Thursday, November 18, 2010

EMI, MP3Tunes in copyright fight over "digital lockers"; an issue for owners of music collections?; more on Righthaven and DMCA

Back in early 2008, music giant EMI (known to classical music lovers for Angel records, which used to be a label of "quiet sophistication" according to a 60's era friend) sued an innovative company MP3Tunes, which allows Internet users to store their music files “in the Cloud” in “digital lockers”, reminding one of high school hallways, perhaps. EMI claimed copyright infringement, since EMI claims it has the right to control how its music is distributed. MP3Tunes argues that acting as an “extra space” or secure storage facility doesn’t imply a different form of overship.

There was an explanation of this case placed in Exchange Magazine in March 2008 by Ryan Radia, link here.

Erick Schonfeld documented that defendant Michael Robertson had won an early round, in TechCrunch, here.  Robertson wrote about the case in his own blog here.

Remote music storage could be important for other reasons: preservation. We’re finding out that CD’s and DVD’s are not immune to damage or deterioration over many years, and music collectors may want to store their collections in password protected lockers in the Cloud.

Electronic Frontier Foundation recently posted an amicus brief in the case, pdf here  where it argues that EMI is undermining the Safer Harbor provision of the DMCA, already controversial recently because Righthaven has found a way to circumvent it for some defendants.

This may be a good place to note progress in Righthaven, where there was a lull in early November but a spate of cases yesterday, bringing the total to 175. See the “Righthaven victims” link given here September 8, 2010, where the site notes that a defendant Robert Zumbrunnen has countersued, who says he will not give in to shakedowns despite his modest means. Righthaven is trying to back out of its suit against the Democratic Underground because of a countersuit by EFF; the Las Vegas Sun has a copy of Righthaven’s motion (PDF) here.

No comments: