Douglas v Hello (2005) The Court of Appeal has its say
Artists , Privacy / June 2005
UK

PRIVACY Artists, Newspapers, Broadcasting ARTICLE:  By Jonathan Coad, solicitor The long running battle over the publication of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones’ wedding photographs has reached the Court of Appeal, which handed down judgment on Wednesday on the various appeals before it. The wide range of issues permitted the court to lay down guidance on a number of principles in the sphere of privacy – the central battleground between the rights of the individual and those of the corporate publisher. After a very hard-fought trial Mr Justice Lindsay had found both for Douglas/Zeta-Jones and OK! magazine, awarding OK! approximately £1 million in damages for its commercial loss by the Hello! spoiler, and the Douglases £14,750 for distress and inconvenience. Hello! were also faced with a bill for around £1 million in costs. Hello! appealed the award in favour of OK! both as to liability and the amount. This appeal was upheld. The court found that the economic torts relied on by OK! magazine concerned activity which had actually been directed at the claimant (the Douglases), and that the purpose of the conduct must be the causing of economic loss to the claimant. The court found that this was not…

Harrisongs alleges late payment of royalties by Sony ATV
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2005
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing George Harrison’s music publisher is suing Sony ATV Music publishing, the Michael Jackson/Sony joint venture, alleging $1.8 million in royalties is owed. The legal action was filed in High Court by Harrisongs, which is owned by Harrison’s estate. George’s widow, Olivia Harrison, serves on the board. Harrisongs owns the rights to the late Beatle’s songs. The current legal action made public for the first time that unpaid royalties of $1.77 million earned between 1991 and June 1999 on 35 songs composed between 1965 and 1968 by Harrison were paid by the Jackson/Sony joint venture last November, three years after the former Beatle died. The current lawsuit is seeking an alleged underpayment of royalties from July 1999 to the present, and seeks to settle a payment structure until the songs’ copyrights expire in 2081. See: http://www.stereoboard.com/artistnews/news-1035.html

New independent publishing company set up in India
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2005
India

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing A French national, Achille Forler, who has been living in India since 1969, has set up the country’s first independent music publishing house after paying $3m to buy or administer rights to compositions which include some by leading Bollywood composers and lyricists like KL Saigal, RD Burman, Javed Akhtar and Anu Malik. He has also bought the music to films such as Satyajit Ray’s period classic Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Basu Chatterjee’s Rajnigandha. Deep Emotions Publishing has also signed an agreement with BMG Music Publishing and a further $12 million has been set aside for catalogue acquisitions. He says Sacem, the French society of authors, composers and publishers of music, collected $400,000 in royalties between 1990 and 1995 for Indian music used in France but that no one knew whom to pay this money because most of the works of music were not registered. Eventually, the money was sunk into creating an organisation to promote budding French songwriters. Mr Forler also found that no-one had been collecting royalties for music played in Israel. There had been some 2,000 Indian songs on radio and films on television there in the last two years alone. Even the 36-year-old Indian Performing Rights Society…

Hyperion lose appeal over musicologist’s editions of ‘out of copyright’ works. Hyperion Records v Sawkins
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2005
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing Hyperion Records has failed in its attempt to overturn last year’s High Court ruling that copyright royalties were payable to a musicologist for the use of his editions of the 18th-century French composer Lalande on a CD. The Court of Appeal awarded Dr Lionel Sawkins legal costs for both the initial case and the appeal. He has also been awarded damages, the amount of which are yet to be determined (although only 3300 copies of the CD were sold). The case arose out of a recording that Hyperion made in 2001 of four works by Lalande for a CD called ‘Music for the Sun King’. Sawkins prepared new editions of three pieces for the recording, which also used an existing edition by him. Hyperion paid Sawkins a fee for using the editions but did not pay copyright royalties as this was the label’s then policy towards editions of works by out-of-copyright composers. The disc was released in 2002. In July last year the High Court found that Sawkins’s (original) contribution was sufficient to give him copyright in three of the editions. The judge also found that Sawkins had told Hyperion prior to the disc being recorded and…

