Squeezing the Lime Dry ….
Copyright , Internet / July 2010

COPYRIGHT Internet In May we reported that US District Judge Kimba Wood had decided that the Lime Group, the company behind Limewire, was liable for the copyright infringements committed by Limewire users. Two weeks later the Lime Group asked the court to reconsider this judgment. This request was followed by one from the RIAA, asking the court to shut down Limewire by granting a permanent injunction with the RIAA arguing that Limewire’s operation has to be stopped immediately, to avoid it doing any more harm to the music industry saying “It is patently obvious that the rampant illegal conduct that Lime Wire intentionally induced, and for which it has been adjudged liable, will continue uninterrupted day after day unless and until the Court issues an injunction to rein in this massive infringing operation” with the RIAA’s lawyers saying “Every day that Lime Wire’s conduct continues unabated guarantees harm to Plaintiffs that money damages cannot and will not compensate” adding for good measure “The scope of the infringements that Lime Wire induced…boggles the mind.” Bloggers in the USA have pondered the quantum of damages facing Lime Group and Limewire founder Mark Gorton, with one estimating damages at $1.5 trillion (see link…

Google win major victory over Viacom and Premier league, and ‘safe habour’ protection
Copyright , Internet / July 2010

COPYRIGHT Internet Google has been handed a major legal victory when a U.S. federal court granted summary judgment to the company in the $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit filed against YouTube in 2007 by Viacom and in a similar care brought by the Premier League.  U.S. District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton agreed with Google’s argument that YouTube is a service provider as defined under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and is therefore entitled to “safe harbor” — such that it cannot be held liable for copyright infringements committed by its users. Judge Stanton noted that, while Google may have been aware of copyrighted content uploaded to its site, it has no way of knowing whether the uploads were authorized. The judge said that the “burden is on the owner to identify infringement,” and gave his seal of approval to the current system for dealing with the issue, whereby copyright owners must notify service providers like YouTube and request that works uploaded without their permission be taken down. “The present case shows that the D.M.C.A. notification regime works efficiently: when Viacom over a period of months accumulated some 100,000 videos and then sent a mass take-down notice on February…

Don Henley takes first blood in battle with Chuck deVore
Artists , Copyright / July 2010

COPYRIGHT Artists Don Henley has scored a tentative win in his legal fight against the  Republican politician Chuck DeVore. The Eagle’s mainstay is the latest in a string of US musicians to complain about their music being appropriated for political campaigning, usually by Republicans. While politicians can play music at political rallies without specific artist permission, using a blanket public performance licences for songs and sound recordings, they do face legal action if they synchronise a track into a video or advertisement without getting the permission of the artists or their label/publisher. There have been a spate of recent cases: Jackson Browne reached an out of court settlement with John McCain after the former Presidential contender used one of his songs, Running on Empty, in a campaign video without permission, and David Byrne has just begun legal proceedings against Florida Governor Charlie Crist over his use of a Talking Heads track in a campaign video. Canadian rockers Rush have issued a warning to US Senate hopeful Rand Paul, who is apparently using the band’s music at campaign events and in adverts on his website. The group’s label, Entertainment Group, has sent a cease and desist letter although their lawyer said “this is…

Brighton’s Freebutt faces closure
Licensing , Live Events / July 2010

LICENCING Live events industry CMU Daily reports that Brighton venue The Freebutt is facing closure after being served with a noise abatement notice by the Environmental Health Department of Brighton & Hove Council, ordering the venue to “cease causing a public audio nuisance” earlier this year. The Freebutt was served with the notice in February this year after the council received just one complaint, from a neighbouring resident, and was given until the 10th May to remedy the problem. Steps were made to do so, but the complainant refused venue staff and audio consultants access to their property, meaning a full diagnosis could not be carried out. Nevertheless, the complaints apparently ceased after this work was carried out, but council officials decided to visit the original property suffering from sound leakage from the venue on 29th April, at which point it was decided that unwanted noise could still be heard. The Freebutt was then told that if further sound proofing work was not carried out by 10 May, it would have to cease putting on live music at its current volume, meaning a drop in the maximum level allowed by the venue’s volume limiter. The venue’s owners argue that this…

German Court clears Rammstein cover artwork and lyrics
Artists , Censorship / July 2010

CENSORSHIP Artists The original version of Rammstein album ‘Love Is For All’, or ‘Liebe Ist Für Alle Da’ can now be legally put on sale in Germany after a court disagreed with the Federal Office For The Examination Of Media Harmful To Young People which had prevented the album from being put on public display in German record shops last year, mainly because of the long player’s depictions of sado-masochism. Concern was also expressed regarding the explicit nature of some of the artwork and over the song ‘I Want To Hurt You’, which, as well as its S&M overtones, was deemed to promote unprotected sex. The ban also stopped label Universal advertising the record in Germany and record shops from selling it to anyone under eighteen. The major label responded by releasing an alternative version of the long player with the offending content cut.  Universal also contested the ban in court and now the administrative court in Cologne has overturned it, meaning the original uncut version of the album can now be put back on display in record shops, be sold to minors, and be advertised by the label. According to Billboard, the court ruled that the song ‘I Want To Hurt You’ does not contain…

Festival exclusivity clauses attracts the attention of the Illinois Attorney General
Artists , Competition , Live Events / July 2010

COMPETITION Artists, live events industry According to a Chicago-based blogger called Jim Derogatis, US promoters C3 Presents are being investigated by the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan who is looking at the limitations C3 puts on artists when they are booked to play the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago – the so called ‘radius clauses’ – preventing bands playing in the locality for a period of time before and after the event. With the potential of an anti-trust action looming, a VP of the William Morris booking agency has been subpoenaed to provide information to the investigation, while Billboard says C3 themselves have also received a subpoena. Derogatis says that promoters in the Chicago area have long complained about the radius clauses C3 put into Lollapalooza artist contracts, although Billboard adds that many artists break those clauses and that the festival promoter seemingly has never been known to enforce them. CMU 25 June 2010  www.thecmuwebsite.com