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The Courts

RIAA Backs Down In Austin, Texas 230

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In November, 2004, several judges in the federal court in Austin, Texas, got together and ordered the RIAA to cease and desist from its practice of joining multiple 'John Does' in a single case. The RIAA blithely ignored the order, and continued the illegal practice for the next four years, but steering clear of Austin. In 2008, however, circumstances conspired to force the record companies back to that venue. In Arista v. Does 1-22, in Providence, Rhode Island, they were hoping to get the student identities from Rhode Island College. After the first round, however, they learned that the College was not the ISP; rather, the ISP was an Austin-based company, Apogee Telecom Inc., meaning the RIAA would have to serve its subpoena in Austin. The RIAA did just that, but Apogee — unlike so many other ISP's — did not turn over its subscribers' identities in response to the subpoena, instead filing objections. This meant the RIAA would have to go to court, to try to get the Court to overrule Apogee's objections. Instead, it opted to withdraw the subpoena and drop its case."
The Courts

RIAA 'Elektra V. Barker' Case Is Settled 306

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Elektra v. Barker, one of the leading cases repudiating the RIAA's 'making available' theory, has been settled. Unlike in most cases, the actual settlement agreement (PDF) is on file with the Court, and a matter of public record. Now Ms. Barker's attack on the constitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory, as well as her other defenses — including unclean hands based on MediaSentry's illegal behavior, the RIAA's inability to sue for statutory damages, and innocent infringement — will not be adjudicated, and it will fall on the shoulders of other defendants to carry the day on those issues. Ms. Barker, a young social worker who lives in the Bronx, once told p2pnet 'I love music. I grew up in a house where music was played all the time. We had milk crates filled with albums.... So to be sued for having music files on my computer is an insult. It's a slap in the face. This experience has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I wanted to swear off music.'"

New Sony DVDs Not Working In Some Players 651

An anonymous reader writes "It seems that the most recent DVDs released by Sony — specifically Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness — have some kind of 'feature' that makes them unplayable on many DVD players. This doesn't appear to be covered by the major media yet, but this link to a discussion over at Amazon gives a flavor of the problems people are experiencing. A blogger called Sony and was told the problem is with the new copy protection scheme, and they do not intend to fix it. Sony says it's up to the manufacturers to update their hardware."

Why the RIAA Doesn't Want Defendants Exonerated 199

RageAgainsttheBears writes "The RIAA is beginning to find itself in an awkward position. A few of its many, many lawsuits don't manage to end in success for the organization. Typically, when they decide a case isn't worth pursuing (due to targeting the wrong person or not having sufficient evidence), they simply move to drop the case. Counterclaims are usually dropped in turn, and everyone goes separate ways. But recently, judges have been deciding to allow the RIAA to drop the case, but still allowing the defendant's counterclaim through. According to the Ars Technica article: 'If Judge Miles-LaGrange issues a ruling exonerating Tallie Stubbs of infringement, it would be a worrisome trend for the RIAA. The music industry has become accustomed to having its way with those it accuses of file-sharing, quietly dropping cases it believes it can't win. It looks as though the courts may be ready to stop the record labels from just walking away from litigation when it doesn't like the direction it is taking and give defendants justice by fully exonerating them of any wrongdoing.'"
The Internet

US Group Wants Canada Blacklisted Over Piracy 585

An anonymous reader writes "Following up on an earlier story, the IIAA wants to add Canada to a blacklist of the worst intellectual property offenders. A powerful coalition of U.S. software, movie and music producers is urging the Bush administration to put Canada on an infamous blacklist of intellectual property villains, alongside China, Russia and Belize. 'Canada's chronic failure to modernize its copyright regime has made it a global hub for bootleg movies, pirated software and tiny microchips that allow video-game users to bypass copyright protections', the International Intellectual Property Alliance complains in a submission to the U.S. government."

RIAA Says CDs Should Cost More 540

EatingSteak writes "The folks over at Techdirt just put up a great story today, with the RIAA claiming the cost of a CD has gone down significantly relative to the consumer price index. The RIAA 'Key Facts' page claims that based on the 1983 price of CDs, the 1996 price should have been $33.86. So naturally, you should feel like you're getting a bargain. Sounds an awful lot like the cable companies saying cable prices are really going down even though they're going up."
The Courts

Germany's RIAA Sues Rapidshare - YouTube Next? 144

Hermel writes "The GEMA (Germany's RIAA) obtained a temporary injunction against 'one-click-hoster' Rapidshare.com. If their lawsuit is successful, the GEMA intends to use it as a beachhead against their next targets, including Youtube and MySpace. From the article: 'According to GEMA, the service ... has at times boasted of making some 15 million files available to its users. The operator had however failed to obtain from GEMA a license for making copyright protected files available ... Through its injunctions the District Court in Cologne had now made it clear to the company that the fact that it was the users and not the operator of the services that uploaded the content onto the sites did not, from a legal point of view, lessen the operator's liability for copyright infringements that occurred within the context of the services, the spokesman added.'"

