Local Authorities gain new weapon in fight against fly posting
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2006
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry In July 2004 London’s Camden Council targeted  two of the majors, Sony and BMG over illegal street flyposting. Sony Music chiefs escaped after promising not to commission any more illegal postering. The executives faced summons on the basis that flyposting has been defined as causing “harassment, alarm or distress” and so could be actioned under the Public Order Act 1986 . Now the Magistrate magazine (January 2006 Vol 62 No 1) reveals that Wolverhampton City Council have been using fixed penalty notices under the 2005 Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act and have issued over 220 to flyposters. One festival alone received 139 fixed penalties for a single event resulting in the promoter paying fines of £6,950.00. The Council reports significantly lower levels of flyposting

Korn launch new band-label-promoter relationship
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / February 2006
USA

CONTRACT Record labels, artists Korn are launching a new financial model for touring on their new US tour as a financial experiment with promoters.  Live Nation Inc (the newly spun-off arm live promoting arm from Clear Channel) who will be the band’s exclusive US promoters. Live Nation will get a 6% share of their box office, licensing, publishing, merchandise and CD revenue for their current and next album according to the New York Times. The promoter is treating this as a long-term investment. Live Nation will pay the band’s production expenses and the band will also get a share (in certain circumstances) of ancillary sources such as drinks and food sold at concerts. Last September, the band signed a five-year deal with EMI whereby the label gets a share of the band’s earnings beyond recorded music. It was suggested at the time that EMI paid a $15M advance for a 25% share in all areas of the band’s earnings. This new deal with Live Nation will see all the live-related monies flow into one pot and then profits distributed three ways – to the band, the promoter and the label. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/arts/music/11band.html

New licences from MCPS-PRS Alliance
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2006
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, broadcasting The MCPS has introduced its 2006 Production Music Rate Card which includes a new ‘Per-Programme’ rate for TV. This new rate allows users to obtain a licence for as much production music as they require on a ‘per 30 minute production’ basis. MCPS and its library members are promoting the new approach as bringing greater flexibility and value for money. Also new for 2006 are ‘Infomercial’ rates, designed to cater for this growing UK market. The Alliance is also currently in discussions with MTV Networks Europe about a broad-ranging joint MCPS-PRS licence. Unlike previous MCPS agreements with MTV, the new licence is expected to cover the use of music in virtually all of the programming, on all channels operated by MTV from the UK. If concluded the new licence will take effect from 1 January 2006. MCPS members are being asked to refer synchronisation matters with MTV to the MCPS. http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/link/main.asp?pid=4651&sid=834 http://www.mcps.co.uk/productionmusic/ http://www.mcps-prs-alliance.co.uk/apps/ezine/eM24.htm (eM24)

DJ Digital Grace Period Ends
Copyright , Live Events , Record Labels / February 2006
UK

COPYRIGHT Live Music industry, record labels ARTICLE: By Tom Frederikse, solicitor, Clintons The Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) grace period, in which the £100 penalty for DJs who have already operated without a licence was waived, ended on 1 January 2006. The “surcharge” is now payable by all DJs obtaining a Digital DJ Licence for the first time. Since September 2005, DJs that play out using digital copies of their records have needed a licence to make and keep a “digital DJ database”. The PPL (the collection society for airplay and public performance royalties which acts on behalf of record companies and musicians) introduced the licence last year to facilitate the fast-growing trend for DJs to perform with computers and MP3-style music files. In the UK, a music consumer (including a DJ) has no legal right to make digital copies of their music even when the original source is a CD legitimately purchased by that consumer. The annual Digital DJ Licence costs £200 per year, plus a one-off 50% surcharge for DJs who have already used their digital database of copies without a licence. Under the Digital DJ Licence, DJs are allowed to copy any sound recording (including CDs, vinyl records…

MCPS-PRS Alliance to spearhead pan-European licensing
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / February 2006
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, internet As Music Law Updates have previously reported, the European collecting societies are gearing up for some big changes to the way they license their members’ music. To encourage the growth of pan-European online music providers, Europe’s collecting societies are changing their licensing from a country-by-country model to a Europe-wide model. The MCPS-PRS Alliance have announced that they will be at the forefront of these changes. Ultimately this will hopefully mean increased effectiveness in the administration of members’ online royalties and ease of use by broadcasters, online retailers, record labels and other users. In the first two moves towards a new licensing model for Europe, the Alliance has announced partnerships with a key publisher and two of Europe’s other major collecting societies. In the first initiative. the Alliance has signed a deal with EMI Music Publishing (EMI). The Alliance will work with German rights society GEMA to build a one-stop shop for the licensing of EMI’s Anglo-American song rights for online and mobile usage across Europe. In the second initiative , the Alliance is partnering with Spanish society, SGAE, to create a new licensing platform for the powerful Anglo-Latin repertoires across Europe.  These initial Alliance projects are…

