Archive for November 2006

Allofmp3 will be closed

November 30, 2006

In the Results of Bilateral Negotiations on Russia’s Accession to the WTO, the Action on Critical IPR Issues includes the naming of as a site that the Russian government will commit to shut down.

There are also provisions on optical disc piracy, including strengthening regulation of plants and deny licenses to past offenders.

The Russian Government will also ask the Supreme Court to clarify its stance on IPR cases.

All the points are to be implemented by a deadline of June 1, 2007.


Hollywood and iTunes

November 29, 2006

The FT reports that, in the hope of deterring pro pirates, the Hollywood studios want Apple to limit the number of video iPods that can be used with a particular single computer. Disney of course already has a deal with Apple. Apparently the brick and mortar stores are up in arms about the Disney deal and pricing as they see iTunes distribution of movie content as a threat to DVD sales – well, yes.

Copyright term on recorded songs

November 27, 2006

Reported by the BBC today is the news that the copyright term for recorded music is to remain at 50 years, and not be extended to the proposed 95 years. So recordings from the birth of rock ‘n’ roll are already slipping out of copyright with the first high profile living victim to be Sir Cliff Richard.

People come up with all sorts of logical reasons as to why the term should not be extended (or even be shortened) like this slightly unconvincing argument at Shekhar Kapur’s thought-provoking blog . But in this extra background in the Guardian a month or so ago there is an interesting illustration of the difference between Paul and Ringo in a world where copyright term on Beatles recordings has expired. The Guardian article also talks about the positions taken by the BPI and by British Library, whose interests don’t actually sound mutually exclusive despite the pitching of it as an argument between the two of them.

The Times makes the important point that any European Law binds states to a 50 year term and therefore any change would take the UK out of step with the rest of the European Union.

Ruling against IFPI on Baidu

November 24, 2006

 A Chinese court rules against the IFPI in its case against search engine Baidu. The domain allows users to search for mp3s on third party sites and often provides deep links to those mp3s. The IFPI is appealing. It is an important case since the majority of the Chinese music market is illegal but there is potential for growth in that market.

Copying in Spain and the UK

November 23, 2006

The IFPI are appealing a ruling in Spain that a person downloading from the internet for free is not doing anything illegal if the downloads are for personal use. Basically lawyers for Promusicae (IFPI Spain) failed to prove that the defendent was selling CDRs of what he downloaded.

And in the UK the BPI has been recommending that the law on personal copying of CDs (currently illegal) should not be repealed and that copyright owners should simply authorise consumers to copy for personal use. The BPI wants the law in place as a line in the sand and because they make a distinction for the circumstance where the copy is passed to a third party. The Institute for Public Policy Research would like to see the law changed, for the sake of clarity.

YouSendIt gets funding

November 22, 2006

StrategyWire reports that: “File transfer site, YouSendIt, raised USD4.7m in Series A-2 funding from return backers including Alloy Ventures, Cambrian Fund and Sevin Rosen Funds.”
YouSendIt leads the pack in locker sites wanting to go legit. Compliant with takedown requests from copyright holders, YouSendIt targets corporate clients suggesting that they can replace need for ftp sites and similar by using YouSentIt. This investment would require a need to keep clean on copyright issues.

Second Life

November 21, 2006

Online virtual world has a piracy problem now. This time it’s not corporations vs consumers but consumers, or should that be residents vs residents. By opening up the code to allow open source clients to be built Linden Labs may have inadvertently let the genie out of the bottle. As coders put together what is called a copybot allowing not only residents hard work in inventing virtual objects to be copied, but residents themselves can be cloned.

Linden is doing the best it can to mediate and pacify but ultimately does not want to play ‘god’ I suspect, asn that would be contrary to the user-created nature of the content of Second Life.

As has been reported widely there are people running businesses in Second Life who are affected by the copybots and, as in real life, where there is money to be made and lost warm fuzzy feelings of community soon evaporate.

How long until the first DMCA is served?