XM+MP3 Going to Trial 206

fistfullast33l writes "A federal judge has ruled that Music Companies can take XM Radio to trial over the XM+MP3 device that allows users to record songs off the Satellite Radio Company's network for playback later. The lawsuit, which was filed last year, asserts that XM is violating the Music publishers' sole distribution rights. From the article: 'XM has argued it is protected from infringement lawsuits by the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, which permits individuals to record music off the radio for private use. The judge said she did not believe the company was protected in this instance by the act.'"

RIAA Arrests Pro Artist for Making Mixtapes 426

Maximum Prophet writes "The RIAA is now going after mixtapes; specifically, the well-known mixtapes of rap artist DJ Drama. From the article: 'On Tuesday night he was arrested with Don Cannon, a protégé. The police, working with the Recording Industry Association of America, raided his office, at 147 Walker Street in Atlanta. The association makes no distinction between counterfeit CDs and unlicensed compilations like those that DJ Drama is known for.' The story goes on to say that many of the artists featured on the mixtapes would never have had the exposure and thus sales they had if DJ Drama had not featured them on a mix. Nowhere is a specific artist mentioned who claims to have been wronged by him. Additionally, the article states that mixtapes such as those made by DJ Drama are an accepted and integral part of rap music culture. His arrest is confusing on several levels."

IsoHunt Shut Down? 297

psic writes "One of the most popular torrent search sites, IsoHunt, was taken down on tuesday. The owners of the site say that the move came from their ISP without prior notice, though it is probably linked with the MPAA's lawsuit against various torrent search sites earlier this year. They plan on moving ISPs from the US to Canada, and say that moving the servers so someplace like Sweden or Sealand is not an option, as they put it: "BitTorrent was created for legitimate distribution of large media files, and we stand by that philosophy as a search engine and aggregator."" This is a story we've heard before with other sites, only serving to further demonstrate that playing wack a mole with torrent aggregators isn't the solution to anything.

Mandatory DRM for Podcasts Proposed 432

Knytefall writes "Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and two GOP senators are sponsoring a bill called the PERFORM Act that would require podcasts with music and satellite radio to be locked-up with music industry-approved DRM software. From the article: 'All audio services — Webcasters included — would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording.'"

YouTube's Content Identification Failure Raises Eyebrows 109

MSNBC is carrying a story looking at YouTube's failure to follow through with a promised 'content identification system' by the end of the year. The article goes on to discuss the possible impact this failure will have on the site's (so far) good relations with television, music, and movie studios. From the article: "If the delay lasts for more than a week or two into the new year, suggesting more than just a slight technical hitch, 'this is certainly going to be a serious issue', [Mike McGuire, a digital media analyst at Gartner] added. Leading music companies have already made clear they see completion of YouTube's anti-piracy technology as an important step in any closer co-operation. Failure to build adequate systems to protect copyright owners could also add to the risk of legal action against the site."

RIAA Goes for the Max Against AllofMP3 777

Spad writes "Zeropaid is reporting that as part of its ongoing lawsuit, the RIAA will be seeking the maximum of $150,000 per song for each of the 11 million MP3s downloaded from the Russian AllofMP3.com between June and October last year. This amounts to roughly $1.65 trillion, probably a tad more than AllofMP3 has made in its lifetime. A representative of AllofMP3 stated: 'AllofMP3 understands that several U.S. record label companies filed a lawsuit against Media Services in New York. This suit is unjustified as AllofMP3 does not operate in New York. Certainly the labels are free to file any suit they wish, despite knowing full well that AllofMP3 operates legally in Russia. In the mean time, AllofMP3 plans to continue to operate legally and comply with all Russian laws.'"
The Courts

RIAA Drops Suit Against Santangelo 190

VE3OGG writes "The RIAA, in an expected motion, has recently dismissed the case against Patti Santangelo, one of the most famous targets of the RIAA lawsuits. The mother of five was described by the judge presiding as an 'internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from kazoo.' While this is good news, the RIAA is still pursuing its case against two of Mrs. Santangelo's children. To make matters worse, the RIAA has also dismissed the case 'without prejudice', meaning that they could, in theory, take action against her again later on. The RIAA alleges that Santangelo's children downloaded and subsequently distributed more than 1,000 songs. The damages they seek are presently unknown"

RIAA Members Sue Allofmp3.com Over Infringement 323

fair_n_hite_451 writes "To the surprise of no one, several members of the RIAA have filed suit against MediaServices, the operators of Allofmp3.com. The suit was filed for Wednesday, primarily by Arista Records LLC, Warner Bros. Records Inc., Capitol Records Inc. and UMG Recordings. The language of the litigation was very confrontational; The companies claim the site sells millions of songs without paying them 'a dime'. 'The defendant's entire business ... amounts to nothing more than a massive infringement of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act and New York law.' AllofMp3 has always maintained that a Russian licensing group makes their business legitimate, while the RIAA here claims the organization has no authority to make such a deal."

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