BBC website features open answers from industry leaders to users of digital music
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2006
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The BBC recently asked its website users to send in their digital music questions to a panel of industry experts (John Kennedy of IFPI, Peter Jamieson of BPI, Brad Duea of Napster and Steve Knott of HMV). They have all supplied their answers. The main questions focus on pricing, DRM, P2P/piracy and interoperability: LINK TO: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4642362.stm#1

IFPI Digital Music Report points to growth in legal downloading
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2006
EU
Japan
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Sales of music via the internet and mobile phones proliferated and spread across the world in 2005, generating sales of US$1.1 billion for record companies – up from US$380 million the previous year – and promising further significant growth in the coming year. The findings are released today in IFPI’s Digital Music Report 2006, a comprehensive review of the development of the digital music market internationally.  Music fans downloaded 420 million single tracks from the internet last year – twenty times more than two years earlier – while the volume of music licensed by record companies doubled to over 2 million songs.  Digital music now accounts for about 6% of record companies’ revenues, up from practically zero two years ago. the legitimate digital music business is steadily pushing back on digital piracy.  In Europe’s two biggest digital markets, UK and Germany new research by Jupiter indicates more music fans (6% of the total user group in the UK) are legally downloading music than illegally file-swapping (5%). The mobile phone became a portable music device in 2005, the first year in which song downloads to mobile phones spread internationally. Mobile music now accounts for approximately 40% of record company digital…

US Judge Grants Preliminary Approval for Sony BMG CD Settlement
Copyright , Record Labels / February 2006
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels A US District Court judge in New York gave preliminary approval Friday to a settlement for music fans who purchased Sony BMG music CDs containing flawed copy protection programs. Under the proposed settlement, Sony BMG will stop manufacturing CDs with both First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software. People who have already purchased the flawed CDs will be offered the same music without digital rights management (DRM), and some will also receive downloads of other Sony BMG music from several different services, including iTunes. The settlement would also waive several restrictive end user license agreement (EULA) terms and commit Sony BMG to a detailed security review process prior to including any DRM on future CDs, as well as providing for adequate pre-sale notice to consumers in the future. Consumers can exchange CDs with XCP software for clean CDs now, but the rest of the settlement benefits will not be available until an official notice to the class has been issued. The court ordered that the notice–via newspaper ads, Google ads, email and other means–must occur by February 15. Once that notice goes out, consumers can begin submitting claims for settlement benefits and should get those benefits within 6-8…

EFF Calls on EMI to Permit Security Research on Copy-Protected CDs
Copyright , Record Labels / February 2006
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today sent an open letter to EMI Music, calling on EMI to agree not to pursue any legal action against computer security researchers who examine the copy-protection technologies used on some EMI CDs. In late 2005, independent researchers uncovered security problems with Sony-BMG copy-protected CDs, forcing the label to issue patches and uninstallers to those customers who had played the CDs on Windows computers. Several record labels owned by EMI, including Virgin Records, Capitol Records, and Liberty Records, use similar copy-protection technologies supplied by Macrovision. On those CDs, an end user license agreement (EULA) forbids reverse engineering for any reason, including security testing. In addition, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has chilled the efforts of computer security researchers interested in examining copy-protected CDs. In the open letter published Wednesday, EFF urges EMI Music to publicly declare that it will not take legal action against computer security researchers who study copy-protected CDs released by record labels owned by EMI. “Music fans deserve to know whether EMI’s copy-protected CDs are exposing their computers to security risks,” said Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney with EFF. “When it comes to computer security, it pays…

BPI announce first legal successes against file swappers in UK
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2006
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Two UK residents have been forced to pay over ‘thousands of pounds’ by the High Court on copyright infringements actions brought by the British Phonographic Industry. In one case the defendant, who refused to settle with the BPI, claimed he was unaware that his actions were illegal and had not sought to benefit financially. He was fined and ordered to pay £1,500 against a final determination of damages and costs. In the second case the defendant was ordered to make an immediate payment of £5,000 against a far larger final figure of damages and costs. The BPI said that the rulings were ‘a massive step forward in the music industry’s bid to fight illegal file-sharing. The BPI has brought 139 cases against alleged file sharers and so far has settled approximately 90 with an average settlement figure of £2,500.00. http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2149335/uk-courts-rule-bpi-favour-music Evening Standard 27 January 2006.

