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John Lemke

'You could be liable for $150k in penalties-settle instead for $20 per song' | Ars Tech... - 0 views

  • It works like this: users accused by Rightscorp are found via IP addresses appearing in BitTorrent download swarms. If ISPs agree to forward Rightscorp's notices—and an increasing number of them are doing so—the users get notices that they could be liable for $150,000 in damages. Unless, that is, they click on a provided link and agree to settle their case at a low, low price. Typically, it's $20 per song infringed.
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    They are calling it RIAA-light
John Lemke

Commander Hadfield's Amazing Cover Of David Bowie's Space Oddity Disappears Today, Than... - 0 views

  • Commander Hadfield posted on Twitter this morning that today is the last day for the video online, because they only had a license to use it for one year.
  • It's got over 22 million views, and it's about to go away... because of copyright and the idea that everything needs to be licensed.
  • One would hope that David Bowie (and/or whoever else holds the copyrights in question) would recognize just how insanely bad this looks and would "grant" a perpetual free license to keep this video online. Bowie, himself, has had a rather progressive view of copyright for many years. Back in 2002, for example, Bowie declared that "I'm fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in 10 years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing," and further noting that this is "terribly exciting."
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    What a shame. Especially since he did a great job with the cover.
John Lemke

Surprise: ASCAP and Music Labels Colluded To Screw Pandora | Techdirt - 0 views

  • A key part of this was that the major labels, key members of ASCAP, suddenly started "dropping out" of ASCAP in order to do licensing directly. At first we thought this was a sign of how the labels might be realizing that ASCAP was obsolete and out of touch, but it has since become clear that these "removals" were all something of a scam to force Pandora into higher rates.
  • What happened was that ASCAP and Pandora had first negotiated a higher rate than Pandora had agreed to in the past -- reaching a handshake agreement. However, before that agreement could be finalized, these labels started "withdrawing" from ASCAP in order to negotiate directly. As part of that, both ASCAP and the labels refused to tell Pandora which songs had been withdrawn, meaning that if Pandora accidentally played one of the withdrawn songs (again, without knowing which songs were withdrawn),
  • Your Honor, by the time Pandora asked for this information on November 1st, both ASCAP and Mr. Brodsky [Sony Executive VP] had in their possession this very list. The deposition testimony from ASCAP was that this list as is could have been delivered to Pandora within 24 hours were it only to get the go-ahead from Sony to do so. ASCAP never received the go-ahead. We cited much of the internal back-and-forth on this in our briefs... My favorite is the following exchange between Mr. DeFilippis and Mr. Reimer of ASCAP on December 19th, 2013, PX 193. You see the question being asked by Mr. DeFilippis: why didn't Sony provide the list to Pandora? Mr. Reimer's response: Ask me tomorrow. Mr. DeFilippis: Right. With drink in hand. And the inference here is just incredible. This data was sitting there, your Honor, and nobody was willing to give it to Pandora.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • There's a lot more in there, but it seems abundantly clear that these labels "withdrawing" from ASCAP had nothing to do with competition or market rates. It appears that it had little to do with even withdrawing from ASCAP. Instead, it seems to have been designed from the start to basically screw over Pandora, in what certainly smells an awful lot like collusion, by forcing Pandora to pay exorbitant rates or suddenly face a massive copyright liability because no one would tell them what songs were being "withdrawn" from an existing licensing agreement.
John Lemke

Personal file-sharing is legal in Portugal, prosecutor says | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • Portugese prosecutors have declined to press charges against individuals accused of file sharing
  • “From a legal point of view, while taking into account that users are both uploaders and downloaders in these file-sharing networks, we see this conduct as lawful, even when it’s considered that the users continue to share once the download is finished.” The prosecutor adds that the right to education, culture, and freedom of expression on the Internet should not be restricted in cases where the copyright infringements are clearly non-commercial. In addition, the order notes that an IP-address is not a person.
John Lemke

Guitar maker sues Web-based t-shirt vendor for shirts reading "born to rock" | Ars Tech... - 0 views

  • A guitar design firm called Born to Rock has won an initial victory over the user-generated T-shirt-printing website CafePress in a legal battle over whether CafePress users will be allowed to use the company's name as part of their T-shirt designs. While the guitar firm initially registered the phrase only for use selling guitars, it has taken the position that any use of the phrase "born to rock" by a CafePress user infringes its trademarks.
John Lemke

Guy Sues Over 'Da Da Da Da Da Da.... CHARGE!' Jingle He Might Not Have Written | Techdirt - 0 views

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    A few different folks sent over variations on this story about how a guy named Bobby Kent claims to have come up with the now ubiquitous "da da da da da da... CHARGE!" music in 1978. If you've been to a major sporting event in the US in the past few decades, you've almost certainly heard it
John Lemke

Another Loss For Righthaven: Court Explains That Its Demand For Domain Names Is Silly |... - 0 views

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    Righthaven hasn't been having too much luck lately. We've already covered how its having a bad day for a few different reasons, and here's another one. As you may know, in nearly every lawsuit Righthaven files, it also demands that the defendant hand over his or her website, in addition to the $75,000 to $150,000 it usually asks for. This has left a bunch of folks scratching their heads, as there's simply no precedent for saying that if you infringe on someone's copyright, they get your domain. And, now, we have a court making that point clear. Eric Goldman points us to a ruling in Las Vegas by judge Roger Hunt (the same judge who unsealed the filing that may kill off most of Righthaven's lawsuits...), in which he points out that asking for the domain name has no basis in law:
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