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Jammie Thomas Denied Supreme Court Appeal 347

sarysa writes "The Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest appeal of the 7 year old Jammie Thomas case, regarding a single mother who was fined $222,000 in her most recent appeal for illegally sharing 24 songs. Those of us hoping for an Eighth Amendment battle over this issue will not be seeing it anytime soon. In spite of the harsh penalties, the journalist suggests that: 'Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks if they impoverish a woman of modest means. Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000.'"
The Media

RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair" 525

First time submitter shoutingloudly writes "In a NY Times op-ed today, RIAA chief Cary H. Sherman accuses the opponents of SOPA of having engaged in shady rhetorical tactics. He (wrongly) accuses opponents such as Wikipedia and Google of having disseminated misinformation about the bills. He lashes out at the use of the term 'censorship,' which he calls a 'loaded and inflammatory term.' Most Slashdot readers will get the many unintentional jokes in this inaccurate, hypocritical screed by one of the leaders of the misinformation-and-inflammatory-rhetoric-wielding content industry lobby." A gem: "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because 'old media' draws a line between 'news' and 'editorial.' Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."

ASCAP Says Apple Should Pay For 30-sec. Song Samples 463

CNet reports on a new money battle brewing between those who generate music and those who profit from selling it on the Net. "Songwriters, composers, and music publishers are making preparations to one day collect performance fees from Apple and other e-tailers for not just traditional music downloads but for downloads of films and TV shows as well. Those downloads contain music after all. These groups even want compensation for iTunes' 30-second song samples. ... Apparently, the music industry can't obtain the fees through negotiations. They have begun lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would require anyone who sells a download to pay a performance fee..."

Warner Music Pushing Music Tax For Universities 375

An anonymous reader writes "Warner Music is pitching the idea of a 'music tax' for various top universities. The idea is that students would be free to file share, but the university needs to monitor and track everything, create a pool of money, hand it over to a recording industry entity that promises to distribute the proceeds fairly. In exchange, the university gets a 'covenant not to sue' from the music labels. It's not a full license, just a basic promise that they won't sue. It's also claimed that this is 'voluntary' but the Warner Music guy says that they need to include all universities and all ISPs to really make it work. It's basically a music tax, where the recording industry gets to sit back and collect money."
The Courts

RICO Class Action Against RIAA In Missouri 213

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic Recording v. Raleigh, an RIAA case pending in St. Louis, Missouri, the defendant has asserted detailed counterclaims against the RIAA for federal RICO violations, fraud, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, prima facie tort, trespass, and conspiracy. The claims focus on the RIAA's 'driftnet' tactic of suing innocent people, and of demanding extortionate settlements. The RICO 'predicate acts' alleged in the 42-page pleading (PDF) are extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The proposed class includes all people residing in the US 'who were falsely accused ... of downloading copyrighted sound recordings owned by the counterclaim Defendants and making them available for distribution or mass distribution over a P2P network and who incurred costs and damages including legal fees in defense of such false claims' or 'whose computers used in interstate commerce and/or communication were accessed ... without permission or authority.' This is the second class action of which we are aware against the RIAA and the Big 4 recording companies, the first being the Oregon class action brought by Tanya Andersen, which is presently in the discovery phase."
The Courts

Lessig, Zittrain, Barlow To Square Off Against RIAA 288

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's case in Boston against a 24-year-old grad student, SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, in which Prof. Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School, along with members of his CyberLaw class, are representing the defendant, may shape up as a showdown between the Electronic Frontier and Big Music. The defendant's witness list includes names such as those of Prof. Lawrence Lessig (Author of 'Free Culture'), John Perry Barlow (former songwriter of The Grateful Dead and cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Prof. Johan Pouwelse (Scientific Director of P2P-Next), Prof. Jonathan Zittrain (Author of 'The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It'), Professors Wendy Seltzer, Terry Fisher, and John Palfrey, and others. The RIAA requested, and was granted, an adjournment of the trial, from its previously scheduled December 1st date, to March 30, 2009. (The RIAA lawyers have been asking for adjournments a lot lately, asking for an adjournment in UMG v. Lindor the other day because they were so busy preparing for the Tenenbaum December 1st trial ... I guess when you're running on hot air, you sometimes run out of steam)."

Record Box Office Indicates MPAA 'Piracy Problem' Hot Air 244

Kinescope writes "The motion picture industry has said that its profits are at risk due to piracy, but a record-setting 2007 box office has some wondering if the industry is crying 'wolf.' Last year, the US box office totaled $9.63 billion, a 5.4% increase over 2006. 'Piracy is so bad, according to the MPAA, that we need special legislation to target the dastardly college pirates who are destroying the business. It's so bad that Weekly Reader subscribers will learn about the $7 billion a year "lost" to Internet piracy. It's so bad that the MPAA wants ISPs to ignore years of common carrier law and the promises of "safe harbor" and start filtering their traffic, looking for copyright violations. The real world isn't quite this simple, of course. It turns out that the MPAA's college numbers were off by a factor of three, a revelation that came after years of hiding the study's methodology but continuing to lobby Congress with its numbers.'"

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain