Kazaa settles with major labels, AllofMP3 faces action and Limewire next in line
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2006

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels Having been found liable for copyright theft in Australia and following the seminal US Supreme Court decision in MGM v Grokster, Kazza has now reached a global out-of-court settlement with the trade organizations representing the international and US recording industries (IFPI and RIAA) concluding the ongoing legal proceedings brought by the major record companies against the service’s operators in Australia and the United States. Under the terms of the settlement, Kazaa has agreed to pay US$100 million in compensation to the record companies that took the legal action to stop copyright infringement on the Kazaa network.  Kazaa will also introduce filtering technologies ensuring that its users can no longer distribute copyright-infringing files. John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of IFPI said: “Kazaa was an international engine of copyright theft which damaged the whole music sector and hampered our industry’s efforts to grow a legitimate digital business.  It has paid a heavy price for its past activities.  At the same time Kazaa will now be making a transition to a legal model and converting a powerful distribution technology to legitimate use. The settlement follows a landmark ruling in the Federal Court of Australia last year which found the Kazaa…

US Appeal Court to Consider Internet Copyright Infringement Issues in deep-linking case
Copyright , Internet / September 2006

COPYRIGHT Internet Article by Tom Feather, Deeth Williams Wall LLP An appeal pending before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Perfect 10 Inc v GoogleInc) will address important Internet copyright issues including deep-linking of web sites, framing of third party content, and use of copyrighted content for searching. The image search function of Google Inc (Google) provides direct links to images, the copyright to some of which is held by Perfect 10 Inc (Perfect 10).  Such images are often made available on web sites by third parties without the consent of Perfect 10.  Google also caches and displays reduced-resolution versions of those images (thumbnails) to make searching easier.  On user request, a full-resolution image is retrieved directly by the user’s browser from the host web site and is displayed in a frame within the Google search page.  Perfect 10, which provides these images by paid subscription via the Internet, sued Google for direct copyright infringement for use of thumbnails, links and framing of Perfect 10’s images.  It also claimed secondary infringement for inducing users to infringe, as well as for providing an audience to infringing sites and benefiting via its “AdSense” program. In a motion for a preliminary…

Intellectual Property licensing issues in bankruptcy or insolvency
Business , Copyright / September 2006

INSOLVENCY / COPYRIGHT Artists, record labels, music publishers ARTICLE LINK From the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada This is a link to the very comprehensive 2003 Report by the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada which investigates the thorny issue of ownership and exploitation of intellectual property rights when one party in a contractual relationship is declared bankrupt or insolvent. Whilst primarily looking at Canadian law, relevant laws from the United States, The United Kingdom and Australia are also commented on. The report covers patents, copyrights (including moral rights) and trade marks. Whilst over 170 pages long may be of particular interest to lawyers and managers who represent recording artists and songwriters who sometimes wonder what they can do about unpaid royalties which have disappeared into the ether after the bankruptcy of a recording label or music publisher or find that their A&R manager is now an accountant! For a brief synopsis of UK and Australian law see pp86-87. http://www.ipic.ca/french/member/issues/f_Final_Report_on_Bankruptcy_Sept_16_2003.pdf

Statutory radio broadcast royalties in the USA
Copyright , Internet / September 2006

COPYRIGHT Internet, radio ARTICLE LINK By Skip Izzi, Radio World This is a useful review of the current state of statutory royalties and royalty free licences which apply to radio broadcasters in the US and the development of new schemes to cover the rapidly changing technological environment as digital satellite radio services such Sirius develop in the USA. http://www.rwonline.com/reference-room/skippizzi-bigpict/2006.08.02-03_rwf_pizzi_aug_2.shtmln

Details of Professor Lawrence Lessig’s presentation on copyright and other intellectual property rights in the digital age
Copyright , Internet / September 2006

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE LINK  Stanford University Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, a leading authority on intellectual property issues in the digital era presented the case for overhauling copyright law to attendees of the Stanford Breakfast Briefing on August 9th. This is a report on his presentation which was titled “Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity.” http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2006/august23/lessig-082306.html

Billy’s protests lead to MySpace and Bebo rule changes
Copyright , Internet / September 2006

COPYRIGHT Internet A very public protest by Billy Bragg has led to MySpace promptly changing its standard terms and conditions. Bragg had written a letter to UK music trade magazine Music Week after using his MySpace blog to point out that the site’s small print meant that “ once an artist posts up any content (including songs), it then belongs to MySpace (AKA Rupert Murdoch) and they can do what they want with it, throughout the world, without paying the artist”. MySpace had claimed a ‘non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license’ for all its content. This has now been amended to read: ‘MySpace.com does not claim any ownership rights in the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively “Content’”) that you post to the MySpace Services. After posting your Content to the MySpace Services, you continue to retain all ownership rights in such Content, and you continue to have the right to use your Content in any way you choose.’ The new terms and conditions make it clear that the company renounces all ownership rights to musicians’ material and that only a limited licence is granted to the site to use…

Apple settle with Creative over patent use in iPods
Patents / September 2006

PATENTS Technology Apple have agreed to pay Creative Technology $100 million to settle a digital music patent dispute between the two companies with Apple now licensing the technology owned by Creative, allowing them to continue manufacturing iPods. Under the settlement Creative will also now be allowed to produce accessories for iPods, giving it access to a far larger number of consumers than it could have reach with its Zen and Nomad digital music players. Creative’s share price surged 38% after the news, although the long-term competitiveness of their players vs Apple’s is still somewhat uncertain. Added comment from FiveEight magazine http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5280736.stm