Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-201/04
Competition / November 2007
EU
USA

COMPETITION Technology, software Microsoft Corp. v Commission of the European Communities Microsoft have announced that they will not be appealing against the recent CFI decision and European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a speech on the 22 nd October “I want to report to you today that Microsoft has finally agreed to comply with its obligations under the 2004 Commission decision, which was upheld last month by the Court of First Instance. The Commissioner went on to confirm that Microsoft would now provide information allowing third party developers of work group server operating systems to develop products that interoperate with the Windows desktop operating system on terms acceptable to the Commission and that Microsoft had slashed patent royalty rates for interoperability information from 5.95% to 0.4% – less than 7% of the royalty originally claimed. The Commissioner also confirmed that there would now be a one of payment for access to secret interoperability information on software developed using licensed information and that Microsoft would make interoperability information available to open source developers and that Microsoft would give legal security to programmers who help to develop open source software and confine its patent disputes to commercial software distributors and end…

European copyright law used to threaten Canadian public domain site
Music Publishing / November 2007
Canada

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing ARTICLE LINK A number of article have appeared commenting on the closure of the International Music Score Library Project which appeared to be a site hosting ‘public domain’ music scores – public domain works in Canada anyway. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071022-european-copyright-law-used-to-threaten-canadian-public-domain-site.html http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/21/0559220 and see a summary at http://www.p2pnet.net/story/13749 including comment from two leading Canadian lawyers Professor Michael Geist and Howard Knopf.

Oink shut down in British and Dutch raids
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2007
Netherlands
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels The IFPI report that British and Dutch police have shut down the world’s biggest source of illegal pre-release chart albums and arrested a 24-year old man in an operation coordinated between Middlesbrough and Amsterdam. The raids, which were coordinated by Interpol, follow a two-year investigation by the international and UK music industry bodies IFPI and BPI into the members-only online pirate pre-release club known as OiNK. OiNK specialised in distributing albums leaked on to the internet, often weeks ahead of their official release date.  More than 60 major album releases have been leaked on OiNK so far this year, making it the primary source worldwide for illegal pre-release music. The site, with an estimated membership of 180,000, has been used by many hardcore file-sharers to violate the rights of artists and producers by obtaining copyrighted recordings and making them available on the internet. It is alleged that the site was operated by a 24-year-old man in the Middlesbrough area, who was arrested today. The site’s servers, based in Amsterdam, were seized in a series of raids last week.  OiNK’s operator allegedly made money by setting up a donations account on the site facilitated by PayPal.  Cleveland Police and…

‘Brega’ Sound turning music industry on its ear
Copyright , Record Labels / November 2007
Brazil

COPYRIGHT Record labels ARTICLE:  “While piracy is the bane of many musicians trying to control the sale of their songs, tecnobrega artists see counterfeiters as key to their success. Artists, who make their money off of live shows, deliver their CDs directly to the street vendors, who determine the price that market can bear.”http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/10/19/brazil.tecnobrega.ap/index.html?eref=ib_technology 

MLU News Archive: 2003 – 2007
News Archive / November 2007

Below is the NEWS ARCHIVE from Music Law Updates old website.  As this is a large document, if you need to find anything, please use the search functionality within your browser.   TICKET TEXT TO PROVIDE TICKETING FOR MAMA VENUES 30/11/07 Dublin based technology firm Ticket Text has announced a deal with UK venue owners the MAMA Group which will see the London based firm provide mobile ticketing through Ticket Text’s system at its 18 venues, which include the various UK Barfly venues annd Hammersmith Apollo, Jazz Café, Forum and Borderline in London. The deal means tickets will be available for a variety of MAMA Group events via Ticket Text’s website – http://www.ticket-text.com. Tickets are sent as barcodes to gig goers’ mobiles. EMI BOSS PROPOSES OVERHAUL OF COSTLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 30/11/07 Guy Hands, the new boss of EMI has been looking at cost cutting at the major label as raising margins from the interrnet and mobile phones as they look for an exit in 2012 according to the Times. Hands reportedly questioned the necessity of the record industry having so many different trade associations, in particular questioning the need for major labels to be supporting all three of the US based Recording Industry Association…

US Copyright bringing new meaning to ‘long arm of the law’
Copyright , Internet / October 2007
Australia
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE LINK  An Australian man who had never been to the US (or ever even owned a passport) is, thanks to US copyright laws, currently serving a 15-month sentence in a US jail. Hew Griffiths was convicted by a Federal Court in Virginia back in June of this year for being a ring leader of DrinkOrDie (DOD) an underground software piracy network, but the case is interesting because he never actually set foot in the United States nor actually profit from his copyright infringing activities. Seehttp://www.zeropaid.com/news/8973/US+Copyright+Laws+Bringing+New+Meaning+to+’Long+Arm+of+the+Law‘

US court rules that ‘making available’ files for downloading is infringement; Atlantic v Howell
Copyright , Internet / October 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet A US District Judge has ruled that making recordings available on a peer-2-peer file swapping network constitutes infringement of copyright. This case involved a defendant called Jeffrey Howell who had his home IP address turned over to the court by Cox Communications, the Howells’ broadband provider. A number of members f the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) then hired Media Sentry Services to look into the contents of the Howell’s shared folder on tier two computers. There the firm found 2,329 MP3 tracks, many of which were later identified as works copyrighted by the plaintiff record labels. Mr. Howell’s defences were that (1) he was at work at the time MediaSentry detected his shared folder at home, so he wasn’t really the person distributing the files at the time; (2) he legally purchased all the tracks in that shared folder; (3) those files had originally been in a non-shared folder, but some hacker probably found a way of moving them into the shared folder. None of these succeeded and Judge Neil Wake held that under federal law, Judge Wake wrote, “Distribution of copyrighted material need not involve a physical transfer.” Then citing US code, he added, “‘[T]he…

