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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Copyright's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
3:32 am
[lizzylavenza]
are lj posts

I apologize if this has been covered already or if it's obvious to you.

Do any of you know if livejournal posts are protected by copyright?

Any information or suggested links would be appreciated, usually I rock the google, but not on this one.

thanks so much for your time, lizzylavenza

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
10:15 am
[kuwaizair]
can i ask questions
you'll see me here time to time with "oh no they didn't/can they do that" or being a fake asshat with "can I do this? so and so said I can/they are getting away with it"
and i need more knowlange of how far I can go before I'm breaking copyright laws or infringing on someone's IP

1) in some malls by me people are selling counterfit-ish, knockoff type toys. there is a plug and play emulator video game system called "power station" I don't thik Atari and Nintendo authroize it. is this legal and to what degree? some will say "as long as they don't say they made it and it is a Nintendo". the sellers don't like people touching their stuff, and I'm not in the mood to pay $30 for an emulator when I can be a little hypocrite and just download one for my PC.

2) and with that, what is owned? if a cultural icon is that well known the look, name and nature is owned right? or can I sell Whinnie-the-Pooh toys with a new name, like "silly bear" or "happy bear"?

3) copyrights and trademarks go more than skin deep? If I weren't an American and I wanted to sell a product by duping someone into thinking it's a Disney one, I can get away with using the Disney font? Is that trademarked like a logo? logos are trademarked with or without a name? or can I make a sale easier by using such? if I made jewelery and wanted an easier sale i can put "pretty necklace" in said Disney font, or would my product be removed from the web, or my table/kiosk get shut down when their lawyers find out?
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=gQi-zQR03z8
he says it's infrigment


4) how close to a look can one get when making a character? i'm told it's a name, I can legally make a rip off of Pikachu right? just make lighting bolt ears, ditch the tail and keep 80% of the colors and call it a Zapbunny? or no?

5) should I report those people selling knock off and counterfeits like these http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=198837&id=761219107&ref=pb? or is it mean and going to ruin the lively hood of an immigrant seeking an American dream and delivering toys and joy to children. or are those legal because of "made in China"? I doubt "every styles fully wonderfull" is a viable phrase on a real WWE toy

6) if it is legal, should something be done? or should I just then be a jerk at the one mall and go into the Coach store and tell them "hey guess what? I learned I can sell Moach or Croach, or nameless bags that are rip off of your product as long as I let people know it's fake, isn't that cool?"

7) is it really ok/"legal"? I mean I want to ask the one mall so bad but I don't get there on weekdays, to ask them if it is. I can see wanna-be products, like "backwards soft robe-blanket". But is it up to the management's rules to let stuff happen? or could one really sell fake stuff? or should I ignore whiny signs and fondle merchandise and look for copyright marks. could/should i rat these people out and deprive them of a job, and kids with low income families of toys?
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
12:09 pm
[progress_way]
Competitions for those who know the Law
The International Contest of Young Lawyers “Precedent” is an on-line activity for students and young professionals. It's a bilingual contest where you can send the work in English or Russian.
It’s main goal is to give young lawyers and students a place to share opinions and try their skills. At the same time practicing lawyers and the one who is just interested in jurisprudence may participate.
There are two spheres where the participant may choose a case to resolve - intellectual property and private international law. Here’s the list of cases.
You can vote for the works and comment! Here are the approved solutions.
The Contest is held till 21 of June 2010. You can send a work up to June 15.

Prizes for the winners are granted!
Monday, March 15th, 2010
4:18 pm
[jimcyl]
IPEC Comments
A recent post on the Public Knowledge blog pointed me to a call from President Obama's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, for comments from the public as to what the priorities of her new position should be. Here is what I wrote.

Victoria Espinel
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
Office of Management and Budget
Executive Office of the President
Filed via email
 
Dear Ms. Espinel:
 
Any strategic plans for enforcement of intellectual property should measure all of the costs and benefits involved. Enforcement has its own costs to citizens and consumers, especially when legal uses of copyrighted works can be mistaken for infringement. This happens too often already because Internet service providers have a strong incentive to take down first and ask questions later. Automated solutions designed to help website operators comply with the notice and takedown provisions of the current legal structure cannot tell the difference between permissible fair uses and impermissible infringement, resulting in an excessive number of false positives. This negatively impacts the ability of the public to use the Internet to freely obtain information for research, news reporting, and commentary. With a few notable exceptions, such as the decisions of Northern District of California judge Jeremy Fogel, the protections for fair uses of information are sorely lacking.
 
