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All posts tagged "copyright"


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Microsoft, Yahoo, RealNetworks Sued Over Music Copyrights

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Digital Home News" @ 10:46 PM

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13526_3-10276724-27.html

"The suit appears to have been initiated by Music Copyright Solutions (MCS), which claims to administer copyrights for more than 45,000 compositions. MCS is named as the lead plaintiff, along with a number of songwriters including Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad fame. These folks allege that Microsoft, Yahoo, and RealNetworks improperly licensed the rights to more than 200 compositions that they offered as on-demand streams or limited downloads via the Zune Marketplace, Yahoo Music, and Rhapsody. Surely these companies paid somebody for the rights to offer these songs. But there's a catch, which TechDirt pointed out earlier Tuesday: these companies may have licensed the rights to the recordings, but that doesn't mean they licensed the rights to the compositions (also known as publishing rights)."

Credit: ars technica

Chalk this one up to another ridiculous abuse of broken music copyright system. The plaintiffs are demanding $150,000 for each violation (for each recorded song - the six Greatest Hits versions of Conway Twitty's "Fifteen Years Ago" would consitute $900,000 in damages alone) or the amount the companies earned from streaming these songs, whichevever is more. This sets a disturbing precident in downloadable music, where none of these companies can afford to lose the case. If all damages are awarded, the 200 violations could end up costing somewhere in the range of billions of dollars, which is why a settlement for far less money is likely to occur. But this case, and the similar trial against Jammie Thomas-Rasset (where the defendant was ordered to pay $80,000 in damages per song) raises the point: if the penalties are so outrageously high that they aren't going to be enforced, why bother having them on the lawbooks in the first place? Everyone deserves to be paid for their work, but today's broken copyright system clearly misses the point in many ways. It's time to get with the 21st century and abandon the sheet music-based system of years past.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cesar Speaks On "Zune Cop" Scenario

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 10:30 PM

“We have no plans or commitments to implement any new type of content filtering in the Zune devices as part of our content distribution deal with NBC. We think some folks in the industry were expressing hopes for how the entire industry, not just Microsoft, would come to look at content distribution, and some speculation has ensued. Again, no plans are in place toward this end.”

I had read the NYT article earlier today and before the firestorm on the net had let loose, I already had my doubts as to the veracity of any of this. I mean, this would have to be a pretty boneheaded move to begin with. There’s simply no way to determine whether the bits and bytes on your Zune are something you purchased or not and I couldn't imagine Microsoft blocking out user content not purchased through the marketplace.

I do know it’s very difficult to transfer licensed music off the Zune onto a PC and then back onto a Zune. This doesn’t work already and I don’t know how easy this is with the iPod. I think that’s about the extent of it that you’ll ever have to worry about.

Thanks for clearing this all up, Cesar!

Tags: copyright

Friday, October 20, 2006

Slyck Talks Zune and Creative Commons

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune Talk" @ 07:49 AM

http://www.slyck.com/news.php?story=1293

"Take a pre-existing license adopted hundreds of thousands of times. Mix creators and activists with DRM (Digital Rights Management.) Throw in a little Microsoft Zune technology and pour it all into a mixing bowl. Stir well and serve to several hundred thousand captive audience members in cups of controversy. It certainly appears that a firestorm has emerged out of Zune's "viral DRM" and the DRM clause in the Creative Commons license. Is this a blatant attack on Creative Commons creators or is all of this nothing more then a cloud of smoke?"

Drew Wilson at Slyck has posted an interesting article that discusses the possibility of Zune violating Creative Commons licenses. While many valid points are raised, most seem unlikely to put Microsoft and users of the Zune product in a spot of trouble. There's a fine line between offering users the freedom to share and protecting one's assets, and Microsoft has hit that line by implementing its 3 days / 3 plays feature. Microsoft can't detect any copyrights attached to media being shared, so a universal DRM wrapper is put in place. Copyrighted content stays protected, while everything else suffers, simply because it's better to stay safe than to feel sorry later.


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