GEICO v Google settlement still provides food for thought
Internet , Trade Mark / February 2006
USA

TRADE MARK Internet ARTICLE by Jason Patrick Kairalla of Jorden Burt LLP With little fanfare, the presiding federal district judge in the GEICO v. Google case issued the much anticipated and long-awaited written order on Google’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in the action of using competitors trade marks in internet search engine based advertising. Whilst Google may have escaped a decision on their liability the fact remains that it appears that actual use of a competitors trade mark in advertising to drag internet customers to a competitors site may well result in liability for trade mark infringement in the US. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=37262&lastestnews=1

When marks are confusingly similar
Artists , Record Labels , Trade Mark / February 2006
UK

TRADE MARK Merchandising, artists, record labels ARTICLE by Lee Curtis, Pinsent Masons Probably one of the most subjective areas of trade mark law is the question of when are two trade marks confusing similar. Whether one trade mark will be confused with another is dependent on a number of factors and this article examines the UK law in this area. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=37184&lastestnews=1

UK Secretary of State opposes plan for EU internet regulation
Competition , Internet / February 2006
EU
UK

COMPETITION Internet Tessa Jowell, the UK’s Culture Secretary, has said that European Union plans to regulate the internet would be unwelcome, arguing that the new media were best left to regulate themselves and that ordinary criminal laws were sufficient to regulate the internet. The EU insists that its new plans would be ‘light touch’. The EU is trying to overhaul its1989 ‘Television Without Frontiers’ Directive in particular to introduce new rules on the protection of children and the incitement of hatred. The remarks were made at the Oxford Media Convention. See the Times, 20th January 2006.

Whilst the popular press rings alarm bells about ‘binge drinking’ the UK leisure and entertainment industries have to face up to the practical ramifications of the Licensing Act
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live concert industry The UK’s new Licensing Act 2003 came into force on the 24th November 2005 sweeping away ninety years of drinking restrictions and setting up a new regulatory framework for the leisure and entertainment industries.Whilst the popular press have focused their attention on the possibilities of all night binge drinking and a serious breakdown in law and order in English and Welsh town centres, the leisure and entertainment industries are facing up to the rather more mundane ramifications of the Licensing Act – increased bureaucracy and increased licensing costs. Alongside the somewhat exaggerated stories of all night chaos were reports that Local Authorities, now charged with almost all licensing functions, are failing deal with the mountains of paperwork generated by the Act let alone being able to enforce licensing decisions, requirements and conditions. The London Evening Standard (22/11/05 on page 6) headlined with ‘Licensing law Chaos Looms’ reporting on a ‘free for all as councils are unable to monitor all premises’, noting that many clubs, restaurants and pubs will be unlicensed as of the changeover and that local authorities didn’t have the resources to monitor the situation (and neither did the police). One of the saddest results of the Act…

Status Quo face past royalty claim from departed band members
Artists , Contract / January 2006
UK

CONTRACT Artists After narrowly avoiding litigation with ‘mad fan’ Les Battersby whilst making guest star appearances in UK soap Coronation Street recently, Status Quo members Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi faced court room reality when Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt ruled that founding members, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan had realistic prospects of success in several claims for past royalties. Parfitt and Rossi continue trading as Status Quo with replacement musician. The case continues and the trial will be heard at a later date.  Simon Jacobs, Partner at Seddons said “It is most unusual for claims such as these to be successful which is why we are so pleased with the result”. Indeed the 1994 case involving Cure co-founder and drummer Laurence (Lol) Tolhurst is a good example of a claim for royalties from a departed band member. Tolhurst was asked to leave the band in 1989 and sued Robert Smith, the lead singer and the bands record label over the division of royalties from a recording agreement in1986. Tolhurst claimed he only had the ‘crumbs’ of the income from the recording agreement and that Smith had the lion’s share and was looking for 50% of all profits receivable under the…

EFF Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Sony BMG: Company Should Repair Damage to Customers Caused by CD Software
Copyright , Internet , Privacy , Record Labels / January 2006
USA