Canadian Appeal Court maintains privacy right for file-sharers
Canada

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers, Internet The Federal Court of Appeal in Canada has upheld an earlier ruling that prevents record companies from forcing ISPs to hand over the names of suspected file-sharers without detailed consideration of privacy issues and substantial evidence. However the judgment is something of a mixed ruling, as the door is now open for record companies to launch new rounds of litigation. Labels have, in the ruling, been given a 27-page document that can be used as a set of guidelines for legal actions against file-swapper. It is described as a “roadmap of how to present file-sharing evidence in future”. The court ruled that the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) would require additional evidence to proceed against 29 suspected sharers who are said to have collectively made 43,541 tracks available for download. Federal Court Judge Konrad von Finckenstein ruled last year that the music companies had failed to make a clear case of infringement and a case that public interest outweighed privacy concerns. However the Court of Appeal have qualified this ruling and also did not agree with Justice Finkenstien’s rulings on the legality of downloading in Canada. See: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=8554843 and Law Updates May 2004 IFPI COMMENT…

Austrian ISP’s must reveal personal details of file sharers
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2005
Austria

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels A performing right society has won a suit filed with the Intermediate Court of Appeals in Vienna to have the identity of a file-sharing user revealed. The court upheld the original judge’s ruling which had been overturned at first appeal. The Council Chamber of the first-instance district criminal court of Vienna had overruled this ruling on December 01, 2004. The provider has been ordered to reveal the name and address of a customer charged with offering 3,864 music files as downloads for 21 minutes on October 07, 2004. The plaintiff, a performing right society, only knows the person’s dynamic IP address. The first instance district criminal court rejected the plaintiff’s demand to have the data revealed, arguing that a dynamic IP address is not master data (unlike names, addresses, etc.) and therefore is call data pursuant to Section 149a of the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure and therefore only available if crimes with penalties exceeding one year in prison were committed intentionally The Appeals Court thus had to rule that an IP address was equivalent to a telephone number, thus making both master data. Master data is not subject to privacy of telecommunications, but rather only…

Hamburg Court refuses labels to allow access to private data
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2005
Germany

COPYRIGHT Internet, Record Labels Internet Service Providers in the state of Hamburg can’t be forced to provide customer data to record companies, even when illegal copying is suspected, at least for now. The Higher Regional Court in Hamburg has ruled that there is no legal basis for demanding customer data as ISP merely provide access to the internet and do not facilitate or undertake a criminal act. The Higher Regional Court overruled a earlier decision by the Hamburg District Court, which had granted record companies access to customer data after they discovered an FTP server where numbers by German band Rammstein could be downloaded for free. The District Court based its ruling on the German Copyright Act. The Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, however, followed a similar ruling by judges of the federal state of Hesse. Here too the court rejected the claim by a music group to hand over the name of a customer who ran an illegal music server. Experts believe that the setback for the record industry is only temporary as legislators in Germany are drafting a newTelemedia Act, granting the recording industry more freedom in obtaining data from internet service providers. See: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/05/17/hamburg_isp_ruling/

EFF support efforts to revise US Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Copyright , Internet / June 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (DMCA) has, in the words of the Electronic Frontiers Foundatoin “been wreaking havoc on consumers’ fair use rights for the past seven years”. Now Congress is considering the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act (DMCRA, HR 1201), a bill that would reform part of the DMCA and formally protect the “Betamax defense” relied on by technology innovators from Sony, who created the Betamax videocassette recorder (VCR) and Amstrad who manufactured a dual cassette tape recorder/player along internet service providers and software manufacturers whose services are used for both legal and infringing activities. HR 1201 would give citizens the right to circumvent copy-protection measures as long as what they’re doing is otherwise legal. For example, it would make sure that when you buy a CD, whether it is copy-protected or not, you can record it onto your computer and move the songs to an MP3 player. It would also protect a computer science professor who needs to bypass copy-protection to evaluate encryption technology. In addition, the bill would codify the Betamax defense, which has been under attack by the entertainment industry through the US “Induce Act” last year and the MGM v. Grokster case currently before the Supreme…