The Joint Strategic Plan should carefully examine the basis for claims of losses due to infringement, and measure credible accounts of those losses against all of the consequences of proposed enforcement measures, good and bad, such as the effective loss of the ability to make fair uses of information published online.
 
Measures like cutting off Internet access in response to alleged copyright infringement will harm the public far more than the benefit intellectual property owners and fly in the face of the Constitutional mandate to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. Internet connections are not merely entertainment or luxuries; they provide vital communication links, often including basic phone service. This is even more clearly unfair in cases where users are falsely or mistakenly accused. Indeed, in today’s increasingly technological society, Internet access is critical to promote education and free speech.
 
Internet service providers should not be required or asked to violate users' privacy in the name of copyright enforcement beyond the scope of the law. Efforts to require or recommend that ISPs inspect users' communications should not be part of the Joint Strategic Plan.
 
The anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can criminalize users who are simply trying to make legal uses of the media they have bought. Breaking digital locks on media should not be a crime unless they are being broken for illegal purposes. The government should not spend its resources targeting circumventions for legitimate purposes.
 
Any plans or agreements on IP enforcement, like the proposed Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should be made open and transparent. In dealing with questions of copyright and the Internet, too much is at stake for our country's laws and policies to be made out of the public eye. The same country that worked with providers like Twitter and Google to protect the rights of political dissidents in places like Iran and China to access the Internet in the service of democracy worldwide should not be shrouding its own actions with specious claims of “national security” when faced with lobbying from special interests in the recording and motion picture industries.

Visit Public Knowledge for more information on how to make comments of your own. The deadline to do so is March 24th. Unlike a number of the President's other lawyer-appointees, Ms. Espinel appears to understand the need for a balanced approach to intellectual property protection. At least she didn't come straight out of the employ of the recording and motion picture industries. In comments, she described her job as to "help protect the ideas and creativity of the American public."

It's a nice sentiment, and I hope that it will translate into more sensible policies than those that keep getting leaked from the ACTA trade agreement negotiations, which the Obama administration has somehow absurdly determined to be matters of national security. Fortunately, the European Union seems to be on the side of common sense and has rejected the current negotiation process.

The point of all this is to make the administration aware that there exists a rational approach to intellectual property protection that is somewhere between excessive and no protection with respect to the Internet. Currently, it's clear that the administration is listening only to big media. Please help change that.
Thursday, February 11th, 2010
9:26 am
[jimcyl]
Comment on ACTA
If you don't know, the US Trade Representative has been negotiating a secret copyright treaty with a number of other countries. Documents leaked to Wikileaks have revealed that the treaty language would destroy the protections that allowed the Internet to flourish in the way that it has by criminalizing file sharing, requiring ISP's to be copyright police in a far more intrusive way than the current "notice and takedown" scheme, and requiring ISP's to shut off the Internet access of file-sharers. When pressed for information, the Obama Administration refused to divulge any documents, claiming that it was a matter of "national security." Wired has a lot of information on the topic.

Public Knowledge has an article up stating that the USTR is taking public comment on the treaty until February 16th. Please, if you care about balanced copyright law, go to the article and follow the links to the USTR's office and comment!
Saturday, May 9th, 2009
1:51 pm
[sociologistff]
Update on MA thesis on HP fan fiction
Hi!

With this message, I would like to thank all of you who answered my questionnaire at http://fanfiction.frontexperts.com (see the original message below) and have given me helpful feedback. Many of you who sent me emails with comments let me know that my questionnaire did not fully embrace your experience with fan fiction. Because a survey is a highly standardized research instrument, there was no way of avoiding this problem but I decided to broaden my research design according to the concerns conveyed to me. Thus, I would like to conduct a group discussion with fan fiction authors where they will have the opportunity to freely talk about their experience without being bound by narrow questions like in the survey.

Therefore, I am looking for Harry Potter fan fiction authors who will attend the LeakyCon 2009 from May 21st-24th in Boston and who would be willing to get together for an hour or two as a group to discuss their experience with me and the other fan fiction authors. As far as I can tell from the LeakyCon schedule, Saturday morning would probably work best to meet for the discussion. Also, it would give us a chance to get to know each other on Thursday or Friday. I will provide a space at the hotel where we will be undisturbed and make sure we have drinks and snacks. A group of 8-12 people would work best but if there are too few people for a group discussion, I would be happy to meet with any of you informally at LeakyCon to talk about your experience as a fan fiction author.