COPYRIGHT, PRIVACY Internet, record labels, technology The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) along with two leading national class action law firms has filed a lawsuit against Sony BMG, demanding that the company repair the damage done by the First4Internet XCP and SunnComm MediaMax software it included on over 24 million music CDs. EFF say that they are pleased that Sony BMG has taken steps in acknowledging the security risks caused by the XCP CDs, including a recall of the infected discs. However, these measures still fall short of what the company needs to do to fix the problems caused to customers by XCP, and the EFF says that Sony BMG has failed entirely to respond to concerns about MediaMax, which affects over 20 million CDs – ten times the number of CDs as the XCP software. ”Sony BMG is to be commended for its acknowledgment of the serious security problems caused by its XCP software, but it needs to go further to regain the public’s trust,” said Corynne McSherry, EFF Staff Attorney. “It is unconscionable for Sony BMG to refuse to respond to the privacy and other problems created by the over 20 million CDs containing the SunnComm software.” The suit,…

An Industry Unwilling to Play by Rules of ‘Fair Use’ ?
Copyright , Internet / January 2006
USA

COPYRIGHT Television, film, internet ARTICLE:  This is a link to an article in the LA Time by Michael Hiltzik about the continued pressure on the doctrine of ‘fair use’ in the USA as media companies seek new ways to protect their copyrights – from the Sony Betamax case to the current row over Google’s plans to publish ‘all the books in the world’. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-golden12dec12,1,7477940.column?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=1&cset=true An interesting article on the fair use doctrine in an education context India by Manisha Singh Nair of Lex Orbis can be found athttp://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=36728&email_access=on

Music publishers to target online lyric sites
Copyright , Internet / January 2006
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet They may well be illegal and infringe literary and musical copyrights – but – is the MPA wise to target unauthorized online lyric and music score sites? The Music Publishers’ Association (MPA), which represents US sheet music companies, will launch its first campaign against such sites in 2006. MPA president Lauren Keiser said he wanted site owners to be fined and jailed. Mr Kaiser cited the Xerox machine as the first enemy of sheet music and now identifies the internet as a major enemy. But having seen the big successes and mistakes made by the RIAA in the USA one does wonder of this is quite the right approach! A good example of what not to do was the action by music publisher Warner Chappell against online lyric search engine pearLyric which initially forced pearLyric offline but ultimately ended up with an apology from Warners! The EFF reported that Walter Ritter, who developed the pearLyrics software that automates the process of adding lyrics to iTunes tracks, had received a cease & desist letter from Warner/Chappell Music: But the EFF to challenged Warner Chappell’s action. Warners claimed that Ritter was liable for copyright infringement, because he developed a tool…

Singapore ’s Creative asserts its patent against Apple
Internet , Patents / January 2006
USA

PATENT LAW Technology, internet Creative, the Singapore based electronics company has threatened to enforce its US patent against Apple – Creative says that the patent is a key part of Apple’s iPod software. Apple has 23 million iPods in the last year and Creative 8 million. Creative applied for a US patent in January 2001 and the patent was awarded in August 2005. The patent governs the mechanism for finding songs on a MP3 player. In a similar action, NTP which holds patents allegedly used in the hand held Blackberry device (which is a mobile phone come computer come e-mailer) has won an interim judgment in the US District Court ( Richmond, Virginia) against BlackBerry’s manufacturer Research In Motion (RIM). RIM had sought to delay the case and (willingly) enforce a $450 million (£260 million) settlement with NTP. NTP are seeking are new resolution including and injunctive relief against RIM to prevent the sale of BlackBerries. Source The Times 9th December 2005 and http://www.macobserver.com/article/2005/12/08.4.shtml

New studies says file swapping is good for music sales
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2006
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels A new report from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and research firm Gartner Inc. suggests that file swapping actually encourages music sales. The study surveyed 475 so-called ‘early adopters’ who are among the first wave of frequent music downloaders. The findings suggest the opportunity to give and receive recommendations could become an important force in the online music business. Nearly one-quarter of frequent online music users said that the ability to share music with others is a key factor when selecting an online music service; and a third were interested in technology that helps them discover and recommend music, such as tools that allow Internet users to publish and rank lists of their favorite songs. Perhaps most important for the recording industry, a tenth of those surveyed said they used others recommendations when buying music. The Chairman of the BPI wrote a number of open letters to national press in the UK pointing out that they would never encourage piracy. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/251880_musicsharing14.html http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,,1666575,00.html