Bertelsmann settle final Napster claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2007
Germany
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing Bertelsmann AG has agreed to pay US music publishers, led by the Harry Fox Agency, $130 million to settle a copyright infringement case brought on by the German media giant’s deal with the Napster P2P service. BMG owner Bertlesmann and venture capital fund Hummer Winblad were targeted as they had both provided funding to the P2P firm in its final phase, mainly in a bid to help the Napster chiefs develop a legitimate royalty paying P2P. If approved by a federal judge, the deal announced Friday by the National Music Publishers Association and BMG would end the four-year lawsuit that accused Bertelsmann of contributing to Napster’s copyright infringement as an original investor — before the online music company changed its business model and became a recognised distributor of licensed music via paid downloads. That deal allowed Bertelsmann to end its involvement in a copyright infringement suit with the other major labels. Bertelsmann has made similar deals with other record labels amounting to $154 million. In all the deals, the company does not admit to any wrongdoing. Napster eventually was shuttered by U.S. courts in 2002 over copyright violations but has attempted to re-establish itself as a legitimate…

Court challenge to US copyright term extension
Copyright / October 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT All Areas ARTICLE LINK:  Summit Daily has reported on the decision of the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which has ordered the District Court to examine s.514 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act under the First Amendment (freedom of speech) as it changed ” the traditional contours of copyright protection in a manner that implicates plaintiff’s right to free expression.” http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20070904/NEWS/109040087 and see http://kjct8.com/Global/story.asp?S=7026866

Zimbabwe pirates avoid prosecution
Copyright , Record Labels / October 2007
Zimbabwe

COPYRIGHT Record labels Against a background of economic collapse and rampant piracy the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association has written to the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs complaining about some Bulawayo public prosecutors who allegedly said they were unable to enforce the Copyright and Neighbouring Act. The Anti Piracy Organisation (APOZ) has also voiced concern over the way some courts were handling piracy cases in the country. In the letter dated July 30, 2007 to the Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mr David Mangota, the Music Rights Association said efforts in fighting piracy were being frustrated at all levels and was now praying for the ministry’s intervention in this regard. Citing 15 cases of suspected pirates who were arrested in Bulawayo in June and were released because the prosecutors allegedly said according to the new law, the music association had no mandate to represent musicians. In its statement to the International Federation of Phonographic Industries APOZ states that between January and June this year 13,842 pirated DVDs were seized. http://allafrica.com/stories/200709060192.html

Oldies groups go to court to challenge ‘truth in music’ law but promoter held in contenpt for using Drfiters name
Artists , Trade Mark / October 2007
USA

TRADE MARK Artists ARTICLE LINK  The first legal challenge to one of the seventeen states who have passed the so called ‘Truth in Music’ law has been launched by a music promoter. The law aims to protect heritage acts and stop consumers being ripped off by imposter bands. At the same time a New Jersey judge has found the same music promoter in contempt of court for continuing to use the name of a famous oldies group, the Drifters, in defiance of an 8 year old court order. US District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise termed Larry Marshak’s promotion of an offshoot of The Drifters titled The Elsbeary Hobbs Drifters as “an elaborate shell game.” Judge Debevoise held that Marshak, his relatives and business associates violated a 1999 injunction banning the use of the Drifters name “or any other name that would be confusingly similar to the Drifters.” Marshak has been in dispute with Faye Treadwell, wife of the former Drifter’s manager George Treadwell and owner of the Drfiters trade mark for over thirty years. It is companies linked to Marshak who have launched the challenge against state Attorney General Anne Milgram. Marshak and his associates, including his wife and sister-in-law, have promoted…

Licensing Act criticised by Local Authority
Licensing , Live Events / October 2007
UK

LICENSING Live event industry Councillors have expressed their concerns over the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 after the small three day Echo music festival went ahead under the provisions of the Act by using a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). TENS were introduced to streamline the licensing of small one off events. This event was held on private farmland. Neither the Local Authority nor local residents are entitled to object to a TEN under the current legislation – only the police can object on grounds of preventing crime and disorder and then only within 48 hours of receiving the notice. This type of licence can only be used for numbers not exceeding 499 persons – including staff and performers. With Echo, the council did serve a pre-emptive noise abatement order on festival organisers. Comments from councillors included that neighbours were unhappy at not being consulted and were worried about traffic, noise and safety and that the Act was “yet again, another example of this ridiculous legislation introduced by this Government.” http://www.thisisbasingstoke.co.uk/display.var.1674266.0.music_festival_raises_issue_with_legislation.php

Amy Winehouse settles songwriting claim
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing Songwriter and producer P*Nut has reached a settlement with Amy Winehouse people regarding the song ‘He Can Only Hold Her’, which appears on her album ‘Back To Black’. P*Nut, real name John Harrison, had claimed that he co-conceived the song with Winehouse while working with the singer in early 2006. P*Nut will now be credited as a songwriter alongside Winehouse, Richard Poindexter and Robert Poindexter and will receive share of songwriting royalties. Source: UnLimited/CMU http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

