As Amazon and the RIAA go head to head over the Amazon Cloud Player (esentially Dropbox with streaming) it seems like a good time to recap the turbulent history of the humble MP3, upender of the music industry business model.
Ars Technica reports on the US Copyright Group (website: SAVECINEMA.ORG), an entity that has sent out over 14,000 subpoenas in the past 5 months to P2P users who have downloaded smaller independent movies such as Uwe Boll's Far Cry and best picture Oscar winner The Hurt Locker. To put that in perspective, the RIAA sued 18,000 P2P users during their multi-year anti-file sharing campaign. The law firm takes the moviemakers cases on for free, splitting with them the money the defendants pay to settle the case ($1,500 to $2,500 per subpoena) on a site that will conveniently take your credit card. The law firm and the filmmakers could end up splitting $19.7 million, and it's likely that this kind of approach will be tried with more movies. As you might expect, some targeted individuals have been wrongly accused.
"[A]lthough it is true that someone who copies a digital version of a sound recording has little incentive to purchase the recording through legitimate means, it does not necessarily follow that the downloader would have made a legitimate purchase if the recording had not been available for free," said US District court Judge James P. Jones, in response to the RIAA's request for restitution against the former admin of Elite Torrents, Daniel Dove, who has already been found guilty of conspiracy and felony copyright infringement. [more inside]
Internet television host Revision3 was the victim of a denial of service attack this weekend. The source of the attack? None other than RIAA and MPAA-funded MediaDefender.
In the increasingly surreal battle between the RIAA and music listeners, reality and satire can be hard to discern.
Gonzales pushes plan to criminalize copyright infringement, making it punishable by life imprisonment; to increase wiretaps; and to require Homeland Security to notify the RIAA in certain circumstances. "To meet the global challenges of IP crime." I'd comment on this, but I'm afraid that someone might think I was copying someone else. The Intellectual Property Protection Act (official press release) appeared previously in a speech (2005) and as a draft (2006) - now the Justice department is pushing Congress to bring it forward. [newsfilter]
Make a mixtape highlighting a young artist, have that artist proclaim his delight about the project on the CD, reignite that artist's career, repeat, then, the RIAA has you arrested for counterfieting. The RIAA continues its vain struggle to understand the new music economy. In the meantime, at least one company gets it, offering DRM-free CD downloads of obscure titles.
The RIAA would like to remind you that copying purchased music to your iPod is illegal without first gaining permission from the copyright holder. Thank you.
U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Privacy & Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry. View the hearing of September 29. [Real Media].
Sheer Nuttiness... According to the Washington Post, the RIAA is following up on the successful suit to force Verizon to identify four file traders, with a series of mass-lawsuits targeting potentially hundreds of file traders. With 57 million active file traders in the P2P networks alone, this is the beginning of an ugly new future.
Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, favors legislation allowing copyright holders to remotely destroy the computers of illegal file traders. Hatch, an accompished songwriter in his own right, is quoted as saying that damaging someone's computer "...may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights." Apparently the good Senator is forgetting that our legal system is based on the presumption of innocence.
Lessig and the RIAA's Matt Oppenheim This great Q&A between two very well spoken opponents in the copyright wars answers (very clearly) many of the questions that have stemmed from the ongoing erosion of the public domain by copyright law and the degradation of the music industry by file swappers. I was struck by how straight many of the answers were... a fascinating read
Federal judge rules Morpheus, Grokster not liable for Internet piracy. Well that is until the big pocketed music industry finds a favorable judge and wins the appeal.
This new RIAA lawsuit really frosts my cookies! I can't believe the Recording Industry Ass. of America has the balls to think they can censor the Internet, but they contend that "As a matter of fact, copyright itself was written into the Constitution before the Framers ever even got to the first 10 amendments." Therefore, the RIAA reserves for itself the right to determine which Internet websites you may view. Please discuss.
Copy protection for CDs does not have future says Philips. Philips spokesperson Klaus Petri, speaking to Reuters, says its company counts on the fact that the refusal of consumers will convince the music industry to step back from copy-protected CD's. Petri said that Philips could sue the manufacturers of CD's with copy protection (as managers of the world-wide CD patents), because they would not correspond to the standards. "those are silver disks with music on them, but which do not resemble CD's". [via Neowin.net]
The RIAA wants to hack your computer (via Fark ) The RIAA tried to attach a rider to the anti-terrorism bill currently in Congress that would have allowed them to hack anyone's computer without consequence. One more reason why the RIAA is evil.
RIAA reverses its position when it is beneficial to them. Not like this is surprising or anything, but its just so blatant. The irony is getting pretty thick around here.
An interview with the lawyers from Napster and Metellica. Good points, both.