Google liable for damages in France
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet A French court has ordered Google to pay $598,000 in damages for copyright infringement to a number of filmmakers and a photographer after their works appeared in Google’s search results and on Google Video. The appellate court in Paris ruled in favour of film producer Mondovino and others who brought copyright infringement claims against Google. Google reportedly removed the works when asked by copyright holders, but the works then reappeared online. The company is said to be considering an appeal.  http://www.dmwmedia.com/news/2011/03/09/french-court-orders-google-pay-598k-copyright-damages

AFACT loses appeal in case of ISP’s liability for infringement
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) has lost its appeal against Australian ISP iiNet. In the absence of specific legislation in Australia, AFACT, representing the TV and movie industries, had argued that net companies had an obligation under Australian copyright laws to take a proactive role in policing online piracy and that the Australian ISP was responsible for illegal content downloading by its users.  The acts of copyright infringement in issue in the case were copies of films illegally accessed by iiNet users using the BitTorrent system of file sharing.  Under the Australian Copyright Act an intermediary that authorises the infringing conduct is also liable for infringement. To be liable for authorisation, a party must sanction, approve or countenance the infringement. This will depend on the extent (if any) of the relationship with the infringer, its power to prevent the infringement and whether it took any reasonable steps to prevent or avoid the infringement (1) Australian courts had previously found that Kazaa was liable for ‘authorising’ infringement (2) and clearly content owners were hoping that the courts would extend copyright law to include a duty on ISPs to monitor and filter unlicensed content on their networks, and/or…

Isle of Wight increase 20,000 too many?
Licensing , Live Events / April 2011

LICENSING Live events Ventnorblog.com reports that organisers of the Isle of Wight Festival have indicated to the local council that they want to increase the capacity of the Festival to 89,999. The application (unusually in the UK) has top pass a two stage hurdle – The Isle of Wight Act, brought in after the huge number of people attending the 1970 festival, and the a License Act application. The event organisers have submitted the IW Act application to the council. The Blog spoke to Cllr Geoff Lumley who had brought up the matter at the Full Council meeting this week and whose Pan ward is close to the Festival’s site, “At the licensing committee three years ago, when they wanted to increase the numbers to 70,000, which was too many, John Giddings (Festival organiser), as I recall, said he would never need more than 70,000 – and here we are with an application for 90,000″ adding “My concerns are that this is 20,000 people too many.” It’s understood that council officers are currently preparing a consultation for the event. The Blog further reports Cllr Lumley saying “We’re not against the Festival at all. We just think that it’s too big now for where it is.” Sourced from: http://ventnorblog.com/2011/03/18/are-89999-people-at-isle-of-wight-festival-a-good-idea/#ixzz1HFGshFKc

Girl Talk scales things back
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Record labels ARTICLE LINK:  Gregg Gillis’ Girl Talk project is the epitome of collage music. He composes songs using fragments of other people’s songs. Every sound is borrowed from somewhere and someone else. On his latest collection — “All Day,” released for free online — the track “This Is the Remix” opens with a nip from Justin Timberlake’s “Sexyback,” the recognizable rhythmic melody from Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer,” some grunts from Lady Gaga’s “LoveGame,” plus rapping from Mr. Cheeks’ “Lights, Camera, Action.” That’s the first 48 seconds of the six-minute song. After that, it’s Lil’ Kim, Genesis, the Jackson 5, George Michael, Beastie Boys, U2, Kid ’n Play, INXS, Method Man, Billy Squier, on and on. http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/conner/4095883-417/girl-talk-scales-things-back.html

The Vase against IsoHunt by Jeff Gray
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE LINK On its cluttered home page, Vancouver-based isoHunt.com doesn’t exactly look like a mortal threat to the multibillion-dollar movie and recording industries. One of its small number of rotating ads offers communication with “Busty Russians,” just a click away. But in fact, this is one of the Web’s most-used search engines for BitTorrent, or “peer-to-peer” files, which people use to find free digital copies of movies and music. More on legal actions against IsoHunt in the USA – where in 2009, a California judge sided with Columbia Pictures and other Hollywood studios in a lawsuit against the site, saying isoHunt violated U.S. copyright laws – and in Canada where the site is locked in a court battle with the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and major record labels, which are demanding it be shut down. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/the-law-page/the-case-against-isohunt/article1925928/

Credit card companies work with police and IFPI to cut off pirates
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet Credit card companies including MasterCard and Visa are working with the City of London Police and the recorded music sector to extend cooperation in tackling illegal online services selling unlicensed music worldwide. Under the arrangement IFPI can secure action by police against websites that infringe its members’ rights.  Details of 24 copyright infringing music services have been handed over to the police to date and IFPI’s anti-piracy investigators supply the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate with evidence of illegal downloads made from an infringing site.  Once the police have verified the evidence, they notify MasterCard and Visa who require the acquiring bank providing the retailer with payment services to produce evidence of appropriate licenses to sell music or cease providing those services to the retailer. To make sure the new system works effectively in practice, MasterCard has committed to deal with requests involving law enforcement expeditiously.  Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, said: “It is extremely positive for the recorded music industry that the world’s largest payment systems are taking steps to prevent their services being abused by illegal websites that infringe the rights of artists, songwriters and producers. Intermediaries, such as MasterCard and Visa, can play a key…

