An appeals court in Pennsylvania has affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit was filed by Gordon Roy Parker, a writer who claimed the search giant infringed on his copyright by archiving a Usenet posting of his and providing excerpts from his Web site in search results. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled over a year ago that under case law, Google's activities were akin to those of an Internet Service Provider and thus did not constitute copyright infringement by automatically archiving a copy of the Usenet … Read more
This Sunday may not be doomsday after all for the smaller Internet radio stations that feared the onset of new royalty fees would kill off their operations.
But contrary to some published reports traversing the blogosphere on Thursday and Friday, SoundExchange, the nonprofit group charged with collecting the payments, has not made any sort of blanket pledge to delay enforcing the contentious new Webcaster payments established earlier this year by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board, according to spokesman Richard Ades.
"There is a misunderstanding, and SoundExchange is making it very clear that everybody is expected to comply with the law," Ades told CNET News.com Friday.
The CRB ruling at issue requires Internet radio operators to pay additional fees to SoundExchange, which passes them on to artists and record labels, retroactive to 2006 and through 2010. Webcasters opposed to the new rules say the changes could drive up their mandatory payments by as much as 300 percent for larger entities and 1,200 percent for smaller ones, arguing such increases could put them out of business.
Here's where it gets complicated.
Owl Music Search is a cool tool that was spotlighted at a Creative Commons Salon last night. The potentially endangered Pandora and Last.fm recommend which music you'll like by matching text descriptions of albums, artists and songs. But Owl analyzes the actual waveforms of music files and matches them to similar tunes, many of which have Creative Commons licenses.
When I uploaded Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," Owl dug up 44 tracks by Loretta Lynn, Outkast, the Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson and others, highlighting snippets of their songs that resembled parts of "Hallelujah." Owl has … Read more
A federal appeals court has declined to grant a petition by Webcasters to delay the onset of new royalty fees that they argue could imperil their offerings.
In a one-page order filed late Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the opponents of the fees "have not satisfied the stringent standards required for a stay pending court review" and rejected their request for an emergency stay.
Barring an 11th-hour agreement, then, between Internet radio operators and the music industry, the new fees are scheduled to kick in on Sunday.
Jonathan Potter, executive … Read more
At last, news that Hollywood studios and file sharers can both celebrate.
Researchers at the NPD Group have found that, contrary to popular belief, far fewer consumers copy, or "rip" DVDs as a means of obtaining movies and TV shows. DVD ripping is far less prevalent than sharing files via peer-to-peer services, according to the report.
"There is an urban myth or feeling," said Russ Crupnick, an NPD senior analyst, "that people are using services such as Netflix to borrow and burn. We're not seeing any evidence of that."
Ripping CDs, which some … Read more
Forget Joost, CinemaNow, NewCo., or any of the other companies scurrying to distribute movies and TV shows online. The company offering the best material on the Web right now may be Google Video.
Of course, many of the films and shows found there are bootlegs posted to the site in violation of copyright law. As first reported by CNET News.com, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) a non-profit group that advocates for integrity and fair play in the public sector, has been reviewing copyright violations at YouTube and Google Video.
There has always been plenty of bitterness between copyright holders and the file-sharing community, but some now contend hostilities have sunk to a new low.
Swedish authorities last week were preparing to shut down The Pirate Bay, according to Peter Sunde, one of the site's founders. Was the site facing closure for helping users find bootlegged music or video files, as the film and music industries have long alleged? No, The Pirate Bay was being accused of distributing child pornography, Sunde said.
The accusation was nothing more than a backdoor attempt to kill off The Pirate Bay since both … Read more
The Recording Industry Association of America has already mounted a court challenge against XM Satellite Radio over gadgets like the Pioneer Inno that allow consumers to trap individual songs originally played on air in alleged violation of copyright.
Now the industry group is urging that issue to be one of the deciding factors for federal regulators weighing the proposed multibillion-dollar union of XM and its sole competitor, Sirius Satellite radio.
In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, the RIAA urged the agency to "make clear that its approval of a merger is conditioned upon the continued … Read more
Apple may soon be facing some courtroom issues related to a snapshot by an accomplished photographer and a sugary song by pop singer Avril Lavigne, according to two recent sets of court documents that were reported by AppleInsider.
Both cases have yet to go to court.
The first suit, filed on May 25 in a San Francisco court, names Apple only peripherally. James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar, the members of a 1970s band called the Rubinoos, allege that Canadian singer Lavigne's recent single "Girlfriend" borrowed a bit too liberally from their 1979 song "I Wanna Be … Read more
Google is both appealing a ruling against it in a copyright case in Belgium and negotiating with the group that sued it, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Google and Copiepresse, a trade group that represents French- and German-language Belgian publishers, will ask the court at an appeals hearing on July 17 for an extension so they can have more time to negotiate, the report says.
Copiepresse sued Google last year alleging that the search giant's use of headlines and snippets of Belgian newspaper articles in its Google News aggregation service, and its practice of providing links to cached … Read more