By participating in a group discussion, you would make an immense contribution to the quality and accuracy of my research. I am looking forward to meeting you in person and hearing about your life in Harry Potter fan fiction. If you want to participate please let me know until May 19th by replying to this message or at fanfictions@ gmx.net or petra.baumann@edu.uni-graz.at.

Thank you so much for your repeated help!
Best,
Petra
Friday, April 17th, 2009
9:10 am
[bustermaximus]
News from Stockholm
Four connected to the torrent hub website, The Pirate Bay, have been convicted on copyright infringement charges in Sweden. Here's the story.



Thursday, April 16th, 2009
12:30 am
[sociologistff]
Harry Potter Fan Fiction - Help with MA thesis!
Hello!
I hope it's OK that I'm posting this message here. I do not have any financial interest whatsoever, this message regards academic research only!

My name is Petra Baumann and I’m doing research for my master’s thesis in sociology on Harry Potter fan fiction at the University of Graz, Austria. As a sociologist, I am especially interested in the social background of fan fiction authors: where they come from, how old they are, etc. Through my research I found that, many studies on fan fiction are done in the fields of literary studies, women studies, or cultural studies but there are very little sociological data available, especially on the Harry Potter fan fiction community.

In order to gather sociological data on Harry Potter fan fiction authors, I developed a short online questionnaire. If you are an author of Harry Potter fan fiction you would immensely help me with my research if you could answer this questionnaire at
http://fanfiction.frontexperts.com

The questions will take about 10 minutes to answer and there will be no spam or advertising when you click the link. The evaluation is done anonymously and the data will be used solely for academic research. If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire or my research please feel free to contact me at fanfictions@gmx.net or visit my LifeJournal.

Thank you!
Best,
Petra

Monday, April 13th, 2009
11:02 am
[jimcyl]
Black Box Voting, Dancing Babies, and Gay Marriage Ads
It should be old news by now, but the National Organization for Marriage ran an ad entitled "The Gathering Storm" in response to recent events in Iowa and Vermont. The final video, for those who don't want to actually watch it, contains a caption (at around the 18-second mark) stating "the stories these actors are telling are based on real incidents" and inviting viewers to visit NOM's.

The Human Rights Campaign's researchers dug up some interesting background on the video, including two audition videos that show actors standing in front of a green screen botching their lines. They in and of themselves are pretty damn funny.

Wired has reported (and posted the videos) that NOM has been sending notice and takedown demands to Youtube to keep the audition tapes off the Internet. This is hardly the first time that an organization has tried to use copyright law to silence its critics. In 2004, Diebold Election Systems lost (on summary judgment no less) a lawsuit by the Online Policy Group challenging its use of cease and desist letters to keep Swarthmore College students from posting internal Diebold memos that revealed the company's knowledge of flaws in its electronic voting software. The court held that "[n]o reasonable copyright holder could have believed that the portions of the email archive discussing possible technical problems with Diebold's voting machines were proteced by copyright" and that Diebold had therefore violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by knowingly and materially misrepresented that they had a valid copyright claim. The court awarded OPG $125,000 in damages.

More recently, the same judge who issued the Diebold opinion ruled, in a case involving a notice and takedown demand involving a video of a baby dancing to a Prince song, that the poster of the video was entitled to proceed with a misrepresentation case against the record company because the label failed to consider whether or not playing the song in the video constituted fair use. Specifically, the judge stated:

[A] fair use is a lawful use of a copyright. Accordingly, in order for a copyright owner to proceed under the DMCA with “a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law,” the owner must evaluate whether the material makes fair use of the copyright...

[I]n the majority of cases, a consideration of fair use prior to issuing a takedown notice will not be so complicated as to jeopardize a copyright owner’s ability to respond rapidly to potential infringements. The DMCA already requires copyright owners to make an initial review of the potentially infringing material prior to sending a takedown notice; indeed, it would be impossible to meet any of the requirements of Section 512(c) without doing so. A consideration of the applicability of the fair use doctrine simply is part of that initial review...

A good faith consideration of whether a particular use is fair use is consistent with the purpose of the statute. Requiring owners to consider fair use will help “ensure[] that the efficiency of the Internet will continue to improve and that the variety and quality of services on the Internet will expand” without compromising “the movies, music, software and literary works that are the fruit of American creative genius.”
 

Wired is reporting that "internet rebels are saving the videos with keepvid.com, and then uploading them back to YouTube when they're pulled." This is great for keeping the information necessary to discuss this issue in the public consciousness, but it ignores the fact that NOM is doing exactly what Diebold did - using the DMCA to silence its critics.

