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Universal Music Sues MySpace.com
and so it begins...

 12:35 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

"The Web site also "encourages, facilitates and participates in the unauthorized reproduction, adaptation, distribution and public performance," according to the suit.

In the complaint, Universal singles out features on the Web site that enable users to save copies of videos to their profile pages or share them with others on the site."



 10:49 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Bill, G and Y also "hosts tons of information they don't own." And, like YouTube and MySpace, it's free for anyone to use.

Why get upset with MySpace and not the search engines?

Universal Music's business model is threatened by technology. Newspapers and TV stations are likewise seeing a problem. But, that doesn't make it illegal or unethical.


 12:02 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

(Google and Yahoo don't host information they don't own; they host links to, and precis of, other people's information. And 99.999999999% of webmasters are very glad of it.)

If you pass on pirated material knowingly, you are an accomplice to an illegal act. In fact, ignorance is no defence in law, either.

I'm quite sure all the people viewing and distributing pirated material _know_ it's unlawful, but try to justify what they do with various weak arguments, to pacify their conscience.

Yeah, let's get the 'piracy is ok' advocates up in front of an audience of parents, family, peers, artists and legal officials, and let them justify their bootleg collections.

Get 'em on a nationwide talkshow, and let's see how their careers go after that.

Go Universal, KILL, I say!

Then the rest. Oh yes, your time is at hand.


 8:33 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Universal Music's business model is threatened by technology. Newspapers and TV stations are likewise seeing a problem.

I agree. You can not stop technology advance. Those that do not understand this or can not change go to the oblivion.

If you feel you're famous, you should worry if you're not pirated. Because people that pirate your artwork they made / make you famous. This is extremely valid for the showbiz world.

The classic example is Windows OS. Windows is the most pirated product but Gates is the richest person on Earth. MS knows if they press too much developing world would switch to Linux.

Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion. - Mark Twain


 9:00 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you people really believe the artists will see a penny of the money if universal sue myspace and win? If I was an artist I would be pissed at universal for stopping a promotional medium. If someone can sticky me a link to myspace pages that allow full album downloads I will change my mind.

Or maybe I don't get it as I don't use myspace. but is this more than about some people streaming a favorite song of a band in their profile?


 9:42 am on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

> If I was an artist I would be pissed at universal for stopping a promotional medium.

Well that's fine, artists can decide not to sign with labels these days and promote themselves directly over U-Tube, press their own DVDs, make their own marketing stuff on Cafepress. Some have done so but those that have taken the Universal $ don't have cause to complain.

Regarding the poster above complaining that search engines are pirating their websites, just stick a line into your robots.txt and you have no more problem. With MySpace, YouTube etc the process is much more complex, you send a takedown letter, the material gets removed, someone uploads another copy, repeat ad-infinitum. It is like chopping heads of a hydra.


 3:42 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Point taken, Davidof.

Really, this is a contract issue, not a copyright issue. Users of Windows or U2 or the new James Bond movie should agree not to distribute, copy, etc., the works. Those who do are in breach of contract. That is stealing. And, copyright does play a role.

But, it's not mySpace's problem anymore than it is the problem of those who make blank CDs or recording devices. It is the people who are distributing their works freely and not maintaining control and the crooks who are taking advantage of it.

I think Universal understands this and is working on it--I bet the lawsuit is mostly a public relations tool to make 13-year-olds more wary and to establish the need for some additional law perhaps.


 10:09 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

it's not mySpace's problem


That would be like saying that it's not the web hosts problem, which the DMCA plainly states you only have safe harbor, meaning you can avoid liability, if you act responsibly and timely in regards to copyright violations. If you're aware of the problem and ignore it the safe harbor clause is out the window and they should brace for the emptying of the bank account procedure about to happen.

MySpace could easily implement technology to scan their sites looking for potential copyright infringements, such as images with Digimarks, evaluate pages that match the criteria, and take action.

Unfortunately, they took the path of least resistance which was the Ostrich approach of stuffing their heads in the sand and pretending it doesn't exist. Well, the problem is that approach doesn't work long as someone was bound to notice and now the legal teams are all fired up and ready to rock.

They should quickly register MyEmptyBankAccountSpace and relaunch after the lawyers are done.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 10:11 pm (utc) on Nov. 19, 2006]


 2:39 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it's good universal is going after myspace. Pictures from my site are CONSTANTLY being stolen and posted all over myspace. What kills me is these people don't even necessarily take the picture from the site they just steal the link and my bandwidth! Most of the time I'll just replace the pic with some kind o pic that states "I'm a!#$@#! thief who steals pages from mysite.com".

