The RIAA and its captive collecting society Soundexchange are illegally lobbying for higher royalties from Internet streaming (despite the fact that companies like Pandora already give virtually all the money they take in to the labels), claiming that they're standing up for older artists. But, as Mike Masnick comprehensively establishes, these older artists have been impoverished by the RIAA, who "left them to rot" through abusive contracts, crooked accounting, and out-and-out theft. Read the rest
Remember The Beastles, the amazing Beastie Boys/Beatles mashup? Hope you got a copy on your hard-drive because the RIAA's gone on a totally predictable jihad against a piece of delightful, noncommercial creativity.
Tim sez, "RIAA and Universal are pulling dj BC's Beastles across the web. Radio Clash has gotten a nastygram from the RIAA, Mega has pulled a mirror and also the Soundcloud has been disabled. In fact on his Facebook page, dj BC has announced pulling down the links tonight! It's amazing that in this day and age that a non-commercial fair-use project is still being stomped on by the blue meanies. Looking to see how I should respond...but also looking for a new host in Russia, although how that is better post-PRISM I'm not sure :-/"
Sorry, Tim, Russia just passed its own SOPA on steroids.
Cease and Desist Mark 2: Beastles gets pulled by the blue meanies Read the rest
In the UK, the movie industry's lobby group gets to requisition huge numbers of police officers to raid peoples' houses, solely on their say-so. Here's the story of one man who was raided by ten cops, who arrived in five cars, along with representatives from FACT (the horribly named Federation Against Copyright Theft). The FACT agents directed the arrest of a 24-year-old man, along with the seizure of all his computers and storage media, on the basis of an "emergency" search-warrant. The FACT agents conducted the bulk of his questioning at the police station, with the cops acting as stenographers. When the man was bailed, the bail sheet specified that he had been arrested for a "miscellaneous offense." He has been banned from entering any cinemas in England or Wales as a condition of bail.
As TorrentFreak notes, FACT offers cash bounties to cinema workers who disrupt people thought to be "cammers" who are recording movies in cinemas. They paid more than a dozen such bounties last year, but did not have a single successful prosecution.
Read the rest
“This morning I was arrested at my home under suspicion of recording and distributing Fast and Furious 6 and a few other titles,” the arrested man told TorrentFreak.
MpAfter seizing numerous items including three servers, a desktop computer, blank hard drives and blank media, police detained the 24-year-old and transported him to a nearby police station. Despite the ‘emergency’ nature of the raid, no movie recording equipment was found.
“At the police station I was interviewed by the police together with FACT (Federation Against Copyright and Theft).
Michael Geist sez,
Earlier this year, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) - Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada - settled the largest copyright class action lawsuit in Canadian history by agreeing to pay over $50 million to compensate for hundreds of thousands of infringing uses of sound recordings. While the record labels did not admit liability, the massive settlement spoke for itself.
The Canadian case has now settled, but Universal Music has filed its own lawsuit, this time against its insurer, who it expects to pay for the costs of the settlement. National Union Fire Insurance Company has refused, understandably taking the position that the liability reflects Universal Music's own use of copyright works for which it promised to set aside money for future payment.
Universal Music Sues Insurer To Pay For Its Copyright Infringement Read the rest