Record Labels, Music Publishing, Internet
Following on from the Recording Industry Association of America’s successful action against Napster (RIAA -v- Napster, Judge Marilyn Patel, July 2000) where a preliminary injunction was granted Effectively shutting Napster down, further cases have now reached the courts. In April 2001 Aimster applied to the US District Court requesting that it declare that its service was legal. A number of organisations including the RIAA reacted by filing lawsuits against Aimster alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringements. The District Court agreed that Aimster had clear knowledge of the infringements taking place using its service and that Aimster materially contributed to these infringements, could supervise them if Aimster wanted and Aimster financially benefitted from the (infringements) on its service. A preliminary injunction was granted. A decision of the activities of KaZaA in the USA is expected soon.
BUT in a Dutch decision, the activities of KaZaA were held NOT to infringe copyright in an action between KaZaA BV and the Dutch collection societies BUMA/STEMRA.
The Court held that as KaZaA BV could not prevent the exchange of copyright material between its users the service itself was not unlawful although the acts carried out by some users were certainly infringing copyright. This case will be appealed to the Dutch Supreme Court.
(See M magazine, Winter 2002, MCPS/PRS). www.mcps.co.uk and www.eff.org