Updates on copyright and music in the US

October 2008


Rendering ‘Fair Use’ fairly useless and other stories from the digital frontline

This is an interesting article by C M Boots-Faubert of the Cape Code Times about proposed US legislation which would immunize entities such as the Recording Industry of America and the Motion Picture Association of America from state and federal laws if they decide that it is necessary to hack, disable, hijack, or otherwise impair “publicly accessible peer-to-peer networks” in order to protect the copyrights they own or represent


Suit sends message says Prof – this article by Isshin Teshima writing in the Flat Hat describes how the College of William and Mary complied with a court order from District Judge F Bradford Stillman and released details of 19 students who had allegedly been sharing music online to the Recording Industry Association of America. This is a useful review of where the music industry is at the moment in the US when trying to enforce copyrights.


Here is a review of the RIAA’s actions to date – File Sharing Lawsuits at a Crossroads, After 5 Years of RIAA Litigation by David Kravets on Wired.com – have the RIAA’s actions against individual peer-2-peer file swappers worked? Have these actions been a necessary tool to fight back against illegal fire swapping that is destroying the record labels? or have they been heavy handed blinkered commercial bullying – or the worst public relations disaster in the history of the music industry? This article ends up with a quote “If the goal is to reduce file sharing … it’s a failure”. Decide for yourself!


in Legal Digital Music is Commercial Suicide, Michael Roberts looks at different options for online music services – concluding that perhaps going ‘legal’ isn’t a great business model


Finally the Cnet article Bush administration secrecy over Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement prompts backlash describes howan anti-counterfeiting treaty being negotiated by the U.S. government has come under criticism from liberal groups for being negotiated “in secret” and for potentially criminalizing peer-to-peer file sharing


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