Ex Snow Patrol bassist brings legal action
Artists , Contract / October 2007
UK

CONTRACT Artists Snow Patrol’s former bassist Mark McClelland has announced that he is issuing legal proceedings in the High Court against the rest of the band for songwriting royalties and gig earnings dating back to 2005 and beyond, including those from the band’s breakthrough album ‘Final Straw’ and last year’s ‘Eyes Open’. McClelland left the band alleging creative differences. Source UnLimited/CMU http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

Dutch close DVD pirate plant
Copyright / October 2007
Netherlands

COPYRIGHT Film & TV Officers from the Dutch Fiscal and Economic Police (FIOD-ECD) are dismantling a pirate disc factory after a raid.  The action in the city of Velddriel has led to the seizure of pirate discs and manufacturing equipment, as well as the arrest of the one suspect who was present. The raid followed a complaint by the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, who had been alerted to the problem by enforcement officers from IFPI, the body that represents the recording industry worldwide, who had monitored activity at the clandestine plant. Officials seized a DVD press set up to make pirate copies of films including Die Hard 4.0, Ocean’s Thirteen, Evan Almighty and Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer.  The seized press had a capacity to manufacture 900 DVDs per hour.  Forensic examination by IFPI suggests this press comes from a legitimate DVD plant that had previously been declared bankrupt. Officers also discovered discs which formed part of an order for thousands of pirate CDs featuring a compilation of chart music.  Pirate discs from the plant have not been sold through legitimate channels, but by individuals in schools, workplaces, bars or on the street.  BREIN estimates that such organised piracy accounts for…

In the Wild West of the Internet, Prince calls in the sheriff
Copyright , Internet / October 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet Prince has hired UK company Web Sheriff in a move to “reclaim the Internet” and he is preparing to file lawsuits against YouTube, eBay and The Pirate Bay, for allegedly encouraging copyright violations, Prince plans to file suit in both the United States and the U.K., and has hired a Swedish law firm to take action against The Pirate Bay, the BitTorrent tracking site, Web sheriff’s John Giacobbi said that “In the past couple of weeks, we have removed about 2,000 infringing clips from YouTube,” Giacobbi said. “We get them down and the next day, there are 100 or 200 more. Their business model is built on making money off other people’s creative work.” Hani Durzy, a spokesman for eBay said the company has programs in place to help rights holders protect their property. Prince’s action against YouTibe owner’s Google is not without precedent, Google and YouTube already face a $1 billion lawsuit filed earlier this year by media-conglomerate Viacom and a class-action suit filed by a group that includes several professional European sports leagues. Google has always said that it obeys copyright laws. The company maintains that the safe harbour provisions in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act…

Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-201/04
Competition / October 2007
EU
USA

COMPETITION Technology, software Microsoft Corp. v Commission of the European Communities The Court of First Instance has essentially upheld the European Commission’s decision finding that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position although the Court has annulled certain parts of the decision relating to the proposed appointment of a monitoring trustee holding that this has no basis in community law. On 23 March 2004 the European Commission adopted a decision finding that Microsoft had infringed Article 82 of the EC Treaty by abusing its dominant position by engaging in two separate types of conduct. The Commission also imposed a fine of more than EUR 497 million on Microsoft. The first type of conduct found to constitute an abuse consisted in Microsoft’s refusal to supply its competitors with ‘interoperability information’ and to authorise them to use that information to develop and distribute products competing with its own products on the work group server operating system market, between October 1998 and the date of adoption of the decision. By way of remedy, the Commission required Microsoft to disclose the ‘specifications’ of its client/server and server/server communication protocols to any undertaking wishing to develop and distribute work group server operating systems. The second type of…

eDonkey servers taken offline
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / October 2007
France
Germany
Netherlands

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels Legal steps by the record industry in France, Germany and the Netherlands have cut off more than one million users of the one of the largest P2P networks – no doubt to the huge annoyance if music fans. Seven servers on eDonkey were shut down this week after court injunctions in Germany. This follows on from similar eDonkey server closures in Netherlands and France. eDonkey is a peer-to-peer file sharing network widely used to swap copyright infringing music files.  The eDonkey network relies on servers for its effective operation and eDonkey servers are run by one or more individuals using software to enable users to find other users connected to the same server that have files the user wants to download. A series of legal actions by national groups of the International Federation of Phonographic Iindustries, representing the recording industry, have forced many eDonkey servers offline, significantly reducing the effectiveness and reach of the network.  In the last few weeks the number of eDonkey users worldwide has been reduced by more than a million, knocking an estimated third of users off the network.  Fresh actions will continue to target the remaining eDonkey servers. The new actions against…

Germany makes personal copying illegal
Copyright / October 2007
Germany

COPYRIGHT All areas The German government has approved an update to its copyright law that essentially makes it illegal to make copies of movies and music, even for personal use. Set to take effect in 2008, the law will make it a crime to copy DVDs and CDs, in addition to IPTV and TV broadcasts, without permission. The country’s Green Party and consumer advocates lobbied for an exemption for personal uses, but to no avail. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117972434.html

