Norwegians would share the Beatles – oh no they wouldn’t
Copyright , Internet / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet A number of Beatles tracks made it onto the internet for a few minutes when Norwegian broadcaster NRK made the tracks available as podcasts. The tracks were contained in Norwegian radio shows recorded in 2001 where journalists commentated on and then played classic tracks from the Fab Four. The station initially claimed that it had a blanket licence to cover the podcasts from TONO, the Norwegian collection society that represents songwriters and music publishers but the IFPI, which represents record labels including EMI (which itself looks after the Beatle’s catalogue) made it clear that no consent had been given on behalf of the owners of the sound recordings including Apple Corp which represent’s the Beatles interests. Apple Corp and EMI have never made the Beatle’s catalogue available online. In this case it then became clear that the TONO licence only applied to ‘catch up’  or ‘listen again’ services where podcasts could be accessed and listened to from shows broadcast within the last four weeks so the entire scheme was doomed and the tracks swiftly removed.

Universal stalled in action against Veoh
Copyright , Internet / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet A copyright action launched by Universal Music against YouTube rival Veoh has hit a snag after a US judge ruled on the obligations that the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 puts on video sharing sites like YouTube and Veoh regarding the posting, by punters, of content without the content owner’s permission. The video sharing services, although they do frequently host infringing content on their servers, usually have in place a system whereby content owners such as record labels can complain if their copyrights are infringed and infringing content is quickly removed and so users lose access to the infringing content once it is done. The sites argue that under the DMCA they are not guilty of infringement, even though they may host infringing content from time to time. The content owners don’t agree and are looking for better protection saying it is wrong that content owner have to constantly monitor every single video website on the planet. The parallel action of Viacom v YouTube has the MTV owner suing theGoogle’s YouTube on the basis they are not doing enough to stop content from their various TV channels from being posted online without Viacom’s permission. The sites use the…

Major Changes in the UK Music Publishing Industry
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing By Tom Frederikse, solicitor, Clintons 2008 brought huge changes to the UK music publishing industry. Following years of failed attempts to create a pan-European licensing regime, all four major publishers have now withdrawn their exclusive digital distribution rights from the MCPS (as well as from the other European collection societies), leaving the UK mechanical society with less than one-fourth of the key repertoire for all digital uses. The UK publishing industry had established itself as a global leader early in this decade when the PRS and the MCPS joined forces to create “The Alliance” – cannily anticipating the now-settled pan-European legal position that internet distribution involves both a “mechanical right” (i.e. a copy) and a “performance right” (i.e. a communication to the public) in every transaction. The resulting “Joint Online Licence” was an innovation that allowed any online music service to operate in the UK under one agreement – whether it streamed music, offered downloads or provided subscription access. The “JOL” was copied by many other societies and – aside from various challenges to the headline royalty, such as the infamous UK Copyright Tribunal fight that confirmed the basic 8% rate – the publishing industry seemed settled into…

iTunes goes DRM-free
Copyright , Internet / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet Apple’s iTunes has finally reached a deal with Sony, Universal and Warner allowing them to sell DRM-free music from all four major record companies via their iTunes Music Store. The download site already had an ‘DRM-free’ agreement with EMI. Apple have also said that iTunes would soon introduce a three-tier price structure – with tracks for 59p, 79p and 99p (69, 99 and 129 cents in the US). In a press release, Apple boss Steve Jobs said “We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere over their 3G network at the same price as downloading to your computer or via Wi-Fi“.

The Music Industry’s digital reversal on copyright
Copyright / February 2009

COPYRIGHT All Areas ARTICLE LINK: by Michael Geist writing in the Ottawa Citizen For much of the past decade, the industry has relied on three pillars to combat peer-to-peer file sharing – lawsuits, digital locks, and legislation. In Canada (and elsewhere) this has recently and radically changed: Michael Geist comes to the conclusion that it is innovation, not intervention from governments and courts that will ultimately determine the digital winners and losers and the full article can be found online here:

Download case will be streamed live
Copyright , Internet / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet US District Judge Nancy Gretner has said that she will allow online video streaming of oral arguments in a civil lawsuit that pits a 23 year old Boston University graduate student accused of illegally downloading music files against the Recording Industry Association of America. However Judge Gertner’s in the federal court in Massachusetts restricted the streaming to a January 22nd hearing and said she will decide later whether to allow further online coverage. The defendant, Joel Tenebaum, is being represented by Charles Nesson, a Harvard University professor who had sought the online coverage. The RIAA oppose allowing cameras in the courtroom. Gertner said “In many ways, this case is about the so-called Internet Generation – the generation that has grown up with computer technology in general, and the internet in particular, as commonplace” adding “It is reportedly a generation that does not read newspapers or watch the evening news, but gets its information largely, if not almost exclusively, over the internet”. The decision is now subject to appeal by the RIAA and the hearing suspended.