US Family Entertainment and Copyright Act passed
Copyright / June 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT All Areas The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act has been approved the House of Representatives and signed by President Bush into law on April 25th 2005. The Statute represents the entertainment industry’s latest attempt to thwart rampant piracy on file-swapping networks. The law had drawn some controversy because it broadly says that anyone who has even one copy of an unreleased film, software program or music file in a shared folder could be subjected to prison terms and fines of up to three years. Penalties would apply regardless of whether or not that file was downloaded. The statute also includes sections criminalizing the use of camcorders to record a movie in a theater, and authorizing the use of technologies that can delete offensive content from a film. “The protection of intellectual property rights is vital to the movie industry,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who joined Bush for the signing ceremony. “This bill is necessary to ensure that all those involved in the production of a film, from the director to the set carpenter, are not cheated”. See: http://news.com.com/Bush+signs+law+targeting+P2P+pirates/2100-1028_3-5687495.html

Sweden looks to protect both IP and consumer rights
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers Sweden’s justice minister, has called for record companies to stop issuing copy-protected CDs, arguing that consumers should be able to make copies of CDs they bought for personal use. This comes at a time when the Swedish government is looking to push through tougher laws to clamp down on file-sharing. Thomas Bodström argues that IP needs to be protected, but not at the expense of restricting consumers’ rights. He has threatened that the government could consider making it illegal if labels continue to put anti-copying software on discs. See: FiveEight Magazine – http://www.fiveeight.net

In a pre Douglas v Hello! case the Beckhams lose right to gag ex-nanny on grounds of public interest
Artists , Privacy / June 2005
UK

PRIVACY Artists David and Victoria Beckham failed in a legal attempt to gag the UK’s News of the World. The Beckhams launched a court bid to prevent the paper from publishing revelations from their former nanny Abbie Gibson, 27. Lawyers of the couple applied for an emergency injunction from High Court judge Mr Justice Langley on the grounds of confidentiality. They argued that Abbie had signed a contract guaranteeing that she would not speak out about their lives. But lawyers acting for Abbie and the News of the World convinced the judge that the story was in the public interest. The court decided the News of the World was entitled to publish Abbie’s account about the state of the Beckhams’ marriage and David’s affairs on Sunday April 24th. The News of the World, represented by Richard Spearman QC, was given the green light to publish at 8:30pm in the evening on Saturday 24th April following a 90 minute hearing. The newspaper’s Legal Manager Tom Crone said: ‘The Beckhams have spent a lot of their lives basking in a warm glow of publicity which they have created for themselves. For the first time the world can now read an insider’s detailed…

Linkin Park seek to exit Warners deal
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / June 2005
USA

CONTRACT Artists, Record Labels Just as Warner Music geared up for its $2.6 billion IPO (flotation), one of its biggest acts has said that it would like to get out of its contract with the label. Nu-metal genre leaders Linkin Park allege that cost-cutting across the company has diminished its strength, leaving it “unable to compete in today’s global music marketplace” and that senior executives are taking profit at the expense of musicians. The band has threatened to stop work on its new album, believing the company will not be able to market it sufficiently. The band has sold over 35M albums globally and says that it makes up 10% of the company’s US sales. Warner Music has stated that it is closer to 3%. The band still has a further four albums to deliver under its current contract and Warner Music has dismissed this outburst as a “negotiating tactic” built on “baseless charges”. It has been suggested that the band had asked for $60M in advances to release their new album through a JV deal in exchange for a split of profits. Warner Music is said to have offered substantially less and a profit split. The band is said…

Westlife lose battle over name in European Court of Justice
Artists , Trade Mark / June 2005
EU

TRADEMARK Artists, Merchandising Judges in Luxembourg ruled that “Westlife” cannot be registered as an EU trademark – because it is too similar to the word “West”. A German tobacco firm has already trademarked that name and judges said the fact that Germans say “vest” and not “west” did not lessen the confusion with the merchandise of the pop group. Westlife can still go on using their name as well as on merchandise, but it means they cannot protect it as an exclusive trademark. The band applied for an EU trademark in 1999, but the Germany company claimed there was potential confusion because the two sell similar types of merchandise (not least because of West’s involvement in motor racing as a team sponsor selling branded clothing etc). During a five-year legal tussle, lawyers for Westlife argued that there was a clear distinction between the group’s name and the single word West. See: http://www.itv.com/news/entertainment_1535352.html

Cuba and St Lucia sign copyright pact
Copyright , Music Publishing / June 2005
Cuba