SIA announces that 50,000 licences have been issued
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events industry The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is celebrating issuing over 50,000 security licences to the Private Security Industry. The 50,000th licence, a front-line Door Supervisor licence, was granted on Wednesday 9 November 2005. The SIA was launched on 2 April 2003 and now licences 6 sectors of the Private Security Industry with 2,000 training providers offer SIA approved security qualifications. Over 135,000 people hold security qualifications according to SIA figures and 70,000 individuals are part of the SIA licensing system. And Robin Dahlberg, Security Industry Authority (SIA) Deputy Chairman, has accepted the appointment of SIA Acting Chairman when current Chairman Peter Hermitage steps down at the end of January 2006. Home Office Minister Paul Goggins invited Robin to take over from Peter Hermitage on 1 February for around a six-month period. An open competition will be held early next year to appoint a permanent Chairman. Robin joined the SIA Board at the launch of the SIA in April 2003 and in January 2005 he became Deputy Chairman. http://www.the-sia.org

Danish court rejects claim of liability against the Roskilde Festival
Health & Safety , Live Events / January 2006
Denmark

HEALTH & SAFETY Live event industry A claim to apportion blame after the tragedy at the Roskilde Fetsival in 2000 has been rejected by the High Court for Eastern Denmark. The court rejected the request from Finn and Eunice Tonnenson, parents of 17 year old Allan Tonnesen, one of the nine young people who were killed during a Pearl Jam performance. Tonnesen’s parents had claimed that the organisers of the Roskilde Festival had accepted responsibility for the tragedy by making an $11,000 payment to families. However the court ruled that effectively no one person or organisation was to blame. Two previous investigations by the local police and later the Public Prosecutor (District Attorney) for Zealand had concluded that the accident was the result of several unfortunate circumstances and no one was to be held responsible. The initial police investigation, based on 977 interviews with band members, organisers and rescue workers said that the deaths occurred because of “a chain of unfortunate circumstances”, but placed most of the blame on the 50,000 crowd. It found that poor sound in the back caused fans to surge toward the stage and the tragedy was compounded by confusion over who should stop the music….

Kazaa executives face contempt of court hearing in Australia
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2006
Australia

COPYRIGHT Record industry, internet The IFPI has welcomed the move by the Federal Court of Australia to hear contempt of court charges against Kazaa, after its failure to follow the Court’s order to filter its system of copyrighted recordings. The Court today fixed 30th January 2006 for the hearing of contempt charges against the operators of the Kazaa system. Contempt proceedings have been brought against Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming, Altnet CEO Kevin Bermeister, Sharman Networks, LEF Interactive, Altnet Inc and Brilliant Digital Entertainment Inc. The contempt charges have been brought by the recording companies alleging that the operators have failed to comply with Court orders.  A finding of contempt of court could lead to imprisonment and confiscation of corporate assets.  IFPI Chairman and CEO John Kennedy said: “After having said they would implement filters, they have done nothing to prevent the continued copyright infringements on the Kazaa system.  They have left the recording industry with no option but to pursue contempt proceedings against them.  In the meantime Kazaa should stop prevaricating and filter its system now as it has been ordered to do.” Justice Murray Wilcox set the date after hearing that the operators of Kazaa had not implemented music…

Wyrder And Weirder – Choosing And Protecting A Name
Artists , Trade Mark / January 2006
Canada

TRADE MARK Artists Article by Sharon E Groom of McMillan Binch Mendelsohn LLP This article looks at protecting band names and uses the recent law suit by the Canadian band The Wyrd Sistersagainst Warner Bros. for the alleged use of their name The Wyrd Sisters as the name of a band in the new film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The real life band has been around for 15 years and is claiming that the publicity that has been generated by the use of their name in the film (even prior to the film’s release) has created an unwanted association between their band and the film. As a result, they claim that people are going to be confused between the real band and the fictitious movie band. In addition to damages, the group is seeking an injunction to delay the release of the movie in Canada pending the resolution of this matter. The article goes on to review how you should go about choosing and protecting a name, slogan or logo for your business or other venture, to ensure that you do not infringe the rights of others and that you have the best possible protection for your name LINK http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=36620&email_access=on

Apple Corp instigates proceedings against EMI for unpaid royalties
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / January 2006
UK

