US DOUBLE TRAGEDY RE-FOCUSES LIVE INDUSTRY ATTENTION ON EVENT SAFETY
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2003

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Concert Industry Following on from the death of 21 clubbers in Chicago on the 17th February, America was reeling after the deaths of at least 95 people in West Warwick, Rhode Island when the band Great White’s pyrotechnic display set fire to the venue where they were playing. The 17th February tragedy was caused by security staff letting off pepper spray in a nightclub to break up a fight; this caused members of the audience to panic in trying to escape. The Rhode Island tragedy was described by state Governor Don Carcieri as ‘a real disaster. The building went up so fast no one had a chance’. It was estimated that over 300 people were inside the one-story wooden building. 187 people were taken to hospital and over 30 remain critical. The low ceiling ‘Station’ club had no water sprinkler system as it was too small to require one by law. It also had no pyrotechnics licence although the band claim that they had checked in advance with the venue and permission for their display was given. Reports say that that after the pyrotechnics ignited the roof of the venue soundproofing material also ignited and the…

COURT GRANTS MUSIC INDUSTRY SECOND MAJOR VICTORY IN AIMSTER CASE

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet In a major victory in the fight against the unauthorised uploading and downloading of music and other copyrighted works, a U.S. District Court Judge granted an all-encompassing preliminary injunction against the file swapping site Aimster (Madster). The Court’s decision follows its ruling on September 4th granting the record companies’ request for a preliminary injunction. In that prior ruling, the Court described the Aimster system as “a service whose very raison d’etre appears to be the facilitation of and contribution to copyright infringement on a massive scale.” After issuing that opinion, the Court asked for proposals from the parties for the language of the Injunction. The record companies and music publishers submitted a proposal that the Defendants opposed; however, the Defendants did not submit their own proposal, arguing that it was impossible to filter out infringing recordings. The Court adopted the record companies’ and music publishers’ proposed Injunction in full, outlining the roadmap by which Aimster must act immediately to halt the massive copyright infringement it facilitates. U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen of the Northern District of Illinois ordered that Aimster implement filtering technologies now available so that it does not directly, indirectly, contributorily,…

US SENATOR REINTRODUCES BILL ON COMPETITION IN RADIO
Competition , Live Events / February 2003

COMPETITION Radio, Live Concert Industry Democrat Senator Russ Feingold has reintroduced his Competition in Radio and Concert Industries Act on January 28th 2003 which he says will help consumers, small and independent radio station owners, and independent concert promoters by prohibiting anti-competitive practices in the radio and concert industries. The Bill’s introduction comes as the Senate Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the problems of radio consolidation. Insiders say committee chairman, Republican Senator John McCain, is expected to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill soon. The Committee expects to hear from representatives of leading radio station owner and concert promoter Clear Channel Communications, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Recording Artists Coalition and the Future of Music Coalition. Says Feingold: “Since originally introducing this legislation in June 2002, I have seen a groundswell of interest both in Congress and among artists, consumers, independent radio stations, and local promoters in restoring fairness to radio. My legislation will reduce concentration and crack down on anti-competitive practices, such as the new ‘pay to play’ system.” Feingold says the latter practice allows radio giants to “shake down the music industry.” See www.recordingartistscoalition.com See www.billboard.com

EU UNVEILS NEW ANTI-PIRACY LAWS

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing The European Union Justice & Home Affairs Commissioner Antonio Vitorino unveiled a tough new draft anti-piracy code on Thursday January 30th designed to standardise the approach to piracy throughout the European Community. The new legislation would direct all member states to treat large scale piracy and counterfeiting as a criminal offence as well as a civil offence meaning that offenders would be liable for damages, fines and possible imprisonment. Rights owners could sue for damages and ancillary remedies such as accounts for profits and destruction orders whilst the authorities could shut down infringing companies and seize assets. The legislation would work alongside revised border controls allowing for the seizure of counterfeit and pirate goods. www.reuters.com

JAPANESE COURT RULING FOLLOWS USA APPROACH AS PEER TO PEER FILE SWOPPING SERVICE IS SHUT DOWN

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet The Tokyo District Court, in an interim ruling on Wednesday January 29th 2003, decided that the online music file-sharing service provided by MMO Japan Ltd has violated copyright law, thus supporting the Japanese music industry’s stance. The decision follows the Court’s April 2002 injunction, which prohibited Tokyo-based MMO’s Internet file-swapping service in an action brought by the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) and 19 record labels. Damages have yet to be assessed. This ruling, the first such suit filed in Japan, follows on from actions brought in the US against Napster, Aimster and KazaA. The service, which was provided by MMO Japan, automatically sent files over the Internet enabling online users to swap music and other files stored on their hard drives. The presiding Judge Toshiaki Iimura held that MMO had financially benefited and was responsible for the service. www.japantoday.com Also see “NEW ACTIONS IN CYBERSPACE” – DECEMBER 2002 LAW UPDATES

