Universal Music asks insurer to pay its part of $50M copyright infringement settlement

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

Ousted EMI boss: pirates are our best customers, suing is bad for business

Douglas C Merrill, who left his job as Google's CIO to be EMI's Chief Operating Officer of New Music and President of Digital Business has given a speech in which he claims that EMI's own research confirmed that P2P music downloaders were the label's best customers. Merrill, who was one of many tech executives to be recruited by EMI in recent years (one friend of mine left after a few months, visibly shaken, claiming that it was impossible to get the business to see reason), was keynoting the CA Expo in Sydney when he said that LimeWire users were the biggest iTunes customers, and that the record industry's strategy of suing downloaders "is like trying to sell soap by throwing dirt on your customers."

“For example, there’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time. I don’t know,” Merrill said.

“Obviously, there is piracy that is quite destructive but again I think the data shows that in some cases file sharing might be okay. What we need to do is understand when is it good, when it is not good…Suing fans doesn’t feel like a winning strategy,” he concluded.

Former Google CIO: LimeWire Pirates Were iTunes’ Best Customers

(Image: Dowload this song., a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from freeflyer09's photostream) Read the rest