I don't particularly like universal b/c my site(as well as many others in my industry) was the target of a suit a few years back from Universal Studios but anything that gets rid of dirty thieves is good news for honest webmasters.


 5:49 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

What's the big deal, I thought the whole point about web 2.0 was making money off of other people's content....or maybe it was just about making web sites that look like they were made in 1995, I forget.

Anyway, I'm all for Myspace and Youtube but copyright laws have to be protected. Some people argure the added exposure is payment enough, well just becuase there is one positive side effect to copyright violation does not make it legal.

As someone who has actually had material stolen from them and seen those people make money directly from my work, it is infuriating to a point I can't even describe. You get so hot, I mean literally you feel the temperature of your skin rise when you realize other lazy f*cks are making money off of your work.

If you want, check out the clip from The Colbert Report about YouTube and "free fuel". If you missed the episode on Comedy Central, just check out the pirated clip on YouTube...LOL!

too much information

 5:59 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've noticed quite a few comments on YouTube lately asking what song was used in the video. I was wondering if that was going to lead to something like this.

Anyone notice the same type of questions posted on MySpace in the past?

Oliver Henniges

 12:59 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

The music industry has already started thousands of lawsuits against ordinary people: I'm myself affected by one of these, because I did not realize one of my sons had installed a filesharing client.

Actually I'm quite happy that this issue is now brought to a broader level, since most of the judges don't have clue about the technical background. Particularly the difficulties people like me have, to make the router safe without wiping out the baby with the bathwater and excluding one's children from access to the internet at all.

Threatened so much by modern technology, copy right and intellectual property have to be defined completely new, sooner or later.

I'd speculate Pythagoras would be rolling on the floor laughing if someone claimed intellectual property on his famous sentence. Music and light (films) have a similar epistemological status, they are nothing but frequencies, an inverted ratio of the mere time-scale. Very, very close to the Platonic "ideas" and universally valid. This is the reason why they can so easily be represented and copied by a Turing-machine.

The internet is the first technical basis by means of which this planet is beginning to THINK by itself very physically; it WANTS to store any available data on as many harddrives as possible; this resembles the holistic functionality of the human right brain-hemisphere and plays an important role in preventing it from informational losses by using redundant forms of storage. You may call this view esoteric, but I am scientist enough to elaborate it on PhD level if I had the time.

Such a perspective, however, has a different rhythm than quarter-reports. Historically, the copy-right as we know it today has come up with capitalism and I am absoluetly sure its going to vanish with it in a few decades. The only question is: How can we organize transition?

I am very much appreciative of any artist seeing his income melt away, but his situation is not far away from any of the million unemployed, who lost their jobs, because a machine could do better. As David Byrne once put it:

The future is certain, give us time (and money) to work it out.


 2:08 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

"it's not mySpace's problem anymore than it is the problem of those who make blank CDs or recording devices." - weeks

That was the Napster arguement that didnt hold up.

Bernard Marx

 3:18 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very, very close to the Platonic "ideas" and universally valid.

You won't be surprised to learn that this was how the subject was viewed in Europe until very recently (historically speaking). A work was owned not by the creator, but The Creator.

However, given the circumstances today, I still can't help thinking that, if we expect music (etc) to be free in the future, it's likely that it will be either (A) Pop sponsored by Big Business, or (B) Noodly electronica from suburban bedrooms.

A golden age for Platonic metaphysics perhaps, but probably not for Art.

[edited by: Bernard_Marx at 3:19 pm (utc) on Nov. 20, 2006]


 8:16 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Historically, the copy-right as we know it today has come up with capitalism and I am absoluetly sure its going to vanish with it in a few decades

Oliver, as much as I agree scientifically with your post, capitalism is going nowhere anytime soon.

Unless it turns into a corporate oligarchy. Then Cyberdyne will release Skynet and we're all screwed anyway :)


 1:09 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think it's hilarious and hope Universal sucks every bit it can out of MySpace. I get sick of every 'Jack Mehoff' and lazy jerk that rips photos off of my site and sucks my bandwidth. About time!


 2:27 am on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Historically, the copy-right as we know it today has come up with capitalism and I am absoluetly sure its going to vanish with it in a few decades. The only question is: How can we organize transition?

don't worry about the transition; it will not happen. If you want to write songs, create art works, software programs, discover new medicines and allow anyone else to use them for free, go right ahead.

Oliver Henniges

 4:08 pm on Nov 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

this was how the subject was viewed in Europe until very recently (historically speaking). A work was owned not by the creator, but The Creator.