Will radio income save the labels?
Copyright , Record Labels / October 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels and radio ARTICLE LINK By Steve Gordon at the Register Whilst sound Exchange collects for the digital use of sound recordings (maters owned usually by labels) a quirk in US law means there is no equivalent to PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) collecting for the public performance of tracks. Is this going to change? See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/20/steve_gordon_riaa_radio/

Premier League wants law to tighten defences
Copyright , Internet / October 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Television, internet ARTICLE LINK By Roger Blitz, Financial Times Having joined the fights against YouTube, the UK’s Premier League (FAPL) is now asking the UK Government to shake-up of copyright law amid concerns the government needs to do more to protect the increasingly valuable media rights the sport’s top flight is attracting – recent deals included UK TV deals with Sky and Setanta worth £1.7 billion, overseas deals worth £625 million and £400 million for mobile and internet rights. The League are concerned that the police, Customs and Excise and Trading Standards are not ‘exercised’ by copyright infringement and are also concerned that news services routinely use clips of football matches without payment under fair dealing (fair use) provisions in UK copyright law. See the FT article at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ab8e97e4-6b7d-11dc-863b-0000779fd2ac.html Other stories on FAPL see: More join infringement class action against YouTube and Google (Music Law Updates September 2007), MPS v Murphy: The legality of pubs using foreign satellite signal goes to the High Court (May 2007), MPS v Murphy : The Greek Nova TV signal is held to be a UK broadcast (April 2007) and the ARTICLE DoesSky have an enforceable a monopoly on live premiership football in the UK? (FACT v Gannon, MPS…

New Nominet Consultation On An Important Change To Its Dispute Resolution Service
Internet , Trade Mark / October 2007
UK

TRADE MARK Internet ARTICLE LINK By Susan Barty and Phillip Carnell CMS Cameron McKenna Nominet, the domain name registry for all .uk domain names, held an open consultation last year on reforming the Dispute Resolution Service (the “DRS”). In light of the responses to the original consultation, Nominet produced a paper which suggested a number of changes to the DRS. One of the proposed changes is the introduction of a default transfer system, which would provide an automatic transfer of domain names in the event a response to a DRS complaint is not received from the domain name registrant. See http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=52610&email_access=on

New United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office Rules Affect Owners Of European Community And Certain International Trademark Applications And Registrations
Trade Mark / October 2007
UK

TRADE MARK All areas ARTICLE LINK Article by Mintz Levin Intellectual Property Section Beginning October 1, 2007, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), which covers the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, will change its trademark examination practice with regard to prior-filed trademark applications and registrations. http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=52542&email_access=on  

Zeppelin bootlegger pleads guilty R v Langley
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels Robert Langley, “one of Europe’s most notorious music pirates” and also known as ‘Mr Toad” has pleaded guilty to selling bootlegged recordings of Led Zeppelin gigs after a Glasgow court heard evidence from guitarist Jimmy Page. Langley pleaded guilty to two copyright and three trade mark infringements. He was sentenced to twenty months is custody.  Giving evidence, Page testified that he had not authorised the recordings, which he said were of poor quality. He also drew a distinction between fans who swapped recordings and professional bootleggers, such as Langley . Langley sold discs featuring illegal recordings of live gigs for between £6 and £300 on his own Silver Rarities and Langley Masters labels. He was arrested by Strathclyde Police after a BPI-organised anti-piracy raid on his stall at a Scottish record fair in February 2005. The seizure of CDs and DVDs included counterfeit Led Zeppelin material valued at an estimated £11,500, a £220 set of recordings from a Led Zeppelin tour in Japan and a £40 set of a warm-up session in Denmark . It also included an estimated £1,790 of pirated Rolling Stones recordings and a cache of Beatles music valued at £885. Langley also faces another…

AllofMP3 director found not guilty of copyright infringement
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2007
Russia

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet At the beginning of August proceedings began in the Moscow Cheremushki District Court against Denis Kvasov, the former Director of Mediaservices, which owned the recently closed Allofmp3.com website. He was accused of breaching the copyright and allied rights under Article 146 of the RF Criminal Code by selling music without the copyright holder’s consent Mr. Kvasov pleaded not guilty stating that he did “everything within the law. The maximum sentence for these offences is three years in prison and a fine of 5 million roubles. Much to the dismay of EMI and Universal who brought the claim (and the wider record industry) Mr Kvasov appears to have successfully promoted the defence that his activities were legal pursuant to Section 3, Article 1, Law 39 of the RF enabled the use phonograms without the producer’s permission by paying compensation (in effect a statutory licence although this loop hole was closed in late 2006). Mediaservices claim they made the necessary payments to the copyright holders through Russian Collection Societies and so the activities of AllofMP3 corresponded to existing Russian legislation. Judge Ekaterina Sharapova acquitted Denis Kravsov and ruled that the site operated within the bounds of Russian law….