COPYRIGHT Music Publishers The Cuban Musical Society and its St. Lucia counterpart Hewanorra Musical Society (HMS) have signed a reciprocal agreement for the protection of copyright material. The St. Lucian organization will protect intellectual property rights and collect royalties on behalf of members of its Cuban counterparts, while the Cuban will do the same for the local society. In the past, the HMS conducted business with Cuba through the UK’s Performing Right Society that dealt directly with the Cuban Agency for Musical Authors Rights (CAMAAR). Similar agreements have also been signed with HMS Societies in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. See: http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BF3D3A825-FF15-4F53-B0B2-5CF5CEACA006%7D&language=EN

Hendrix Estate wins infringement action for 1969 recording: Experience Hendrix LLC v Purple Haze Record Ltd and Another
Artists , Performer's Rights / June 2005
UK

PERFORMERS’ RIGHTS Artists A performance by the late Jimi Hendrix with his band the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Stockholm in 1969 has been found to be subject to the retrospective provisions of the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and the later Copyright & Related Rights Regulations 1996. The High Court upheld an infringement claim by Experience Hendrix LLC (successors in title to Jimi Hendrix’s estate) against defendants Purple Haze Records Ltd and Lawrence Miller who had released the recording as an album. At the time of the Stockholm recording, UK law only offered criminal sanctions against unauthorised recordings. The so called ‘performers right’ was introduced in 1988 but was conferred retrospectively. Even though held in Stockholm in 1969 the High Court held that Hendrix’s personal performer’s right could be asserted as Stockholm was a country designated as receiving reciprocal protection in 1969 and in 1995 became a EU member. Mr Justice Hart held that both the performance itself (which could be individually owned by Mr Hendrix even if part of a band performance) and the place of performance fell within the scope of the Act. Summary judgement was given against Purple Haze Records Limited and Mr Miller. Source: The Times Law Report…

UK hackers jailed for software Piracy R v Bell (and others) 2005
Copyright , Internet / June 2005
UK

COPYRIGHT Technology, Software, Internet Four internet hackers who spent their time cracking codes for fun and releasing pirated software onto the internet were jailed at the Old Bailey (London’s senior criminal court). The four, members of the ‘DrinkorDie’ group, caused mayhem by cracking protection on software programmes to enable games and other programmes to be downloaded without payment. Judge Paul Focke told the four that their activities ‘struck at the heart of the software trade’ and that the loss to software owners through piracy was staggering. The Judge said that he estimated that a third of all software used in the UK is pirated. Alex Bell (29) and Steven Dowd (39) were jailed for two and a half years and two years respectively for conspiracy to defraud after a five month trial. Andrew Eardley (35) and Mark Vent (31) were jailed for eighteen months each after pleading guilty. DrinkorDie was closed down after a global investigation involving the police from the UK, America, Australia and other countries. Source: The Times May 7th 2005

US Appeals Court rejects FCC’s attempts to control digital piracy: ALA v FCC
Copyright , Internet / June 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Television, Internet The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has rejected the US broadcast regulator’s attempts to control the copying of digital TV with an anti-piracy technology. The Court has ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overstepped its authority in its attempt to control how electronic devices work in the US. The “broadcast flag” system the FCC proposed is a technology that is a piece of code attached to programmes which tells devices that receive digital signals the level of copy protection on that programme. “We can find nothing in the statute, its legislative history, the applicable case law, or agency practice indicating that Congress meant to provide the sweeping authority the FCC now claims over receiver apparatus,” said the appeals court panel. Supporters of the flag had argued it would combat the illegal copying and distribution of TV programmes but critics said it would strop people making legitimate copies or copies for educational, teaching, criticism or review purposes. It was also feared that the rule would set a precedent, meaning the FCC would have the right to say how future TVs, computers, and other devices which can receive digital signals, are made See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4523597.stm The Electronic…

The Right Way to Fight Spyware
Internet , Privacy / June 2005
USA

PRIVACY Internet ARTICLE: By Wendy Seltzer, Electronic Frontiers Foundation Special Projects Coordinator The New York State Attorney General’s office has filed suit against Intermix Media for deceiving people into installing and using spyware. The lawsuit is a step forward for users’ rights to control their own computers. It also demonstrates the right way to address the spyware problem: with lawsuits, not new laws. The New York complaint runs through a veritable catalogue of deceptive acts and practices: interception of web requests; installation of hidden programs, unrequested toolbars, mechanisms that report user activity back to Intermix and display advertising, etc. All of this was done with minimal notice and no genuine consent from users. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer charges Intermix with violating New York state’s prohibitions on “deceptive acts or practices” and “false advertising,” provisions common to state and federal law. He also charges the company with “trespass to chattels” for interfering with the use of personal computers onto which the software was downloaded. The complaint is only the beginning of a lawsuit, of course, but the screenshots and descriptions leave little doubt that promoting spyware in the guise of a screensaver or game is indeed a “deceptive act.” If the company…