Instead of merely re-posting the videos to Youtube, someone should file a counter-notice and demand that Youtube replace the videos. It may take longer than just re-posting them, but it sends a message to NOM that they cannot misuse the law to keep the truth out of the public eye.



Current Mood: aggravated
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
2:05 pm
[wishiwasnt]
This community is too quiet...
I read this today:

"When fictional characters become such an intricate part of the popular psyche, as is the case with the Twilight Saga, legal boundaries become blurred, and copyright laws become increasingly difficult to define. This is especially the case when actual cities like Forks and Volterra are used as the novel's settings. Such settings are not copyrightable, as they are considered public domain. Similarly, the Quileute Nation is also not copyrightable, and neither are vampire or werewolf legends. Copyright laws protect writers from unauthorized reproductions of their work, but such reproductions only include verbatim copying. Characters are only copyrightable if their creator draws them or hires an artist to draw them. Stephenie Meyer herself borrowed a great deal from previous works dealing with these mythologies."

So, that's one of the more hilarious misstatements of copyright law I've seen lately, which got me to wondering: What are the biggest misconceptions about copyright? Based on what I've read on the Internet I would say:

1) It's ok to copy something if I link/attribute it.
2) Fanfiction is not a copyright violation
3) It's been settled that ripping something to your ipod/iTunes is fair use/not a copyright violation.

Did I miss any?
Friday, March 13th, 2009
1:30 pm
[bustermaximus]
Sorry about the spam.
Hey folks of the Copyright community.

Given the recent spamming of this community, I would like to just let everyone know that, even though this community is not the most active, I still do try to keep this place free of trash posts. I would like to thank those who had taken the time to alert me of the spam posts in Copyright. Obviously, I deleted the posts, and I have blocked posting access to the offenders. Hopefully, that will put an end to the issue. I'm sorry for any annoyance or inconvenience that the spam may have caused.
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
5:11 pm
[noctuabunda]
Ten minutes of your time for my thesis?
Dear fanfic authors,

first of all I’m sorry if OT posting isn’t allowed in this community, but there’s no other way for me to do this; just delete this if it isn’t appropriate.

I’m a fanfic reader and occasional fanfic writer myself, so what did I pick for my thesis in communication sciences? Fan Fiction, of course. I designed a survey to find out more about our writing habits and media use; it takes about 10 minutes to complete.

If you could go here and fill it out, I’d be forever grateful. Of course I’ll publish some of the results at my journal in about a month or two, so you’ll know what happened with your answers.
The survey is completely anonymous; I have no way of finding out who gave which answers.

Please, please help a fellow fan out. It’s only ten minutes for you; it’s a very important part of my work for me.

This has been cross-posted like crazy, and I'm sorry for spamming you guys, I'm just a little desperate, too.
Thursday, May 8th, 2008
9:59 pm
[andy_w]
Usage of Image of an object...
Ok.

Whats the U.S. legal stand point on this.

I used a stock photo within a composit photo manipulation.
The owner of the stock is aware of this and has given permission for me to make the composit into a print for sale. (I have not done so yet)The images contain a unique object, a fun ride.

Does the owner or anyone assosiated with the ride have any rights to the image in the composit?
Friday, April 25th, 2008
6:51 pm
[mubblegum_cake]
UK name trademark registering?
Hello, I hope this is okay here. I just can't find the right information on google.
I am hoping to use a certain personal name/nickname for my work - photography, media work, etc.
I'd like to trademark the name, so it can't be used for other things in future by other people.
Is this at all possible in the UK? I don't understand a lot of the laws regarding registering trademarks and I hope you can answer this!
Friday, April 11th, 2008
4:40 pm
[jimcyl]
Ars Technica reports today on the recording industry's latest attempt to undermine the limitations built into copyright law. Specifically, UMG is suing an e-bay retailer, claiming that the resale of demo CD's distributed for free with "for promotional use only" stickers affixed constitutes copyright infringement. UMG is arguing that the CD's are not subject to the limitations of the first sale doctrine because they were only "licensed."