CONTRACT Record labels, artists The Beatles’ Apple Corps has issued proceedings against EMI for more than £30 million ($52.9 million) in a row over unpaid/underpaid record royalties dating back to 1962. London-based Apple Corps Ltd. launched the proceedings in the High Court on December 15 th in London and New York’s Supreme Court against EMI Records and Capitol Records, respectively. In a statement from Apple Corps, the label says it took action following a breakdown in negotiations with EMI over the disputed royalties. The case arises from an audit of accounts where Apple claims to have discovered irregularities. EMI has responded saying that it welcomes “full financial transparency” and that such audit requests are common. EMI offered to go to mediation, but Apple rejected this. EMI and Apple were previously in court in 1991 over the planned re-release of the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ albums on CD. Apple Corps is currently in a legal dispute with Apple Computers over the ‘Apple’ trademark and its association with music in light of the launch of the iPod and iTunes Music Store (see the November Law Updates). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4535330.stm http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001699776 http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,,1669545,00.html

AOL ’Play Legal’ campaign launched
Copyright , Internet / January 2006
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet Online music downloads have been the digital success story of 2005, with the sector now accounting for five per cent of all music sales in the UK. AOL has now launched its ‘Play Legal’ campaign to educate young consumers on the advantages of legal downloading, to make people aware of the risks to themselves from file swapping and raise awareness of the potential damage to the music industry, artists and ultimately consumers from illegal file swapping. The campaign also hopes to encourage the legal use of copyright material on the internet. The importance of the campaign has been highlighted by a survey from Ipsos MORI on behalf of AOL which found that only 40 per cent of UK consumers say they understand the law in respect of music downloads. Findings from the survey reveal that file-sharing services which could provide illegal downloads and swaps such as Limewire and Kazaa are still more popular than legal download services. Limewire had been used by 27 per cent of those surveyed, while 20 per cent had used the leading legal service from Apple, iTunes. The survey also showed that 77 per cent of people who download music have used an illegal…

MBlox fined £40,000 over Crazy Frog ringtone advertising
Consumers / January 2006
UK

CONSUMER Telecommunications The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (Icstis is the UK regulator for the premium rate telecoms sector) has fined service provider MBlox £40,000 over the Crazy Frog ringtone. Some 338 customers complained to Icstis over the ‘excessive’ bills they received when they signed up for the mad-eyed amphibian’s phone-tone. On securing the tone, they then found themselves signed up to a series of premium-rate reverse charge texts from Jamba that cost them up to £5 a week. Icstis argued that insufficient information was included in the adverts although agreed that there was no malicious or fraudulent intent. The 338 people who formally complained will be refunded and it is expected that thousands of others will follow their lead and seek their money back. The ringtone has generated an estimated £10M for MBlox and Jamba and the single of the tone reached number one in the UK singles charts, stopping Coldplay reaching the top. Britons now send 93 million texts each day according to the Mobile Data Association. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4546374.stm

New clampdown on peer-2-peer file swapping in France delayed
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2006
France

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet Draft legislation in France planned to provide the framework for a serious clampdown on file-sharing including jail sentences for sharers and requirements for software manufacturers to include anti-copying technology has been delayed. Wired reported that file-sharers could face three-year jail sentences and fines of up to E300,000 and noted that the legislation is intended to bring France up to date with the EU Copyright Directive although many in France are seeing the proposed rules as far exceeding the requirements of the Directive. However, a late amendment to the legislation at the end of December (December 22 nd) forced the French Government to suspend the passage of the new digital copyright bill. The French Government suspended its discussion on the country’s controversial new digital copyright bill after an amendment, introduced by Member of Parliament Alain Suguenot from the ruling coalition UMP, was adopted by the French Lower House. The amendment opened the door to an “optional blanket license” system for content on the Internet. http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,69901-0.html?tw=wn_tophead_4 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051222/ap_on_hi_te/france_piracy_vote

Canada – IP year in Review – Copyright
Canada

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels, music publishers, artists Article; By Antonio Turco Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP A review of Canada’s busy copyright year where despite the failure of the legislature to bring in new statutory provisions (The Act to Amend the Copyright Act, Bill C-60) the Federal Court of Appeal made a landmark decision relating to online file swapping. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=36846&email_access=on

Indian Court Upholds the Moral Rights of the Author
Artists , Copyright / January 2006
India

COPYRIGHT Artists, authors Article: By Manisha Singh Nair, Lex Orbis An interesting case review from India where the Delhi High Court decided that where the owner (not being the author) of a copyright work (here a bronze sculpture or mural) treats the work in a manner that is prejudicial to the reputation and honor of the author, the Court may transfer all rights over the work to the author – here granting physical possession of the mural back to the creating artist. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=36856&email_access=on