Yes, that is what I meant. The holy spirit at work. Platon called it "ideas." I'm always wondering how someone may call himself an artist without seeking any form of communication with this spiritual basis of any culture. And IF (WHILE) he does, he won't give a damn on his intellectual property, because he knows his "ownership" very, very ambiguous. This is the reason why artists have begun to employ managers and lawyers. The creative process itself is almost incompatible with the capitalist exploitation of its results.

In contrast, the process of placing boygroups or all this bull#*$! in the charts by bribing the radio stations definitely wouldn't have been called ARTS by the ancient greek; they would have subsummed it in the sphere of "technae": these marketing coups rather more resemble planning and building a skyscraper, than a really creative process. I cannot tell about present "state of the art" in the visual arts like photography, painting or sculptures, but I assume similar developments are at work there now, or emerging. I also don't know about they way the cultural industry is organized in the states, but in my country many of the classic orchestras would have to close down, if they weren't paid by the government any more, which really would be a pity. This is the way music has been made and paid for many many centuries; what we experienced after the invention of the grammophone is only an eye-glimps for an historian.

> if we expect music (etc) to be free in the future, it's likely that ...

not necessarily. Look at (listen to) the arctic monkees, the first "open source band" so to speak. I don't like their music very much, actually, but the way they became famous without the music industry, is quite interesting.

> capitalism is going nowhere anytime soon.

I'd really be surprised if the aera "beyond petroleum" wasn't also an aera "beyond capitalism" as we know it today. Because of China's current rise, the media are talking of timespans of TWO decades now. Normally I try to avoid to drive threads so much OT, but I think some of these lawsuits won't be finished before your record-players say "nope" due to lack of electricity. But even if this central energy question comes to a surprising solution by breakthroughs in research on nuclear fusion or importing methan planetoids with a space elevator made of carbon-nano-chains:

I wouldn't pay a penny for stocks of the music industry, their decline simply follows the laws of the market: Music from the garage legally uploaded to myspace or youtube is cheaper and it is better. Donate if you like it, and tell your friend about it. As Johnny Rotten once put it:

"That was the only reason, we all had to say goodbye..." (to the music industry)


 10:23 pm on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is a little off topic from the original post but it is being discussed here and I have a question.

It has been said that if I take a photo of something then that is my content and I can copyright it.

How does that work though if I take a picture of something that has a copyright on it? Additionally wouldn't taking a picture of a picture in effect be "copying" the original picture? I am curious as to how that works. Would I be in violation of copyright law if I took a picture of a copyrighten image?

The reason I ask is I recently took a bunch of video that I have on DVD of some sporting events that originally aired on Pay-Per-View. I subsequently purchased the DVDs. Later I decided I wanted to make a highlight video of one of the participants in the sporting DVD. So I loaded up my video software and did a capture of the DVD. I then spliced up the exciting parts that I liked, took out the track and added my own music to it and in fact removed all audio from the original leaving only my own.

I would consider the final product to bee my original content, just as if I had taking a picture of something. I uploaded the video to YouTube for feedback and got lots of good some bad, but then I got an email from YouTube saying they received a DMCA complaint from the company that puts out the DVDs and is the promoter of the event and so they removed my video.

I understand why YouTube would do this, they need to air on the side of caution 100 times out of 100. But did I really violate copyright law?


 10:42 pm on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)



 11:05 pm on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok.... but why?

How is recapturing video and altering it to create a completely new video/content different then taking a picture of something to create a new picture/content?

Was Andy Warhol in copyright violation for his Campbell's soup art?

I am really asking because it seems like people always say that when someone takes a photograph that that photo is now their original content. I am wondering why it is different with video.

reason for edit: speeling

[edited by: Demaestro at 11:08 pm (utc) on Nov. 23, 2006]


 11:30 pm on Nov 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

this may take a while to deal with..due to ..

a) I got other stuff to do..
b) time zones?
c) sometimes the hooves get stuck on the way down
d) flashbacks
e) playin' to the gallery
f) relativity
g) mythical nordic elmemental hierarchical games?
h) ..actually I censored myself there ..must be getting soft ..

dont worry ..even if it takes a while to help you towards the light ..never could resist the the clippety clop ..

see M ..there are indeed "the stratless" amonst us ..


 12:31 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

BTW ..doubtless many other people are going to roll right over you and point out the errors that exist in your synaptic pathways ..and normally road kill isn't on my diet ..but if you are still layin' on the bridge and twitchin' later ..who knows ..maybe..



