The Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator is soliciting comments from organizations regarding forming a strategic plan for intellectual property enforcement in the US.
RIAA, MPAA and other organizations have submitted their joint comment.
The EFF is calling out some of the most “interesting” aspects of that comment.
RIAA/MPAA want consumers to install anti-copyright infringement on their home computers. Think of it as a sort of virus scanner, but for illegal files instead.
They also want all network providers to scan their network traffic and prevent copyright infringement happening on their networks. At least they’re only asking for reasonable measures.
They want increased searches on US borders, and add declarations in the US customs forms for intellectual property. What this would mean is that next time you come into the US from abroad, and your iPod has ripped music on it, you’d have to disclose that to the US Customs officers and most likely have the iPod confiscated (and face possible sanctions).
They want the US Government to pressure other Governments to adopt more copyright friendly policies.
And finally they want the DOJ and DHS to hunt down pirates at the tax-payers’ expense.
Fascism is well and alive in our entertainment industry.
Threat Level, a blog concentrating on online privacy, security, politics and crime issues, has posted an excellent article about what would it be like if the handbag industry adopted the same business model music and movie industries have.
Yes, it’s absurd.
A study by a group of University of Washington staffers reveal how flimsy the process of identifying copyright offenders used by RIAA/MPAA really is.
During their investigation on who is using and how are BitTorrent trackers used the research team’s automated bots received 400 MPAA DMCA takedown notices without having actually downloaded or uploaded a single pirated movie. Moreover MPAA also sent DMCA takedown notices about files being shared by IP addresses belonging to printers the researchers “framed” to have shared pirated content.
The research team’s findings should ring alarm bells within the justice system. It is clear the methodology used by RIAA/MPAA to identify copyright infringers is completely inadequate and does in no way meet even the lowest standards of burden of proof.
The judge, who presided over Capitol vs. Thomas suit filed by RIAA against Jammie Thomas, is considering granting Jammie Thomas a new trial, because an “error in law” might’ve resulted in the wrong verdict.
Specifically the issue is with one of the instructions the judge gave to the jury in the case. He instructed the jury that making files available for download is the same as actually distributing the files in the eyes of the law. The judge is now reversing his direction based on other cases where the “making available” theory has been debunked.
Jammie Thomas is the person who was found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay $222,000 (over 10,000 times the times of the cost of the music she was allegedly sharing) in damages.
RIAA has won its lawsuit against Jammie Thomas, a single-mom of two kids. RIAA accused Ms. Thomas of sharing music on p2p networks. RIAA could only claim copyright ownership of 24 songs.
The jury awarded RIAA $222,000 in damages. That’s $9,250 per song. That sure sounds fair to me.
You could buy over 8,000 CDs with $222K.
I’m sure the RIAA is busy celebrating its victory over this single-mom. I hope bankrupting her was worth it.
Adam Frucci of Gizmodo.com and Pedro Camargo of ACT-I-VATE have produced four mascots RIAA rejected. I don’t understand why they were rejected. They appear to be very accurate.
My personal favorite is on the right.
Merl Ledford III, a California lawyer representing a family sued by RIAA in their war on P2P, has put forth a formidable smackdown on RIAA.
His letter to RIAA lawyers caused RIAA to dismiss the case. It’s unclear at this point, though, whether the Merchant family will be able to get legal fees from RIAA.
The letter has some very interesting sections in it, in particular the section labeled “Independent Factual Investigation and Probable Cause to Sue: Lack of Probable Cause”. That section applies to all lawsuits RIAA has filed. It’ll be interesting to see how future lawsuits will evolve after this.
Copyright Royalty Board has released its new rules for royalty rates on Internet radio. .08 cents per song per listener in 2006, and increased every year upto .19 cents per song per listener by 2011. Seems reasonable.
However, when you look closer, you start to realise quickly the rates are completely out of whack. Take Pandora.com, an extremely popular online music site that enables users to easily find new music. Essentially it’s a music promotion tool that’s run at no cost to the record labels. Pandora.com has 6 million subscribers, each of whom can have upto 100 channels (or music streams). The theoretical maximum annual royalty payments of Pandora.com are astronomical (easily in the hundreds of millions of dollars). Even the probable costs will run so high it will be impossible for Pandora.com to run without losing money. They will have to shut down. And so will all other net radio sites run by hobbyists or startups.
You have to wonder about the wisdom of royalty rates this high. Is the purpose of the royalty rates not to raise money for the artists? If so, then these rates won’t cut it, because net radio will simply cease to exist and the royalty payments from net radio stations will be exactly $0 USD. Maybe the true purpose is something else.
More background and insights from independent net radio operators, and Mark Cuban in an article at LinuxJournal.com.
RIAA is sueing a man in Florida despite full well knowing he lived in Florida at the time RIAA claims he engaged in illegal music sharing in Michigan.
Remind me again why RIAA is not considered an organized crime outfit?
Popular gadget blog Gizmodo has declared March 2007 as the Boycott RIAA month.
Their article titled Gizmodo’s Anti-RIAA Manifesto explaining the reasons for the boycott is an excellent summary of all things wrong with the RIAA.