German Court says privacy more important than ‘petty’ file swapping crimes
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
Germany

COPYRIGHT Record labels The fine balance between individuals right to privacy and copyright owner’s right to protect their intellectual property against theft and infringement swung back in favour of privacy with a ruling by a Local Court in Offenburg Germany which held that public prosecutors were prohibited from requesting ISPs (internet service providers) provide details of an IP address to allow prosecutors to determine of identities of users of a P2P network. On the grounds of “obvious disproportionateness” the court declared that the ISP should protect privacy and pointed to the fact that offering a few copyright-protected music tracks via a P2P network client was “a petty offence” (we are not sure that record labels would agree!). This seems to be a trend in Germany as the public prosecutor’s office in Celle had already refused to determine individuals associated with an IP addresses submitted by a law firm representing copyright owners, a process that would have involved forcing the providers to reveal the relevant personal data, The supervising authority dismissed the complaint as baseless and said that the case did not fulfil the “indispensable condition of an investigation being in the public interest” because the offences committed by the alleged…

Eminen brings action against iTunes
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / September 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing News that song sales on iTunes have passed the three billion mark was somewhat soured by a federal lawsuit filed by Eminem’s music publisher, claiming that iTunes violated copyrights for as many as 80 Eminem songs. Apple has an agreement with Universal Music Group, the record company that owns the recordings, but doesn’t deal directly with publishers, who own the rights to scores and lyrics. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit by Eight Mile Style, and copyright manager Martin Affiliated seek more than $75,000 for copyright infringement, unfair competition and a violation of the Michigan consumer protection act. The lawsuit also asks for damages of up to $150,000 per infringement or each time a song is downloaded. Of the usual 99c download price of a track on iTunes, 70c goes to the record label and 9c to the music publisher for the songwriting. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/01/AR2007080100443.html

15 fold increase in nightclub levy heads for Australian courts
Copyright , Live Events , Record Labels / September 2007
Australia

COPYRIGHT Record labels, live industry The hotel and nightclub industries in Australia have launched a Federal Court challenge against The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia , the group that represents Australia’s largest record labels, following a recent decision to increase the cost of music in dance venues by 15 times. Last month the Australian Copyright Tribunal lifted the rate for music played in nightclubs from seven cents per person a night to $1.05. PPC, which represents more than 600 record companies, hailed the decision as a victory for musicians who had been exploited by nightclubs for years http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/hotels-go-to-court-over-cost-of-music/2007/08/06/1186252630068.html Article link: Copyright ruling produces sour note for musos “The recent furore over a rise in recorded music licence fees that nightclubs and commercial dance parties must pay has mostly missed the point. It is not about picking the “good guys” — promoters and venue operators versus record companies and musicians. It is about record companies trying to protect their fading businesses”. This article asks whether musicians are properly protected when labels look to find new revenue streams. http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/copyright-ruling-produces-sour-notes-for-musos/2007/07/30/1185647826553.html

Apple wins important victory in patent claim
Internet , Patents / September 2007
USA

PATENT Internet, technology A US judge has overturned a jury’s $1.52 billion award in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft. Ruling that Microsoft had not violated one of the two patents in the case, Judge Rudi Brewster overturned the verdict and indicated that the second patent should be revisited as well (possibly by way of a re-trial). The two patents cover MP3 compression; the underlying technology was co-developed by Bell Labs (now Lucent) and German firm Fraunhofer in the 1990s. Bell Labs became Lucent Technologies in 1995 after a spin-off from parent AT&T and was snapped up by French firm Alcatel in 2006. Microsoft says that it licensed the technology from Fraunhofer for $16 million so that it could support MP3 playback natively in Windows. Alcatel-Lucent argued that a license from Fraunhofer was insufficient and that Microsoft had been infringing on its patents for years. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070806-judge-tosses-verdict-1-52-billion-award-in-microsoft-mp3-patent-case.html

More join infringement class action against YouTube and Google
Copyright , Internet / September 2007
Japan
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet A number of new copyright owners have joined the class action brought by The UK’s Football Association Premier League and Bourne Co against YouTube and owners Google. The US’s  National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and a number of other music groups including Cherry Lane Music Publishing and film music publisher X-Ray Dog Music have joined the lawsuits over copyright infringement. The lawsuit, The Football Association Premier League Limited, et al. v. YouTube, Inc., et al., 07 Civ. 3582 (LLS), is pending before the Honorable Louis L. Stanton in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition to the NMPA, renowned investigative journalist Robert Tur has joined along with writer Daniel Quinn, the U.K.’s Rugby Football League, the Finnish Football LeagueAssociation, Knockout Entertainment Limited ( Secondsout.com) and Seminole Warriors Boxing. The action already had the support of other sports and entertainment entities around the world including: the Association of European Professional Leagues (which represents the interests of 25 Member and Associate Member Leagues across Europe and more than 800 affiliated clubs), the French Tennis Federation; the French Professional Football League and Cal IV Entertainment, LLC, the major country music publisher with over 15,000 copyrights. Viacom is…

RIAA spend $658,000 on lobbying but should Sound Exchange be ‘lobbying’ at all?
Competition / September 2007
USA

COMPETITION All areas The Recording Industry Association of America spent more than $658,000 in the first half of 2007 to lobby the federal government, according to a disclosure form. The trade group lobbied on intellectual property and copyright issues, including more funding for enforcement, according to the form posted online Friday by the Senate’s public records office. Under 1995 federal law, lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches. But in other news, it appears collection society Sound Exchange who collect for the erformaqnce of recorded music by way of interenet and satellite media has also spent money lobbying and PR as part of its musicFIRST campaign – and US commentators are now claiming that such activities are not permitted under the US Copyright Act. One lawyer added “t he lobbying efforts do exceed the legislative and regulatory authority given to SoundExchange. I also believe that the lobbying activity on a matter outside the scope of SoundExchange’s original charter constitutes a violation of the 501 (c) (6) tax-exemption held by SoundExchange“ saying that Sound Exchange should only be spending money on collecting, administering and distributing royalties from the use of recorded music….