EFF has taken the case on behalf of the defendant and has argued that the initial distribution of the CD's constituted a gift, which counts as a sale for first sale purposes, and that the defendant's acquisition and resale of the CD's is protected by the first sale doctrine. This has been an issue relating to the distribution of books for quite awhile:

http://lisnews.org/node/14943/ (2005)
http://www.library.yale.edu/~llicense/ListArchives/0508/msg00005.html (2005)
http://madisonian.net/archives/2007/06/28/professor-review-copy-not-for-sale/ (2007)

I think this is seriously overreaching, and I seem to recall discussion of case law on this issue when I was in law school, but for the life of me I can't recall what the case was. Thoughts?
Monday, April 7th, 2008
11:27 pm
[aou]
Copyright courses
Hi There! I've graduated in biomedical engineering about 10 years ago, but eventually get involved in all the software busyness and (so far just out of curiosity) get interested in software/media/content copyright issues.

Given that I have no background in LAW of any sort - are there any postgrad/continuous education classes I can take to educate myself on it? Or I'll have to go through all the law 101 prior to that?

I'm ready to spend half a year, couple of days a week, in the evenings on that or bit more for online-only course.

Any recommendations? I'm in Toronto, Ontario Area if that matters.
Saturday, April 5th, 2008
8:19 pm
[lehah]
Music Rights And Copyright
I'm going to make a long story short. I've been collecting film score for the last 15 years and there is one particular album thats never seen the light of day. I've tried to get a couple of music industry people / producers I know interested in the property, did some internet footwork, even tracked down where the compositional sketches, unused liner notes and personal notes from the composer are kept - but all the album producers say the "trick hat" is the company who legally *owns* the master. (The company is in the UK, the physical copy of the music is in a university archive in California)...

"I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not, but I'm serious, if somebody does the absolutely miserable work of seducing a new company into licensing a film score at "archival" rates, I'll happily put the album out... All you have to do is find out someone in business affairs who can acknowledge that they are the right company, and then will agree to license the soundtrack album master for only a few thousand pounds. The hard part is getting a sympathetic person at that company to want to do this."

I'm really just looking for advice or a crash course in what to do with this situation. I just need to know the lingo and ettiqute to sound professional. Can anyone here help me out?
Friday, April 4th, 2008
2:21 pm
[pure_doxyk]
Coypright Notices & Names
Hi All,

So, I'm finally finishing this book.  I'm going to self-publish it through Lulu, at least at first -- if demand is high, I'll pay for an ISBN and inclusion in Amazon, etc. 

My question is about the copyright notice.  I wrote this book under a pseudonym -- it's about polyphasic sleep, which I'm proud to be one of the pioneers of, but it's not something I want a future employer to find attached to my name if they Google it; my career(s) are reputation-sensitive and polyphasic sleep is a pretty "weird" undertaking, at least at this point in time.  So I write all my polyphasic stuff under the name "Puredoxyk", including this book.  Puredoxyk, of course, is not legally my name. 

My husband has also published some books, and he does so under the auspices of "Flammable Press", which is not incorporated in the legal sense.  If I linked my book to FP, someone *could* figure out who I am (my husband publishes under his real name), but I'm not so much "worried that someone might find me" as just trying to protect my professional name online.

I assume I shouldn't put a copyright notice on this book attached to a pseudonym.  I was thinking about putting "copyright 2008 Flammable Press", if that's legally better, but since FP isn't a legal entity, I dunno. 

Do I *have* to use my real name?

Current Mood: confused
Thursday, March 20th, 2008
7:38 pm
[stmarc]
Photographs of Copyrighted Artworks as Derivative Works

There is now a split in the Federal courts as to whether a photograph of a copyrighted artwork is a derivative artwork of that original artwork. In January, a judge in Chicago, following precedent in that district, ruled that it is. Last week, a judge in Florida ruled that it is not. The question is important because a derivative work cannot be copyrighted without the consent of the author of the original work, which means that the photographer has almost no legal protection from what would otherwise be infringing use. (You cannot sue for copyright infringement without a copyright registration.)

The Supreme Court may very well have to resolve this issue if the split continues to develop. However, what I want to point out is this:

Even if the view that photographs are not derivative works prevails, that does not mean that photographers do not have to worry about depicting copyrighted artworks in their photographs.

The holder of a copyright has several exclusive rights, one of which is the right of reproduction. The right of reproduction is good against reproductions in different media, including photographs. This is entirely independent of the copyrightability of those photographs.

To set forth an example of who is affected differently by the two positions, consider the following fact pattern (which is taken from the Florida case.)

A, a motorcycle manufacturer, hires B, an artist to customize a motorcycle (assume that A does not ask for a copyright assignment or a work-for-hire contract, but does obtain at least a license from B to use the customized motorcycles in advertising.)

