Thursday 6 October 2016

The Copykat

Nearly twenty record label menbers of the Recording Industry Association of America and the British Recorded Music Industry have sued one of the world's leading websites - - which they say facilitates copyright infringement by enabling so-called stream-ripping for the public. Why? Well Cary Sherman, chairman and CEO of the RIAA, said the following: [] is raking in millions on the backs of artists, songwriters, and labels. We are doing our part, but everyone in the music ecosystem who says they believe that artists should be compensated for their work has a role to play. It should not be so easy to engage in this activity in the first place, and no stream-ripping site should appear at the top of any search result or app chart." The claimants said in the Los Angeles federal court lawsuit that "Copyright infringement through stream-ripping has become a major problem for Plaintiffs and for the recorded music industry as a whole. From 2013 to 2015 alone, there has been a 50% increase in unauthorized stream-ripping in the United States." EFF Opinion here

And Alan Toner, writing on the EFF website, makes some challenging comments on the Court of Justice of the Euroean Union's recent decision in Sony v McFadden which Toner says has important consequences for open wireless in the European Union. The court held that providers of open wifi are not liable for copyright violations committed by others, but can be ordered to prevent further infringements by restricting access to registered users with passwords. EFF reported on the legal aspects of the case last year and collaborated on an open letter to the CJEU on the costs to economic growth, safety and innovation of a password lockdown - although seemingly not on the cost to the copyright industry if piracy remains unchecked wth Toner saying "Universal access to the net will ultimately require curbing the power of a copyright industry which sees free networks as a threat to their property, something to be controlled and monitored rather than opened up and shared." It's worth a read.

A federal court in California has denied Oracle another trial in its long-standing copyright infringement dispute with Google over the use of Java code in the Android operating system. A jury had cleared Google of copyright infringement in May this year, upholding the company’s stand that its use of 37 Java APIs (application programming interfaces) in its Android mobile operating system was fair use, thus denying Oracle up to US$9 billion in damages that it was seeking.

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