UK INTERNET CAFÉ DOWNLOADS INFRINGE MUSIC COPYRIGHT

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd. & Others -v- Easyinternetcafe Ltd. (2003) Mr Justice Smith held that Easy-internetcafes were guilty of copyright infringement by allowing customers to download music and burn CDs at their chain of internet cafes. Investigators for the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) found that hundreds of tracks had been downloaded in the cafes. Users paid £2.50 (approx US $4) for the download and a further £2.50 to buy each CDR. Mr Stellios Haji-Ionannou, owner of the chain of internet cafes, said that he will appeal the High Court decision and that the music industry was itself guilty of ‘extortion’ for overcharging for CDs and that ‘copying music over the internet is no different to videotaping a programme to watch later’. In the UK ‘time shifting’ by copying TV programmes onto a VHS is legal (under the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988) for personal use but copying records and films otherwise unavailable is a copyright infringement. In the US case of RIAA -v- Napster (US, 2000) the so called ‘VCR defense’ failed to protect Napster against claims from the Recording Industry Association of America which shut the service down. Damages in the Easy-internet case have yet to be determined. [See…

USE OF SIMILAR MARKS
Trade Mark / February 2003

TRADE MARKS Merchandising Davidoff et Cie SA -v- Gofkid Ltd (2003) European Court of Justice C292/00 (2003) This case concerned an action by Davidoff who distributed luxury cosmetics, clothing, tobacco, leather and other goods under the trade mark Davidoff which is registered in Germany and other countries. The defendants owned the markDurfee – registered in Germany later than the Davidoff mark. The marks had the same script and the same distinctive styling of the letter D and ff. At first instance the claim was refused as it was held that there was no risk of confusion between the marks. The ECJ held that despite there being no risk of confusion between the marks, Articles 4(4)(a) and 5(2) of the EEC trade mark Directive 89/104 provided specific protection for the first registered mark against a later mark which was identical with or similar to the first registered mark and which was intended to be used or was being used on goods or services similar or identical to the first registered mark. (The Times, 22 January 2003).

RAID ON SCOTTISH COUNTERFEITERS REVEALS A MAJOR OPERATION

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT Record Labels, Music Publishing A man and a woman are being questioned after a raid on their Airdrie home in North Lanarkshire uncovered what is believed to be the biggest CD counterfeiting operation ever found in Scotland. Thousands of illegally copied CDs, DVDs and videos were discovered in the raid along with nineteen CD writers, 11 DVD writers and 15 video recorders. This MCPS-led raid (along with Strathclyde Police and Trading Standards officers) was designed to get to the root of the counterfeit problem in Scotland. It follows recent raids by other anti-piracy units that have focused on removing product from the market stalls themselves. Nick Kounoupias of the MCPS Anti-Piracy Unit said: “Getting to the source of significant counterfeiting operations like this one is the real key to stopping the proliferation of counterfeit product. You can strip a market of illegal goods but within a few days, the illegal product is back.” The two who were questioned could then face charges under theCopyright, Designs & Patents Act (1988), the Trade Marks Act (1994) and the Trade Descriptions Act (1968). The maximum penalty for counterfeiting and trade marks offences in the UK is ten years imprisonment. Late in 2002 Norwich Crown…

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL’S 2003 PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE IS REFUSED
Licensing , Live Events / February 2003

LICENSING Live Concert Industry The UK’s biggest festival, Glastonbury, is having to re-apply for a Public Entertainment Licence after its initial application was rejected by Mendip District Council (MDC) despite no objections from MDC’s own officers or statutory consultees. The new application will be heard on the 17th February 2003. The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 provides that responsibility for controlling places of public entertainment (music, dancing, etc) rests with the district council or in London with the relevant London Borough. It would normally be an offence to organise public entertainment without a licence or to be in breach of any terms or conditions of a licence granted. At present the licensing of public entertainment applies to all indoor and outdoor events (except bar events with two or less performers). The relevant local authority will have a very wide discretion with the terms and conditions of the licence but as a minimum the authority can impose terms and conditions to secure the safety of performers and others present, to ensure there is adequate access for emergency vehicles and provide toilets and sanitation and to present unreasonable noise and disturbance to the neighbourhood. The Public Entertainment Licence (Drugs Misuse) Act 1997 allows local…

INTERNET RADIO SERVICE RESTRICTED
Copyright , Internet / February 2003

COPYRIGHT Radio, Internet Yahoo have agreed to a settlement with Sony Music Entertainment as part of a lawsuit filed by the US recording industry against the web portal’s online music subsidiary, Launch Media. The lawsuit, filed in May 2001 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), alleged that Launch violated copyright laws by giving its web radio listeners too much control over their song choices – allowing users to ‘programme’ their own station with tracks of their own selection which means that at the very least users can create ‘virtual albums’. Yahoo will make a onetime payment to Sony for its past use, and the portal will enter into a nonexclusive license to broadcast Sony’s songs on its LaunchCast radio service. The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed (seewww.cnet.com). This case again shows the recording industry’s determination to force new media to either pay for the use of copyright material itself or make sure users and subscribers pay for copying or ‘downloading’ music.