Nine Inch Nails: The future of music?
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels By Cassandra Williams, postgraduate law student at the College of Law Nine Inch Nail’s frontman Trent Reznor is no stranger to non-traditional distribution arrangements. He’s used alternate reality games in order to promote Year Zero working with 42 entertainment in order to give his fans a taste of life in a massively dysfunctional theocratic police state. He has also used secret scavenger hunts which resulted in fans rummaging all over LA, looking for hidden tickets to a dress rehearsal. Using real life treasure hunts as promotion has already been used by authors (Who remembers the hunt for the jewelled golden hare inMasquerade by Kit Williams?) – the most recent ‘real-life’ treasure hunt book is ‘The Secrets of the Alchemist Dar’ by Michael Stadther, where readers were invited to commence searching for more than $2 million worth of hidden jewelry. He has also released full CDs under a “pay for it if you feel like it” arrangement. T he first volume of their album ‘Ghosts’ was put up on torrent sites, under a creative commons license. The band said about BitTorrent: “ Now that we’re no longer constrained by a record label, we’ve decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of…

“Like an animal in a zoo”: copyright dispute over Klaus Kinski quotations
Artists , Copyright / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Artists ARTICLE: By Birgit Clark writing for the IPkat Birgit reports on an interesting court case dealing with potential copyright infringement through the use of direct quotes attributed to the (in)famous late actor Klaus Kinski in a theatre play based on episodes from the actor’s life. The late German actor Kinski was well-known for his for his explosive and unpredictable temperament and often played manic characters. According to news reports, over 30% of the text of the objectionable 50 minute one-person play “Kinski – Wie ein Tier in einem Zoo“ (in English: Kinski – Like an animal in a zoo) consists of direct Kinski quotes. Some of the quotes appear to have been artistically changed by the play’s author. Mr Kinski’s ex-wife Minhoi Loanic and his son Nikolai objected to this excessive use and filed a claim for copyright infringement at the Regional Court of Cologne. The defendants in the case, actor Hanno Dinger and director Stefan Krause, argued that their use of Kinski quotes in the play complied with German Copyright Law and was in itself protected by “freedom of art”, which Article 5(3) of the German Constitution protects as a basic human right. The defendants stated that they would,…

New IFPI Digital Music Report calls for ISP cooperation to become a reality in 2009
Copyright / February 2009

COPYRIGHT All areas A new report from the International Federation of Phonographic Industries says that the music industry has transformed its business models, offering consumers an increasing range of new services with leading technology partners.  But the IFPI go on to say that generating value in an environment where 95 per cent of music downloads are illegal and unpaid for is still the biggest challenge for music companies and their commercial partners. The report shows that digital music business internationally saw a sixth year of expansion in 2008, growing by an estimated 25 per cent to US$3.7 billion in trade value.  Digital platforms now account for around 20 per cent of recorded music sales, up from 15 per cent in 2007.  Recorded music is at the forefront of the online and mobile revolution, generating more revenue in percentage terms through digital platforms than the newspaper (4%), magazine (1%) and film industries (4%) combined. At the same time, a new generation of music subscription services, social networking sites and new licensing channels is emerging. These were led in 2008 by services like Nokia Comes With Music, MySpace Music and a raft of partnerships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as TDC…

Music pirates will not be disconnected from the internet
Copyright , Internet / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Internet ARTICLE LINK – by Patrick Foster , Media Correspondent, The Times Internet service providers will not be forced to disconnect users who repeatedly flout the law by illegally sharing music and video files, The Times has reportred, saying that whilst Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, had indicated that the Government had “serious legislative intent” to compel internet companies to cut off customers who ignore warnings not to pirate material, David Lammy, the Intellectual Property Minister, has now said that the Government had ruled out legislating to force ISPs to disconnect such users saying that there were very complex legal issues wrapped up in enforced disconnection. He added: “I’m not sure it’s actually going to be possible.” The BPI, the body that represents the British record industry, wants all ISPs to sign up to a “three-steps policy” by which repeat offenders are disconnected if they fail to stop sharing copyrighted material – a position adopted in France. Lord Carter, the Communications Minister, is to reveal his thoughts on the problem of illict file sharing in his Digital Britain report due shortly.  Suggestions have emerged that Lord Carter will order the founding of a “rights agency”, funded by a levy on service providers, to address the problem of piracy,…

For the Loser Now/Will later be a win: Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH v Falcon Neue Medien Vertrieb GmbH
Copyright , Record Labels / February 2009

COPYRIGHT Record labels ARTICLE LINK: By Jeremy Phillips, at the paw lickingly cool IP Kat Scholars and cognoscenti of twentieth century culture will instantly identify the source of the title of this post: Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin’“, in which copyright in the classic Dylan recording is now, it seems, safely in Sony’s hands following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities this morning in Case C-240/07 Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH v Falcon Neue Medien Vertrieb GmbH. The Advocate General’s Opinion in this reference remains frustratingly beyond the linguistic grasp of this blogger, but today’s ruling has been lovingly translated into his mother tongue from the original German (though Birgit, the most recent recruit to the IPKat team, would have been perfectly equipped to deal with it). So what is this ruling, on a request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesgerichtshof, all about? Falcon distributed two CDs containing recordings of performances by the artist Bob Dylan: “Bob Dylan – Blowin in the Wind” and “Bob Dylan – Gates of Eden”. These CDs featured tracks that were originally featured in the long-playing vinyl albums “Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home”, “The Times…