badges, crests and emblems on the stickers of Panini’s Football 2003 Sticker Collection was not an ‘incidental inclusion’ in an artistic work within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and therefore an injunction was granted to restrain the defendant distributing those stickers and albums. Lord Justice Chadwick held that where an artistic work in which copyright subsisted appeared in a photograph – because it was part of the setting in which the photographer found his subject, then it could be properly said to be an integral part of the photograph. But to qualify as an exception to infringement, the inclusion of the work must be incidental and on the facts of the case, clearly the inclusion of the badges, crests and emblems was not incidental as it was the basic object of the defendant’s production of stickers and albums. Source: The Times, Law Report, 17 July 2003 See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/legalarchive…

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO CHANGE US COPYRIGHT LAW
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet, Artists The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a “Let the Music Play” campaign urging the more than 60 million U.S. citizens who use file-sharing software to demand changes in copyright law to get artists paid and make file-sharing legal. The EFF Let the Music Play campaign counters the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) announcement that it will file thousands of lawsuits against individuals who use file-sharing software like Kazaa, Grokster, and Morpheus. “Copyright law is out of step with the views of the American public and the reality of music distribution online,” said EFF Executive Director Shari Steele. “Rather than trying to sue people into submission, we need to find a better alternative that gets artists paid while making file sharing legal.” EFF’s Let the Music Play campaign provides alternatives to the RIAA’s litigation barrage, details EFF’s efforts to defend peer-to-peer file sharing, and makes it easy for individuals to write members of Congress. EFF will also place advertisements about the Right to Share campaign in magazines such as Spin, Blender, Computer Gaming World, and PC Gamer. “Today, more U.S. citizens use file-sharing software than voted for President Bush,” said EFF Senior…

SOUTH KOREAN COURT EXPLORES ONLINE INFRINGEMENTS
Copyright , Internet / August 2003
South Korea

COPYRIGHT Internet Bugs Music, Koreas biggest online music service provider, has taken the upper hand in the initial stage of what is expected to be a long legal battle with prosecutors who are trying to draw a clear line on the copyright dispute between Internet music providers and the music industry. The Seoul District Court yesterday turned down a prosecution request for an arrest warrant for Park Sung-hoon, who heads the music provider. The Court said that as `his residence is fixed and there is no concern he will destroy evidence’ no warrant would be granted. Park was charged with copyright infringements as his online company provided music streaming services to more than 14 million members. Prosecuters will continue to investigate Bugs to determine future charges of copyright infringement. The lawsuit, which would serve as the conclusion of ongoing disputes surrounding Koreas online music service providers, was first brought up by a joint plaintiff of 25 local music labels and five distributors of foreign labels in February asking the court to shut down the online music site on charges of infringement of reproduction rights. Bugs Music has admitted that they are partly at fault. However, they are arguing that their…

GLOBAL SALES OF ILLEGAL CDs TOP 1 BILLION UNITS
Brazil
China
EU
Mexico
Poland
Russia
Spain
Taiwan
Thailand
Ukraine
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Artists, Internet A report published by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) shows that the illegal music market is now worth $4.6bn (£2.8bn) globally. It believes two out of every five CDs or cassettes sold are illegal. The IFPI said much of this money is going to support organised criminal gangs, dispelling the myth that it is a “victimless crime”. Jay Berman, chairman of the IFPI, said: “This is a major, major commercial activity, involving huge amounts of pirated CDs. The IFPI’s top 10 priority countries where labels want a crackdown on piracy are Brazil, China, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Russia, Spain, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Ukraine. The IFPI also pointed out that when factoring in unlicensed downloads then “only one in three music products in the UK is authorised.” Despite the increase in the amount of CDs illegally produced and sold around the world, up 14% on 2001, there has also been a rise in the amount of CDs and recording equipment seized. The number of discs seized on their way for public sale was more than 50 million, a four-fold rise on the previous year. The IFPI is concerned in two main…

AUSTRALIAN RECORD INDUSTRY SECURES ORDER TO ALLOW ACCESS TO UNIVERSITY COMPUTERS
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2003
Australia
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels Three of Australia’s largest Universities today lost the battle to block the music industry from gaining access to their computer infrastructure, with the Federal Court ordering them to allow the industry’s experts to gain access. Federal Court Justice Brian Tamberlin ordered the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania to allow the music industry access to the infrastructure to seek information regarding alleged breaches of copyright, such as file-sharing, by University staff or students. The music industry had been seeking access to information on the Universities’ network it claims contains evidence of copyright infringement, but the Universities refused, citing privacy concerns. Justice Tamberlin previously stated he would order the Universities to hand over the relevant information but had allowed time for both parties to provide arguments appealing the decision. This story is from: http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/security/story/0,2000048600,20276375,00.htm COMMENT : This Australian case follows on from the Recording Industry Association of America’s successful action against Verizon. There, the US Courts granted the RIAA access to the cable provider’s subscriber details so that the RIAA could identify those who infringed copyright on the internet. In both cases the right to privacy was held to be inferior to the right of copyright owners to seek…

US COURT DIMISSES COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CASE
USA