B creates a custom paint and deco scheme including copyrightable elements.

C photographs the motorcycle after B decorates it.

A gets the photographs and uses them for commercial advertising without an appropriate license from C.

C claims copyright infringement by A.

What result?

In the first line of cases, C's photographs are derivative works of B's custom deco scheme. C cannot copyright a derivative work without the consent of B, the creator of the underlying work. Assuming B has not so consented, C's images cannot be registered. Without a copyright registration, C cannot sue A. A wins.

In the second line of cases, C's photographs are not derivative works of B's custom deco scheme. C may copyright them without B's consent. Once C's copyright registration issues, C can sue A. A loses.

In *either* line of cases, B can sue C for unauthorized reproduction of his artwork, but B cannot grant A the right to use C's photographs under either theory (although in the first, it wouldn't matter as to A versus C.) If C can copyright his photographs, his copyright is good against the entire world, including B. C's use of the photographs may be subordinate to B's reproduction right, but that gives no rights in the photographs to B other than to prevent their being used in a manner which would infringe B's copyright.

While I don't know that I agree that the Copyright Statute is meant to ensure that photographs can't be derivative works, I tentatively tend to agree with the FL reasoning. Such a result still makes photographers answerable to original authors under the reproductive right, so it doesn't lose anybody anything. And it gives photographers the right to claim copyright and prevent third parties from using their photographs without permission under the shield of the copyright laws. That would seem like a pretty contrary result to the general purpose of said laws.

In some ways, the distinction is academic, but it's going to make a very real difference to photographers as to whether or not they can use copyright against unlicensed users of their work in such cases. Since courts often like to claim pre-emption in contract cases involving copyrighted or copyrightable works of art, arguments to things like quantum meruit, or unjust enrichment, are going to be uphill slogs in cases like the ones at hand.

I was on the winning side of just such a case last year - a fellow sued my client under various theories for the alleged unjust use of some computer software under many novel theories, including contract, unjust enrichment, and whatever else he could think of. The Seventh Circuit agreed with the District Court's summary judgment ruling that whatever he was saying in his complaint, his only viable claim, due to pre-emption, was copyright infringement. He had no registration and could not get one. Game Over. They didn't even seriously examine the merits of his contract and tort claims.

Comment?

M

Current Mood: contemplative

Saturday, March 1st, 2008
8:00 am
[stmarc]
The RIAA: It's Worse Than You Think.

The Recording Industry Association of America has been in the news from time to time lately when their lawsuits against ordinary people they accuse of infringing their members' copyrights through file-sharing services get sued for lots and lots of money. While these articles usually do contain a hint of "Hey, this is getting a little nuts, suing parents for ten grand because their kid installed Kazaa," because of journalists' urge to represent "both sides of the story," the RIAA usually gets quoted as how they're protecting musical artists and trying to stem the tide of music piracy before poor Madonna is reduced to living in a large refrigerator carton.

I attended a seminar on RIAA litigation yesterday and frankly, most people don't know the half of it. They don't even have any PROOF that said kids are sharing files, or that it was even said kids who did it. They are making a mockery, an absolute mockery, of due process and the rule of law. Ray Beckerman, the lawyer who gave the seminar, has a blog here:

http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/

If half of what he says about the RIAA's investigation and litigation techniques is true - and in the interest of "fair play," I should point out that he does represent several defendants in pending cases of this type, although all the evidence he cites is available in public court documents - then when the dust all settles, I should hope to see several lawyers disbarred and several investigators in jail. This is abuse of the legal system of the very highest order. If you want to know the particulars, read this:

How RIAA Litigation Works.

If you get served with process of some kind regarding one of these RIAA lawsuits, or know someone who does, I recommend that you visit the blog above immediately to learn more about what they are up to and how a person can defend themselves. If you are an attorney, I urge you to consider representing one or more of these defendents pro bono or at a greatly reduced rate, or at the very least to write letters and actively resist this blatant attempt to twist and usurp the copyright law to enrich a few at the expense of the many.

Disclaimer: I am an IP attorney who for almost fourteen years has represented copyright holders, creative arists, and providers of content. I believe in copyrights, and I think that copyright infringers should face the full sanctioning power of the law. I think that music piracy is morally equivalent to theft, and that artists deserve to be compensated for their creations. Happily, the RIAA has removed any potential hesitation I might have had in siding with alleged infringers by their public acts demonstrating that they are not, in any way, attempting to combat actual piracy or copyright infringement in this matter.

M

Current Mood: angry

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