Judge Limits Potential LimeWire Copyright Payout to $1.5 Billion

COPYRIGHT  Record labels, music publishing, internet   Following on from the settlement between LimeWire and US music publishers in the USA, In New York federal District Judge Kimba Wood has now limited the potential copyright infringement damages that the now shuttered file-sharing service could have to pay record labels to $1.5 billion. Judge Kimba Wood sided with LimeWire, which had argued that the damages should be based on an ‘single’ infringement for each sound recording shared on the service – rather than on the number of times the work had been illegally downloaded or shared by each LimeWire user. LimeWire could face statutory damages of between $7.5 million and $1.5 billion; US copyright law provides for statutory damages of between $750 and $150,000 for copyright infringement. www.ilmc.com

The legal implications of using cloud technology
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE: The legal implications of using cloud technology; what happens when two or more people create and collaborate an ‘original work’ solely on the cloud? by Lucilla Green (a Law graduate who is currently working as an Independent Legal Advisor,lucillagreen444@gmail.com) What is Cloud Technology? Cloud Technology is made up of applications and storage space which are solely web-based and not stored on the computers hard-drive.  Instead, everything is stored online.  It allows consumers to create data and store it away on the service providers’ hard-drive where it can be accessed anywhere at anytime from any computer or mobile phone with an Internet connection.  I think its a fantastic piece of technology and facilitates the way that we do work as it allows multiple users to work on one document at the same time without the need to be in the same room together, or the same country.  I myself am an avid fan of Cloud Technology and use Google Docs more than Microsoft Word to do all my work as I no longer need to carry sheets of paper, USB sticks, or even email myself work, I can just save it and access it from any computer at anytime.  In…

US IP Czar wants illegal streaming to be a felony
Copyright , Internet / April 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet, all areas The White House’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, has submitted 20 recommendations to Congress aimed at cracking down on copyright infringement on items ranging from drugs to music and military equipment – calling for more effective  law enforcement and tougher penalties for people convicted of copyright infringement. In particular Espinel urged Congress to make illegally streaming copyrighted content online a felony saying that online piracy and counterfeiting are “significant concerns” for the White House  causing “economic harm and threaten the health and safety of American consumers”. Espinel has recommended that Congress act to “clarify that infringement by streaming, or by means of other similar new technology, is a felony in appropriate circumstances.” Bob Pisano, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) commented “Closing the legal gap between two methods of equally destructive illegal behavior – unauthorized downloading and streaming — adds more clarity to intellectual property law and, frankly, makes good common sense”. Espinel own  Report states that “Foreign-based and foreign-controlled websites and web services raise particular concerns for US enforcement efforts. We are aware that members of Congress share our goal of reducing online infringement and are considering measures to increase law…

Universal refused appeal in ‘Eminen’ royalty case
Contract , Copyright / April 2011

CONTRACT / COPYRIGHT Recorded music The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by the Universal Music Group in relation to lawsuit pursued by early Eminem collaborators FBT Productions against the label for an increased royalty split for digital sales via services such as iTunes which FBT successful argued should be treated  as a licensing deal. These recording agreements followed industry-standard forms at the time, and provide for different royalties for “records sold” and “masters licensed.” The royalty for “masters licensed” is substantially higher than that for “records sold.” The label wanted to pay on a ‘per unit’ sale and treat any download revenue as record sales money rather that licensing income – meaning a smaller royalty share to artists (and in this case producers). The Supreme Court has now refused to hear the appeal as it currently stands and in doing so, the Supreme Court let stand the Ninth Circuit’s 2010 unanimous decision that addressed royalties under a traditional music recording agreement for new methods of music distribution, such as iTunes and cellular phone ring tones. “By denying cert, the Supreme Court has finally answered the question about whether or not Eminem’s producers and other artists with…

Steve Jobs faces anti-trust questions about iTunes
Competition , Internet / April 2011