Jerry Springer opera did not break TV rules
Artists , Censorship / June 2005
UK

CENSORSHIP Artists, Television, Theatre The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has said that Jerry Springer: The Opera did not breach broadcasting guidelines. The decision to screen the musical on BBC2 sparked accusations of blasphemy from Christian groups who launched the largest ever number of complaints against a programme. Ofcom accepted that the portrayal of religious figures could have been offensive to some people but said it understood that the show’s effect was to “satirise modern fame and the culture of celebrity”. Ofcom also noted that the programme was preceded by a programme designed to put the Opera in context. The BBC Board of Governors have also supported the broadcast saying that it was justified because the outstanding artistic significance outweighed the offence which might be caused to some people and that the show was a satire preceded by clear warnings. Source: The Guardian 10 May 2005 and see Law Updates February 2005 Demonstrations by some members of the Sikh community close the theatric presentation of Behzti and raise issues of free speech

Beckhams kidnap case shows the difficulties of ‘no-win no-fee’ litigation
Artists , Defamation , Internet / June 2005
UK

DEFAMATION Artists, Newspapers, Television, Internet Mr Justice Eady has thrown out a claim by Mr Bogdan Maris, a 24 year old Romanian (who initially sued under a false name) against the News of the World who ‘caught’ Mr Maris in a sting designed to uncover a plot to kidnap Victoria Beckham. The story was published in 2003 and Mr Maris obtained counsel on a no-win no-fee basis (a conditional fee arrangement or CFA). Mr Maris was arrested and charged but the trial collapsed when the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence. Whilst during the trial Eady J found that there were a number of inaccuracies in the News of The World’s story, he found the case all the more unusual as Mr Maris was not presently in the UK and had not even produced a witness statement outlining his side of the story. His counsel had continued proceedings based on past instructions. This of course meant that the newspaper could not cross examine Mr Maris or see any evidence from him. The judge pointed out that a ‘ransom factor underpin CFAs as costs build up for the defending newspaper with no likelihood of recovery if the newspaper wins but significant…

Buena Vista dispute reaches High Court
UK

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, Artists The copyright dispute over ownership of Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club’s music has reached the High Court in the UK. The dispute concerns who actually owns the rights to the songs, some of which relate to songs written in the 1930s and how and if writers and composers have been paid. Peer International Corporation claims that the Cuban government unlawfully took control of its copyrights (some of which date back to the 1930s) via its company Editora Musical de Cuba (EMC). These rights in turn were passed to Termidor Music Publishing which has sought to register the songs in the UK. EMC counters saying that it is trying to “salvage” royalties for the writers who were either paid nothing or “a few pesos and maybe a drink of rum” and that the original contracts with the writers were void as they “unconscionable bargains”. Peer has stated that it did pay royalties until 1959, but, after the revolution, US trade embargoes stopped payments to composers based in Cuba. Payments were made to writers situated outside of Cuba whereas payments to those in Cuba were placed in bank accounts. This changed somewhat in 1994 when the US relaxed…

Nine Inch Nails’ Reznor sues ex-manager
Artists , Contract / June 2005
USA

CONTRACT Artists Trent Reznor has now testified against his longtime manager, saying he was stunned to learn in 2003 that despite millions of dollars in earnings by his band, Nine Inch Nails, he was left with as little as $400,000 in cash and $3 million in assets. The New York federal civil lawsuit is against John Malm. Reznor contends that his former friend duped him into signing a contract that allowed Malm to collect 20 percent of the singer’s gross earnings rather than net earnings. A lawyer for Malm, said in an opening statement that his client worked many years for no salary and kept nothing secret from Reznor. Reznor said that pair created their own production company and managed sales of merchandise but the expenses piled up, draining large portions of the millions of dollars the band earned with its albums and concert tours. Reznor said he began to grow worried about finances when he was told during a meeting with Malm in 2002 that there was “cause for alarm.” See: http://www.billboard.com