Online CD Seller Fights Universal’s Infringement Allegations
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) is supporting an eBay seller in taking on Universal Music Group (UMG) in court after the record industry giant targeted his online music sales with claims of copyright infringement. The EFF and the San Francisco law firm of Keker & Van Nest LLP are representing Troy Augusto, whose online auctions included sales of promotional CDs distributed by Universal. Augusto does business on eBay under the name Roast Beast Music and specializes in sales of rare and collectible music. The EFF say that US copyright law’s “first sale” doctrine makes it clear that the owner of a CD is entitled to resell it without the permission of the copyright holder. Nevertheless, Universal demanded that eBay take down Augusto’s auctions, claiming that CDs marked as “promotional use only” remain the property of Universal and thus can never be resold. “When a consumer buys a CD, he gets certain rights, including the right to resell it. Universal is mistaken if it thinks that it can trump these rights simply by putting a label on a CD,” said Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney. “Universal is trying to unilaterally rewrite copyright law to the…

RIAA hits major opposition in fight against campus piracy
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has had a number of setbacks in its move to unearth campus based file swapping which the labels believe is rife. Courts in a number of staes have thrown out motions for discovery, Universities and institutes are critical of being asked to ‘police’ the internet and now students of different campuses are banding together to build robust defences to the RIAA’s case. http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/09/1925220 http://www.davisenterprise.com/articles/2007/08/10/news/147new1.txt See also a variety of ‘RIAA’ stories and articles on the blog Recording Industry vs The Peoplehttp://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/. The blog is written by two New York lawyers, Ty Rogers and Ray Beckerman, who represent people who have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for having computers whose internet accounts were believed to have been used to access peer-to-peer file sharing: “In these cases, a cartel of multinational corporations collude to abuse our judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children. We established this site to collect and share information about this campaign” say the blog. In particular take a look at the (now class) action by Tanya Anderson against the RIAA. The original case was filed against Anderson,…

New Zealand to legislate for music private use exemption
Copyright / September 2007
New Zealand

COPYRIGHT All areas New Zealand has put forward proposed law changes will make it legal to copy music for personal use but the exemption will not extend to television programmes and films which will still only able to be kept for “time shifting” purposes – to be watched at the viewers convenience – and must be then erased. In New Zealand it is currently illegal to copy music from a CD or tape to another device such as an iPod or an MP3 player. But The New Zealand Parliament’s commerce select committee has changed the Copyright (NewTechnologies) Bill to make it legal to “format shift” – or copy – music from a CD to other devices if it is for personal use. The committee has not changed the current law which allows home videotaping from TV, but only if programmes are kept for “no longer than is reasonably necessary for viewing … at a more convenient time”. That provision will remain. MPs on the committee have specified that copying DVDs or videotapes onto a device such as an iPod should not be permitted. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=93&objectid=10457134

Market owners found liable for pirate DVDs and CDs sold on their site
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, film and TV The UK’s music and film industries welcomed a verdict delivered by St Albans Crown Court which both the BPI and FACT (The Federation Against Copyright Theft) say could prove hugely significant as the UK’s creative industries step up their fight against copyright crime as the verdict against Wendy Fair Markets Ltd is significant as all previous commercial piracy cases have been brought against sellers or distributors, rather than the market owners themselves. Directors Nicholas Hobday and Sally Ward, together with the company itself, were yesterday found guilty of money laundering charges. Sentencing will take place in September. The case was brought by Hertfordshire Trading Standards after the BPI and FACT uncovered evidence that the defendants and company were benefiting financially from the illegal sale of counterfeit DVDs, CDs, and computer software at Hemel Hempstead’s Bovingdon Market. The BPI says it marks the first time a market operator has been convicted of accepting – in the form of pitch rents – money it knew, or suspected, had been earned through criminal means. Both the company, Wendy Fair Markets Ltd and the directors could lose their assets as they are now vulnerable to a claim under…

Music Piracy costs US economy $12.5 billion annually
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels A new study released the US’s Institute For Policy Innovation estimates that worldwide recorded music piracy (including counterfeit discs & tapes, bootlegs and illegal file swapping) costs the US $12.5 billion in economic output and 71,060 in jobs annually in the US. Billed as the first report to ever “credibly estimate the impact of sound recording piracy not just on the recording industry, but also on the US economy as a whole”, the paper estimates that the record industry itself loses $1.1 billion because of piracy, but that the knock on effect on other industries costs a further $1.6 billion. Of the 71,060 jobs effected, the report says 26,860 are in the recording and music retail sectors, while 44,200 come from other effected industries. The report adds that the piracy losses also cost the US government $422 million in taxes.