 7:15 am on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am asking a sincere question and you are insulting me, I think you are quite rude. Have a nice day and I hope you amused yourself with your post.

I am not saying I did or didn't do anything wrong. I am asking if I did and if so why.

[edited by: Demaestro at 7:17 am (utc) on Nov. 24, 2006]


 12:40 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

you are asking the latest in a series of questions from yourself on these boards which involve how can you use someone elses images / text / whatever ...whether moving or not and by tweaking them claim them as your own ..and why it appears ( to you ) that others can and are doing it and how you could get free content / traffic and or money from doing what you think you see them doing ..

you appear to be searching for our approval of your doing it ..and our help in refining your methods ..your time spent in devising these schemes would be much better spent creating your own stuff ..

and Warhol didnt use someone elses photos for the soup series ..as his starting point ..

it is always better to start from facts before attempting to extrapolate towards a predetermined self desired self justifying conclusion ..

if you cant get this ..you are likely to become some copyright reptiles road kill..

and I like a clean bridge .;-)


 5:48 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

> if you cant get this ..you are likely to become some copyright reptiles road kill..

I've suspected that Demaestro is a lawsuit-in-waiting for some time now - the YouTube DMCA pulldown is no surprise - and that s/he will only learn some of the finer points of copyright law in a courtroom as a defendant.

Demaestro does have a point though, Leosghost. You can be a bit, um, "overwhelming" at times. I still recall when we dropped drawers to see who's bigger... ;)


 8:16 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trust me Leo I am not asking for approval I am asking for explanations and opinion. In case you were unaware that is one of the purposes of a forum.

I have asked many questions and have been a part of many discussions which do involve this topic yes. That doesn't make my latest question any less sincere.

I unlike yourself am trying to learn more then I already know and further my understanding on topics. I can tell you that based on my previous discussions on this forum on this topic I have changed my view point considerably from where it was the first time I involved myself in these discussions.

If you don't want to answer my questions then fine but your insults are unnecessary. I only ask, because I strive to learn more. I actually use these boards to learn rather then show off what I already know. So when I ask a question I do so in order to further my own knowledge, not to be insulted.

I am not attempting to extrapolate a predetermined self desired self justifying conclusion. I am not looking for someone to tell me I am right. I am asking if I am wrong and if so why. If me trying to further my knowledge on this subject is somehow offensive to you then just go away and spare me the down talking.

You are trying to deduce why I am asking the question as if I have some hidden agenda outside of me actually just wanting the answer. Perhaps I should attempt to deduce why someone would get so emotionally invested in my queries. What is it in your little mind that causes you to troll posts and flame users rather then addressing the post itself. Maybe negative attention is better then none at all and you are just a sad lonely little person who wants someone to talk to.

If you think I am just making this up or something why not go to YouTube and search for a user named Demaestro, then go to my uploaded videos and you will see the video that I am talking about. Well you will see it's details and that it was pulled.

At any rate my question is still unanswered but the flames have begun.

So am I to take it that no matter what I do with that video I can not turn it into an original work by myself? Is it not possible for me to make my own highlight reel that is not in violation of copyright law?

I am seriously asking. If you don't want to answer then fine, but stop with the high and mighty attitude. Maybe I will check back tomorrow and see if someone can assemble an intelligent response that actually addresses my question. You don't seem capable of that.

[edited by: Demaestro at 8:37 pm (utc) on Nov. 24, 2006]


 8:34 pm on Nov 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've suspected that Demaestro is a lawsuit-in-waiting for some time now - the YouTube DMCA pulldown is no surprise - and that s/he will only learn some of the finer points of copyright law in a courtroom as a defendant.

I wasn't surprised either, like I stated originally, YouTube has to air on the side of caution, they won't go to bat for me.

I think that you all have a very one sided view on this topic, the fact that I am seen as some kind of copyright cowboy is somewhat funny to me. I had a view point on this subject originally but I have learned A LOT from discussions on this site and on others and my view point has changed considerably. But I still feel that I should have more use of things I purchase and that this old business model on content ownership needs to be revisited on a huge scale.

Trust me if I am ever a defendant it will after having researched my position before picking any battle and I will truly feel that I am within my rights. But 4 years and 30+ websites later not a DMCA filing to my name, minus the YouTube video.


 8:27 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

The fact that you already put up your video and then had it pulled proves my point ..as to helping you or anyone else do something dumb ..no thats not what fora are for ..it's been explained many many times by many people ..to you why you cant do what you want to ..and you keep coming back with different ideas and asking for specific advice .

