Wednesday, August 24, 2011

EMI v MP3 tunes

Press reports suggest that MP3 scored a victory in this case but reading the Memorandum & Order of William H. Pauley III it appears more of a draw.

Essentially EMI were seeking to prevent MP3 tunes being able to rely on the safe harbor provisions of the DCMA in respect of MP3 tunes and the associated Sideload.com. In the judgement safe harbor was granted in a general sense but "MP3 tunes does not qualify for safe harbor protection for songs sideloaded from links identified in....takedown notices which it failed to remove from user lockers."

An interesting distinction was also drawn between downloaders who would not be able to tell if material was infringing or not and those who upload material for others to listen / view. "There is a difference between users who know they lack authorisation and nevertheless upload content to the internet for the world to experience or copy, and users who download content for their personal use and are otherwise oblivious to the copyrights of others. The former are blantant infringers that internet service providers are obligated to ban from their websites."

When the Digital Economy Act is re-booted this would be a very useful distinction to include.

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