Big fine for Baltic pressing plant
Copyright , Record Labels / September 2007
Lithuania

COPYRIGHT Record labels Baltic Optical Disc, the largest CD replicating plant in the Baltic States, has been ordered to pay a coalition of record companies a €500,000 payout after a Lithuanian court ruled it was guilty of music piracy.The civil action, brought jointly by the public prosecutor and 13 IFPI member companies, related to large scale pirate CD manufacture in 2001.  The claim stemmed from police and customs’ seizures of more than 210,000 pirate CDs containing a mix of predominantly international and Polish repertoire. Forensic experts at IFPI traced the origin of the illegal discs, found in Vilnius and on the Czech/Polish border, back to the Baltic Optical Disc factory.  This conclusion was confirmed by investigators at the Lithuanian government’s forensic laboratories. The judge ruled that Baltic Optical Disc should pay €494,000 in compensation to the record companies whose repertoire was pirated, as well as more than €5,000 in costs.  The court imposed the maximum compensation award it could, given the numbers of discs manufactured. www.ifpi.org

New session fee structure for advertising industry
Artists , Copyright / September 2007
UK

COPYRIGHT Artists The Musicians’ Union (MU) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have signed a new agreement that introduces a revised sliding scale of session fees related to ensemble size in the UK. This is to reverse the trend for orchestral music for ad soundtrack use being outsourced to Eastern Europe. The deal comes into effect in September and was brokered by Leap Music.

Sound Exchange settles new rates with webcasters
Copyright , Internet / September 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet The dispute between the larger webcasters in the US and SoundExchange now seems to be over. A deal has been means that webcasters who run multiple niche channels will not be penalised as the minimum charge will be capped Under rules originally approved by the US Copyright Royalties Board stations were obligated to pay a $500 per stationminimum charge per year. If a webcaster ran twenty stations/channels, they would have to pay $10,000. The new offer caps the minimum charge protecting webcasters who run hundreds of niche / tailor made channels.

New York signs off on ‘Truth In Music’ law
Artists , Trade Mark / September 2007
USA

TRADE MARK Artists New York has become the latest state to sign up to laws which are aimed to prevent Musical fakers impersonating groups they are not affiliated with – imposter bands will now will now face up to $15,000 in fines after Govenor Eliot Spitzer signed the state’s Truth in Music law. The bill, which will go into effect in one month, was prompted by groups representing themselves as doo-wop artists like the Platters, the Coasters and the Drifters. Jon Bauman, “Bowzer” from the group Sha Na Na, advocated for the legislation in New York and other states. http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/ny-limusi225341043aug22,0,7885163.story

Article: WILL GREEN ISSUES BE THE NEXT LEGAL MINEFIELD?
Articles / September 2007

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) by Ben Challis, Barrister-at-law   Whenever politicians get excited about something you can bet that legislation will follow. The modern trend for often rushed and poorly drafted legislation sees no sign of slowing down and industries like the music industry which is fragmented into a number of different discrete sectors are often very bad at making their voice heard. Even the well funded record label trade associations (AIM, the BPI and its international counterpart the IFPI) have seen little progress in promoting the extension in the term for the copyright in sound recordings from the current limit of fifty years. But the new big talking point is, of course, the environment. Whilst some still question the science of climate change, it is becoming apparent that our weather is changing and it is getting difficult to deny that the world is warming up. The Earth’s surface temperature is 0.7 degrees warmer than it was one hundred years ago – and the change is accelerating. The five hottest years on record were all in the last ten years. 2007 had the warmest spring and wettest summer ever – as attendees at…

US broadcasters fall silent for a day
Copyright , Internet / August 2007
USA

COPYRIGHT Radio, internet On June 26 th US online music broadcasters held what was dubbed the “Day of Silence” when they shut down their services to protest a hike in licensing fees that they say threatens their existence. The website for the online demonstration, SaveRadioNet.org encouraged visitors to contact their representatives in Congress in support of the “Internet Radio Equality Act”. In total 14,000 Web radio stations went off the air protesting the hefty increase in royalty rates that’s scheduled to take effect July 15. The record label’s collection society, SoundExchange which collects digital royalties for labels and artists, successfully lobbied the Copyright Royalty Board this year to enact the higher, retroactive rates. This decision was upheld by the District of Columbia Court of Appeal who refused to stay the decision. Webcasters say the new rates, which require paying a flat fee per song instead of a percentage of their revenue, could bankrupt them. The new bill, H.R. 2060 or the so-called Internet Radio Equality Act, is pending in the U.S. House. It would scrap the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision and allow Webcasters to continue paying royalties based on a percentage of their revenue. This is the second Day of…

As ALLOFMP3 finally goes ….. a ‘new’ site opens
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2007
Russia

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet AllofMP3, the music download website whose activities threatened to scupper Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has been shut down. The site, Allofmp3.com has shut as the Kremlin sought to end criticism from the United States that Russia was failing to clamp down on music and video piracy and Russia promised to target other Russian sites that distributed copyright material illegally. However, an alternative site run by the same Moscow company has already emerged – mp3Sparks.com and owners MediaServices say it is legal under Russian law, using many of the same arguments advanced in support of allofmp3.com. Allofmp3.com insisted that it was a legitimate business because it paid royalties to a Russian organisation that collected fees for distribution to copyright holders. It argued that it was helping to prevent piracy by offering an alternative to free file-sharing sites. Western music companies refused to accept the fee, arguing that the Russian Multimedia and Internet Society had no right to represent their interests. The site had been under investigation for two years by the Russian Interior Ministry. A bigger blow was struck in January, when Visa and MasterCard told MediaServices that they would no longer process…

IFPI hails Court ruling that Belgian ISPs must filter illegal content
Copyright , Internet / August 2007
Belgium
EU