Each time it's "hey what about this way"?

What is glaringly obvious from all this is that you are not what one might call a person who lives by the fruits of their own creativity ..hence all your questions boil down to .."if it take something that belongs to someone ..how much paint to I have to slap on it to be able to make it mine" ..and you are convinced that everyone does this ( hence your totally unresearched question which assumed that Warhol used someone elses picture for the soup series ..they were his pics ..taken for that precise purpose ) ..

Wether you like the way I reply to your question is immaterial ..mostly the replies from people here are also for the benefit of those visitors or lurkers ..most of whom catch on a great deal faster than you do ..

You think it seems like I'm talking down to you ..show me some brains and ethics and that might change ..for the moment you are just whining that it aint fair cos you cant steal someone elses work ..and you keep trying to think of new ways to do it ..

Any replies or comments that your posts may bring may serve to stop those who are brighter than you from trying the same ..from time to time in the top right of the pages here it says something about trying to make the web a better place ..one webmaster at a time ..you dont like how some of us do that is your problem ..but it never has said ..and I dont think it ever will say ..

"get your answers here for how to rip off others content"

like balam says ..you are a lawsuit waiting to happen ..when they took down your video they ( the owners of the original ) could've also come after you ..they still might :) ..the wheels just missed you ..most lil' animals that had a close one playing on the road like that would think twice ..

you keep asking for tips on how to play chicken ..

balam ..do they have Darwin awards in the copyright world?..I think I spot a contender


 8:34 am on Nov 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Trust me if I am ever a defendant it will after having researched my position before picking any battle

BTW ..you need to look up the meaning of defendant..one doesnt get to choose when where and how to be a defendant ..it's what happens when someones lawyer ( copyright lawyer for instance ) or the prosecutor decides you would look good on toast ..

the first you'll know about being a defendant is when the court or someone else will tell you that you are ..you dont get to choose :)


 12:06 am on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

> some kind of copyright cowboy

> I think I spot a contender

Demaestro, did you seek (written) permission from Island Records (whose parent is - wait for it - Universal) before overdubbing the audio on the (surely copyrighted) "Gono" clip you posted on YouTube? Did you seek (written) permission from the original broadcaster of the video?

If you did seek and did receive permission for both the audio & video, then fantastic!, you're in the clear. If you sought permission for both and received permission for only one, then the respective owner has granted you permission to use their intellectual property, be it the audio or video.

If you did not seek permission, or did but it was not granted (for either or both the audio & video), then you have broken the law when you made the "new" clip publicly available (via YouTube upload or other means).

Now, IANAL - I just like to play one on the 'Net - but grabbing a few CDs, I see statements on the cases like "Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws", "For public performance under license only," and "All rights reserved."

On DVDs - the closest items I have to sports broadcasts - I see "Licensed for private home viewing only. Any other use prohibited."

I seem to recall that (primarily live) sports broadcasts end with a statement to the effect of, "The preceding broadcast is copyright 2006, Widget Broadcasting. All rights are reserved. Retransmission, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of Widget Broadcasting, is a violation of applicable laws and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent."

If you want to overdub the audio, compile your own highlight reel or whatever, you are welcome to, so long as it is done only for your personal enjoyment and in the privacy of your own home. It's when you make your new clip publicly available that you run afoul of copyright law.

May I suggest a visit to a lawyer who works in the Intellectual Property field? Tell them you want to know your rights in creating "derivative works."


 5:22 pm on Nov 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

balam.... Thanks.

I did seek permission for the audio. Of course I heard nothing back.

I did create the videos for my own enjoyment and decided to post them just because I could. I guess I thought that since it was something that I had created that it would be ok, kind of like taking a bunch of magazine photos and putting them together to make a collage. Apparently not.

So what is the issue with doing such highlight videos from sporting events? Is it just that they are concerned about me affecting the market of the original work?

For IANAL, I too read the same things on my CD but I don't know what would constitute "Unauthorized duplication", Is putting music I bought to a video really "Unauthorized duplication". I know some hate my lines of comparison but I wonder if I would be in the same violation if I posted a first dance wedding video. Would the track they were dancing too need to be approved for use before I could post a wedding video?

I am not sure you can even answer that but from what I take from this and other discussions is that as long as I don't put it out to the masses then it is fine? Seems a little strange though that someone would need permissions for the audio track to post their wedding dance on YouTube. But that is copyright law, I think a lot of time logic doesn't come into play.


[edited by: lawman at 6:47 pm (utc) on Nov. 27, 2006]

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