COMPETITION Internet, recorded music Judge Howard R. Lloyd has authorized limited questioning of Apple CEO Steve Jobs  in San Jose, California  by lawyers representing consumers in a complaint against Apple that its iPlayer/iTunes model breached federal antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition law by requiring that customers use an iPod to listen to music purchased from the iTunes Music Store. Lawyers will be allowed two hours for questions limited to the sole topic of changes Apple made to iPod software in October 2004 that disrupted RealNetworks’ Harmony software, which enabled songs purchased from the company’s music store to be transferred onto the iPod. When RealNetworks released Harmony in 2004 Apple released a statement accusing the company of adopting “the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod” and warning customers that it was “highly likely” that Real’s Harmony technology would not work with future versions of the iPod software. As self-predicted, Apple disabled Harmony in a subsequent update to its iPod software later that year. Since the lawsuit was originally filed in 2005 Apple has negotiated with music labels for a more open iTunes Music Store. A footnote in a court document notes that, by March 2009,…

Love’s Twitter rant costs her $430,000
Artists , Defamation , Internet / April 2011

DEFAMATION Artists, broadcasting, internet Fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir claim against Courtney Love over the Loves’s libellous rantings on Twitter has been settled out of court. Simorangkir sued Love over a series of tweets posted in 2009 in which the singer called the designer an “asswipe nasty lying hosebag thief” after the pair fell out over a $4000 clothing bill.  Love had said her comments were merely opinions and not intended as statements of fact, while also arguing there was no tangible proof that the tweets had caused Simorangkir any actual financial loss. The case was due to go to ourt in January but the hearing was postponed after out of court negotiations began. A settlement was reached with Love agreeing to pay Simorangkir $430,000 in damages over the next three years.  Love’s attorney James Janowitz told The Reporter he was also pleased with the deal, adding that Simorangkir had originally asked for substantially more in damages, and that the final figure agreed gave her team “bragging rights” but nothing else. Asked whether his client would be using Twitter in the future, Janowitz said: “I don’t think she’s using it any more. But I could be wrong”. http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/courtney-love-settles-defamation-lawsuit_1205361

UK government now to back live music reforms
Licensing , Live Events / April 2011

LICENSING Live events industry The UK coalition government has now confirmed that it would support Lord Tim Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which amends the 2003 Licensing Act, in particular tackling the extra bureaucracy it created for small venues who want to stage live music events. In the House of Lords, Patricia Rawlings, speaking for the government, said the Coalition would support the proposed legislation and help push it through, subject to a review of the technical aspects of the proposals. She added that the government would also likely insist that all unlicensed gigs should be finished by 11pm, rather than midnight as set out in Clement-Jones’s proposals. Clement Jones said that his Bill would benefit hundreds of small pubs, restaurants and church and community halls who want live music at their venue by generally removing the need to apply for a complicated licence and the Bill had the support of new Conservative peer and former ITV chairman Michael Grade who used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to back the Live Music Bill during its second reading, claiming the 2003 Licensing Act which it seeks to amend is a “bad law” that denies up and coming music talent the chance to develop their…

StubHub guilty of violating anti-scalping laws
Live Events / April 2011

TICKETING Live events industry TicketNews.com report that StubHub has been found to be in violation of North Carolina’s former anti-scalping laws for its part in the 2007 sale of high-priced Hannah Montana tickets by a reseller on the company’s exchange Judge Ben Tennille ruled that StubHub and Massachusetts reseller Jason Holohan violated the laws when Holohan sold four Hannah Montana tickets to parents Jeffrey and Lisa Hill for a total of $596, plus $59.60 in service fees and $11.95 in shipping costs Elsewhere in ticket news, Connecticut General Assembly General Law Committee have overwhelmingly approved a proposed bill designed to help consumers by preserving the secondary ticket market and giving buyers the option of purchasing transferable paperless or traditional hard copy tickets. The move comes hot on the heels of similar moves in Minnesota and North Carolina to regulate paperless tickets to protect consumers and the secondary ticket market. Like the other states, North Carolina is looking to formalise assurances that ticket issuers will not use a restrictive form of paperless tickets that are difficult or impossible to transfer. www.ticketnews.com

‘Daily nightmare’ of Border Agency’s visa rules for foreign artists and performers
Immigration , Live Events / April 2011

IMMIGRATION Live events The case of an American cellist, Kristin Ostling, who was sent back to Chicago by British immigration officials when she came to the UK to take part in an unpaid recital, has fuelled demands for an overhaul of the visa system for visiting artists and musicians. Ostling, who was due to perform at Leeds University, was subjected to eight hours of questioning before being told she was taking work away from UK musicians and sent home. Her case was highlighted in a recent House of Lords debate as evidence of the difficulties routinely faced by visiting artists and performers since the introduction in 2008 of the tier five “creative and sporting” category of the points-based immigration system. The demands to overhaul the system of artist and cultural visas follow complaints from leading arts figures, including Lady Bakewell, that such cases are no longer isolated incidents but the “daily nightmares” of concert planners and theatre managers across Britain. The London mayor, Boris Johnson, said unnecessary bureaucratic burdens should not be put in the way of artists and performers. “With competition from cities like Berlin, Shanghai or Mumbai, we must not jeopardise London’s position as a world creative hub,”…