Holland to implement iPod Tax
Netherlands

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet, Technology Holland has passed legislation to implement a point of sale surcharge on any device capable of storing illegally downloaded or “pirated” music. The recently passed Dutch legislation will become law within the next three months, with reports suggesting the levy could be around 3.28 per gigabyte. On Apple’s 60gb iPod that would add over 190 to the price. The levy would be paid to copyright holders, to compensate for profits lost to illegal filesharing. In a recent article (see reference below) Doug D’Arcy, the former head of Chrysalis and BMG, thinks Britain should follow suit. “The illegal digital download market is in danger of crippling the British music industry and unless something is done to address this quickly, it will spell disaster for thousands of artists and independent record labels. Unlike other territories, the UK never implemented a blank tape levy on cassette tapes. One of the most persuasive arguments against this is of course that those who copy legally (and who now download legally) are in effect being penalised as they are paying twice for a copyright. See:http://tech.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_8068.php/Former_music_industry_boss_calls_for_British_%93iPod_tax%94

Ringtone advertising raises consumer protests worldwide
Copyright , Internet / June 2005
UK
USA

CONTRACTS Telecommunications, Internet Mobile phone ringtones have prompted complaints to Trading Standards Offices and the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK. Often subscribers think they are paying a one-off or a ringtone only to find themselves (or if children, their parents) locked into a contract for a weekly payment. Jamster, one of the accused companies, has been the target of four complaints upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ASA ruled that the small print racing across the bottom of the television screen during an advert for a Crazy Frog ringtone and mobile phone wallpaper was not prominent enough. In the US where Jamster is advertised on MTV and Nickleodeon, a San Diego parent has brought a lawsuit against a number of ringtone service providers alleging that their advertising was misleading and unclear. See: http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED27%20Apr%202005%2019%3A06%3A47%3A337and http://www.smh.com.au/news/Technology/Ringtones-play-out-in-a-50m-market/2005/05/18/1116361617683.html?oneclick=true andhttp://news.com.com/Teens+dialing+up+ring+tone+trouble/2100-1039_3-5692489.html

Pakistan to fight piracy
Pakistan

COPYRIGHT Film, Television, Record Labels, Music Publishers, Computer Software The Pakistan government is taking urgently-needed actions to curb the mass-scale violation of copyright. “Pakistan is showing that it takes seriously the need to address its severe levels of copyright piracy,” said a joint press statement issued the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Motion Picture Association (MPA). The response follows administrative reforms and strict enforcement actions announced by the Government in recent weeks. The Pakistan Intellectual Property Rights Organization (PIPRO) has been created to oversee copyright, trademark and patent protection issues. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested nine people and confiscated more than 400,000 pirate CDs, DVDs and audio cassettes, along with 10,000 Master Discs (stampers) in the course of closing down six illegal optical disc plants around Karachi. Pakistan has become one of the largest manufacturers of pirate discs in the world – producing over 230 million discs in 2004, of which the vast majority was exported to at least 46 countries worldwide. See: http://www.ifpi.org and http://www.pro-music.org

Universal and Warners file infringement file in China
Copyright , Record Labels / June 2005
China

COPYRIGHT Record Labels The Huangpu District People’s Court in Shanghai has accepted two copyright cases filed by Universal Music and Warner Music against the Shanghai Book City and several Chinese music producers. The plaintiffs said in their lawsuits that the Book City sold pirated MP3 discs that contain songs from pop stars Daniel Chen and Sammi Cheng. Universal Music and Warner Music hold the copyrights associated with the songs. The suit also alleges that Beijing Yuncheng Laser Disc Co Ltd, Beijing Weidi Electric Publishing House, Hebei Jiyuan Photoelectricity Co Ltd, Anhui Culture and Music Publishing House and Beijing Zhengpu Scientific Development Co Ltd issued MP3 discs containing the songs without authorization. Universal Music and Warner Music have asked the court to order the defendants to stop sales immediately and make a public apology. The plaintiffs are also seeking unspecified financial compensation. Book City said it performed its obligation as a retailer to stock products from authorized suppliers. If the suppliers produce pirated books or music products, they should be held responsible. Book City also said it is impossible to check whether all its goods are properly licensed since it sells tens of thousands of music and video products and books….