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels, Music Publishers A federal judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Britney Spears, her record label (Zomba/Jive) and BMG Music Publishing, saying two Philadelphia songwriters failed to prove the pop singer copied the melody of one of their songs. U.S. District Judge Berle M. Schiller ruled last week that Michael Cottrill and Lawrence Wnukowski couldn’t provide enough evidence to prove Spears had access to their song titled, “What You See Is What You Get,” when she recorded, “What U See (Is What U Get).” Cottrill and Wnukowski said they gave one of Spears’ representatives a copyrighted version of their tune in late 1999 after being asked to submit songs for consideration for the singer’s upcoming album. But Schiller, citing defence testimony, said the melody of Spears’ song was completed by the beginning of November 1999, before Spears and her representatives “would have had access to a copyrighted version of plaintiffs’ song.” The Judge went on to say that there weren’t enough similarities between the two songs to prove copyright infringement. The four men credited with writing Spears’ song, released on her best-selling second album, “Oops! … I Did it Again,” testified that they hadn’t heard…

VERIZON HAND OVER SUBSCRIBER DETAILS
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet Having failed to persuade the appeals court of its case, US ISP Verizon has handed over the names of four of its customers to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – marking a significant victory for the RIAA and a shift in the way that the US courts deal with the conflict between copyright infringements on the internet and customer privacy on the internet. The decision will undoubtedly have an impact on net users around the world. The RIAA first contacted Verizon last year after finding files being shared through the Kazaa peer-to-peer network from computers with IP addresses on Verizon’s network. The RIAA had no way to find who the users behind those computers were, so used a provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to issue a court-authorised subpoena to the ISP, asking for the subscriber names. Verizon refused, arguing that they were just a communications channel and had nothing to do with the potentially copyright-infringing behaviour of their customers. For comment in this area see: ‘Copyright holders like record labels have too much power over what people do with songs’ argues technology analyst Bill Thompson. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2968216.stm

RIAA FACE SETBACK IN LATEST ACTION AGAINST P2P FACILITATORS
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet In a blow to record labels, music publishers and film producers, a Federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday denied the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) motion for summary judgement in its copyright-infringement suit against peer-to-peer file-swapping services Morpheus and Grokster. The RIAA along with the National Music Publishers’ Association and the Motion Picture Association of America, filed the suit in 2001. Judge Stephen Wilson broke with the recent series of victories for the entertainment industries’ trade association recently and ruled that the P2P service providers are not liable because they are capable of non-infringing use. He compared the case to landmark litigation brought by movie studios in 1984 against Sony Corporation over the sale of Betamax videocassette recorders which of course could be used to (legitimately) play pre-recorded copies of films but could also be used to copy programmes from the television. Judge Wilson held that “The sale of copy equipment … does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is capable of substantial non-infringing uses,” Wilson wrote. Grokster and StreamCast Networks, firms that distribute the file-sharing programs Grokster and Morpheus, were not guilty of copyright infringement just because some users swap…

US COURT HAMMERS MAJORS’ ACCOUNTING PRACTICES
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / June 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists On April 22 2003, the U.S. District Court based in Los Angeles, dealt a blow to BMG and Sony, deciding that record clubs owned by the two majors had to face a court action scheduled for January 2004. The court found that the record clubs failed to pay for mechanical licenses on the premium records given away (roughly 6-8 cents per song, per copy sold). Songwriters’ lawyers estimate that the record clubs failed to account for approximately $100 million dollars a year. The following comment is from respected industry author – Moses Avalon, in his latest e-newsletter Moses Supposes. His site can be found at www.mosesavalon.com. It is an interesting attack on what might be seen as the hypocritical attitude of the labels in pursuing P2P file sharers and yet at the same time maintaining archaic and unfair accounting and trade practices. The Recording Artists’ Coalition have made similar comments (see Law Updates March 2003 and www.recordingartistscoalition.com). “All this makes you wonder why the RIAA (which is funded by companies who own both major publishing houses and record clubs) scream bloody hell over KazaA and Napster, and yet ignore this? Could it be to distract us from the fact…

MICHAEL JACKSON LAUNCHES ACTION AGAINST MOTOWN
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / June 2003
USA

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Michael Jackson is suing his former label Motown Records and its parent company Universal Music Group. Jackson claims that Motown, the label he signed with in 1969, breached a contract dated January 1980 that required the label to pay him royalties for certain pre-1976 recordings made by Jackson as a solo artist and the Jackson 5. In exchange for those royalties, Michael Jackson had agreed to waive his rights to other pre-1976 recordings. The 1980 contract was actually a settlement agreement stemming from lawsuits filed in 1975 and 1976 by the members of the Jackson 5 against Motown over accounting and contractual obligations. Jackson is now seeking complete and accurate accounting from Motown with full payment of all royalties due. Jackson is also asking the court to rescind the 1980 agreement and the underlying contract allowing Jackson to regain ownership and title to his master recordings and compositions. For more details see http://www.rollingstone.com/news/newsarticle.asp?nid=18038

CALIFORNIA SENATE TO CONSIDER DRAFT LAW TO OBLIGE RECORD LABELS TO CALCULATE ROYALTIES
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists, Music Publishers A Bill designed to provide Californian recording artists with accurate accounting has won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Bill (SB1034) introduced by Senator Kevin Murray (D) would make it a “fiduciary duty” for labels to accurately calculate royalty earnings owed to artists. Music industry officials oppose the Bill, saying it would impede labels from developing new business models in the face of surging piracy. RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) President Cary Sherman testified Tuesday that the bill “would distort the intensely negotiated, arms-length contractual relationship between an artist and recording label by imposing a fiduciary duty only on one party.” However, Committee members countered that only one party, the record company, holds the financial information to calculate royalties. The Recording Artists’ Coalition have repeatedly claimed that recording contracts are outmoded and complex, lack clarity in royalty calculations and contain numerous unjustifiable royalty reduction and discount provisions. See http://www.billboard.com/bb/daily/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1883484