The first South African Sports & Entertainment law blog

Friday, September 30, 2005

Update: Battle with the File -Sharing Software companies

What have happened accross the globe this year in the fight between the Content owners and the creators of file-Sharing software conveying infringed copyright material?

First, of course, was the June decision of the US Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster, which made software developers liable for infringement when they take "affirmative steps to foster infringement by third parties."
Then there was the European Commission’s proposed directive and framework decision in July, which would criminalize both direct copyright infringement and "attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting" such infringement; and
most recently, in Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd. v. Sharman License Holdings, Ltd., an Australian court ruled that Sharman Networks -- the owner and operator of the P2P file-sharing program Kazaa -- and its affiliates could be liable for copyright infringement because they:-
(i) knew that the sharing of copyrighted files was widespread throughout the Kazaa system;
(ii) refused to employ any technical measures that would curtail such sharing; and
(iii) actively encouraged users to increase their illegal file-sharing.
The decision is broadly consistent with Grokster, but may be go even further as the court seemed willing to accept rather less evidence of active encouragement of infringement on the part of Kazaa than was the case in Grokster.

Update: Battle with the File -Sharing Software companies

What have happened accross the globe this year in the fight between the Content owners and the creators of file-Sharing software conveying infringed copyright material?

First, of course, was the June decision of the US Supreme Court in MGM v. Grokster, which made software developers liable for infringement when they take "affirmative steps to foster infringement by third parties."
Then there was the European Commission’s proposed directive and framework decision in July, which would criminalize both direct copyright infringement and "attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting" such infringement; and
most recently, in Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd. v. Sharman License Holdings, Ltd., an Australian court ruled that Sharman Networks -- the owner and operator of the P2P file-sharing program Kazaa -- and its affiliates could be liable for copyright infringement because they:-
(i) knew that the sharing of copyrighted files was widespread throughout the Kazaa system;
(ii) refused to employ any technical measures that would curtail such sharing; and
(iii) actively encouraged users to increase their illegal file-sharing.
The decision is broadly consistent with Grokster, but may be go even further as the court seemed willing to accept rather less evidence of active encouragement of infringement on the part of Kazaa than was the case in Grokster.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Warner Music, MTV sign wireless video licensing deal

Warner Music Group Corp. said Monday it has licensed Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks to use its recording artists' music videos for creating wireless programming on mobile phones and other gadgets

China's largest search engine attempts mediation with music giants

China's biggest Internet search engine Baidu and seven global music giants agreed to enter into mediation on the first day of a high-profile copyright trial, state media said.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Media Counter

Some top entertainment companies are taking a new tack in dealing with knockoffs of movies, music and videogames in China: Instead of fighting to end piracy, they're working around the pirates.

Bronfman Fires Back at Apple

On Thursday, one of the music industry’s highest-profile executives responded publicly to Mr. Jobs’ charges, made earlier in the week, that they were “greedy” when they requested a price hike for downloaded songs.

Cingular to Launch Music Download Service in 2006

Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, plans this year to sell a "walkie-talkie" style phone and launch a service next year that will let users download music on their mobile phone, a senior executive said on Thursday.

Record labels tout program to disable swapping

The music and movie industries are giving people who have swapped songs and other copyrighted material over the Internet a new way to repent for their illicit ways.

Music sites caving to pressure from labels?

Popular file-sharing site WinMX.com ceased operating, and similar operations are under increasing pressure, in the continuing legal fallout among underworld peer-to-peer music services, industry sources and users said Wednesday.

First Lawsuits against Israeli file sharing sites

Lawyers of Israel's Entertainment Industry in a special interview for Nana Net-Life Magazine: “When we finish with the file-trading websites, we'll move on to the users

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rock band shows fans how to crack DRM

A rock musician has expressed anger at digital rights management (DRM) technology after hearing complaints from fans who are having difficulty importing his group's songs to programs like iTunes.

Hollywood studios unite in piracy battle

The six major Hollywood studios, hoping to gain more control over their technological destiny, have agreed to jointly finance a multimillion-dollar research laboratory to speed the development of new ways to foil movie pirates.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Napster president slams the ringtone rip-off

Napster president Brad Duea has criticised mobile operators that use the trend towards mobile music to exploit their customers.

Politicos call for music copyright reform

Legal music-download services won't be able to compete fully with their free- and illegal-download counterparts until copyright law changes, a Virginia congressman said Tuesday.

Family Entertainment Act yields its first prosecution

Not long ago, President Bush signed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 into law. One part of that law, known as the Artists' Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005, criminalizes the use of recording equipment to copy movies playing in theaters.

Blockbuster Probing Online Video-On-Demand

Movie-rental giant Blockbuster Inc. continues to take small steps toward a rollout of online video-on-demand in the United Kingdom while rival Netflix Inc. plans a small-scale test in the United States this year.

Baidu sued over music downloads

The world's biggest music companies are suing Baidu, the mainland search engine that captivated Wall Street investors, for copyright infringement in a move that could force the company to shut down its MP3 search engine, a key to the company's popularity among young Chinese Internet users.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Recording, movie groups join Internet2

The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America will join the Internet2 network coalition, Internet2 officials announced Friday.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Day the music died

SHARMAN Networks chief executive Nikki Hemming wasn't in court to see the music industry deliver its body blow to file sharing, but there's no doubt Justice Wilcox's ruling on the Kazaa peer-to-peer network is a major win for the big record companies.

RIAA sues 754 more file swappers

The recording industry on Wednesday filed its latest round of copyright infringement lawsuits, targeting 754 people it claims used online file-sharing networks to illegally trade in songs. The lawsuits were filed in federal district courts across the country, including California, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The world's major record labels, represented by the Recording Industry Association of America,
have filed more than 14,000 such lawsuits since September 2003.

Monday, September 05, 2005

HMV and Microsoft unite in challenge to iPod

HMV has teamed up with Microsoft to combat Apple's dominance of the digital music download market, launching its own service to bring downloads to the mainstream music buyer.