COPYRIGHT Internet A court in Belgium has confirmed that an Internet Service Provider must take responsibility for stopping illegal file-sharing on its network.  The ruling is the first of its kind in Europe and, since it implements EU legislation, it sets an important precedent in the fight against piracy internationally. The judgment is warmly welcomed by the international recording industry, which has been pressing for action by ISPs to curb piracy on their Networks.  The judge said that ISPs have the technical means at their disposal to either block or filter copyright-infringing material on P2P networks and gave the ISP Scarlet (formerly Tiscali) six months to implement such measures.  The judgment pointed in particular to the filtering technology developed by Audible Magic. It also referred to six other possible solutions to block the traffic of unlicensed music, which are highlighted in an experts’ report commissioned by the court. This is the first case in Europe that has examined in detail the technologies that are available to block or filter copyright-infringing traffic on file-sharing networks. The Belgian court was ruling on a case brought by the body representing authors and composers in Belgium, SABAM, against the ISP Tiscali. The IFPI estimates there were some…

DRM debacle continues to claim scalps
Copyright / August 2007
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Technology Sony BMG is taking the company behind an ill-fated CD copy-protection fiasco to court in an attempt to stem some recourse from the legal backlash. Back in 2005, Sony BMG embarked on a DRM initiative utilising CD copy-protection software from The Amergence Group. The move was widely derided as the software was accused of installing spyware onto computers which left them open to viruses. Amergence Technologies, and its sales agent MediaMax Technology, how find themselves on the receiving end of a $12M writ which sees the major claiming damages over lawsuits it had to settle in relation to the flawed software. However the MediaMax technology on charge here is only one of two failed DRM attempts. The other is the now better know ‘Rootkit’ software developed by First4Internet’s. The Amergence Group refutes the claims, laying the blame squarely at the other provider’s feet. From FiveEight Daily

Swiss implement MP3 levy
Copyright / August 2007
Canada
Switzerland

COPYRIGHT Technology A court ruling in Switzerland will now mean consumers in the country will have to pay a tax on digital music devices such as iPods and MP3 players, as well as some types of audio/video recorders. The one-off tax ranges in price from SFr30-90 ($25-75): The Federal Court rejected consumer complaints about the tax which will be levied by Swiss collection society SUISA. http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/detail/Judges_confirm_tax_on_digital_music_players.html?siteSect=105&sid=8013457&cKey=1184162841000  Canada is to implement an ‘iPod’ tax after a decision by the Copyright Board of Canada http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070720-copyright-board-of-canada-gives-thumbs-up-to-ipod-tax.html

Telecom data not available to copyright groups in civil action : Productores de Música de España v Telefónica de España SAU
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2007
EU
Spain

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels Juliane Kokott, Advocate General to the European Court of Justice, has provided her opinion that groups representing music copyright owners should not be able to demand that telecommunications companies hand over the details of people they suspect of swapping illegal music downloads. The AG said that while it was necessary for such details to be revealed in criminal prosecutions, EU law does not compel telecom companies to make the same disclosures in civil cases. The opinion aims to help judges come to a final decision when they decide on legal questions put by a Spanish court looking at a complaint made by Spanish music copyright owners against Telefonica, Spain’s largest Internet provider. Promusicae, a non-profit group of music producers, sued Telefonica for not handing over the names and addresses of internet users it believes are illegally swapping music online. The Advocate General agreed with Telefonica’s argument that EU law only allows them to share personal data for criminal prosecutions or matters of public security stating that it compatible with EU law for European countries to exclude communication of personal data in the context of a civil, as distinct from criminal, action. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article2098359.ece http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2007/07/telefnica-gains-edge-in-promusicae.html

George Michael gets Wembley over-run fine
Licensing , Live Events / August 2007
UK

LICENSING Live event industry George Michael has been fined £130,000 for overrunning the licence curfew at Wembley Stadium on June 9 th. The singer has had to pay £10,000 per minute for the over-run. Car parking fines generated the local authority another £36,000 (their second highest ever haul!). http://www.nme.com/news/george-michael/29632

Magistrates can attach conditions on appeal Crawley Borough Council v Attenborough [2006] EWHC 1278 (Admin) 171 JP 69
Licensing , Live Events / August 2007
UK

LICENSING Live event industry A Magistrates Court, sitting as a licensing appeals court from the decision of a local authority, may impose conditions in its decision when awarding a licence but those conditions must be clear and enforceable. Here a pub successfully challenged a local authority’s refusal to extend licence hours on noise grounds. The High Court held that the Magistrates Court has the power to make such order as to costs as it sees fit on appeal. See The Magistrate Volume 63 No 7

Fudge bar overcomes West End blanket ban
Licensing , Live Events / August 2007
UK

LICENCING Live event industry A landmark licensing case has seen a London bar granted extended hours in the West End stress area. Fudge, just off London’s inconic Leicester Square, was granted a licence until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, following an appeal to Westminster Magistrates Court. Westminster City Council operates the policy, similar to a cumulative impact policy, under the Licensing Act 2003, meaning that any application for a new licence or variation are usually rejected, unless there are “exceptional” circumstances. Under the terms of the policy, pubs and bar are limited to opening only during “core hours” – until 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 11pm Mondays to Thursdays and 10pm on Sundays. The decision is believed to be the first to over turn this policy. Among the reasons for magistrates granting the application were a low level of residents in the area and a voluntary reduction of the venue’s capacity. The bar had applied for extended hours during the week and a 2am licence for Fridays and Saturdays, but was eventually offered 1am. The Council added that the applicants had agreed to a number of conditions that addressed the underlying reasons for the Stress Area. The extended hours were…