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




msg:3160437
 12:35 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

[biz.yahoo.com...]
"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."

 

weeks




msg:3160485
 2:20 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I remember in the early days of the web, one wag noted that several business models were set up where the channel was a player in the action. "Warren Buffet makes a phone call to sell 1000 shares of stock for $1 million and hangs up. The phone rings and the phone company is on the line saying, "You owe us $100,000 on that transaction."

It doesn't work that way.

Why doesn't Universal sue the ISPs? Or the computer makers (that's a better example) that makes the technology available. (This was tried with audio tape, I believe.)

If the makers of audio tape put ads on their boxes, that wouldn't change the model.

Universal has no case.

EliteWeb




msg:3160487
 2:26 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Universal also said anyone who doesnt own a Microsoft Zune is stealing their music. :P Sounds like they are hard up for some money again.

Hollywood




msg:3160488
 2:27 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole music industry = a bunch of *&^% cry babies, RIAA included, they like making news and trying anything to avoid the model that is ripping them apart; adapt or get lost.

Come on, be real, no chance, I agree, just a bunch of CRY BABIES IMO.

Hollywood

gibbergibber




msg:3160493
 2:33 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

--Why doesn't Universal sue the ISPs? Or the computer makers (that's a better example) that makes the technology available. (This was tried with audio tape, I believe.)--

Because ISPs and computer makers don't make a direct profit from the copyright theft, i.e. they don't make any money from advertising carried alongside the transmission of pirated videos.

Saying YouTube isn't responsible for pirated material it hosts and transmits is like saying NBC woudn't be responsible if it started showing pirated episodes of the Simpsons because a viewer sent them in a tape of the series.

Being able to freely watch pirated material is the reason the vast majority of people visit YouTube, all that guff about sharing home-made video is irrelevant to most of the site's visitors.

hunderdown




msg:3160524
 3:33 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great points, gg, only it's MySpace that's being sued, not YouTube.

karmov




msg:3160552
 4:46 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, myspace is a bizarre target... It's not the first place I think of when I think of places to recoupe moneys on the basis of copyright infringement... Not by a long shot.

All the other wells have dried up perhaps?

walkman




msg:3160582
 5:21 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> All the other wells have dried up perhaps?

Water is a very valuable resource and it doesn't go bad. Drink all you can, while you can ;)

Plus, their lawyers might think that Myspace is an easier case to make. When they win that, they will be in a better position for the rest. Of course no money needs to change hands; free advertising or revenue sharing will do, but Universal will have an advantage in negotiation.

Personally I don't see how Fox will fight this till the end, after a while they will offer a settlement that limits their downside.

EliteWeb




msg:3160606
 5:45 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

gg, one could argue that they are providing bandwidth, the same bandwidth they advertise people watching music videos online and other things without waiting! :D

Clark




msg:3160611
 5:58 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Read Mark Cuban's blog to know why youtube isn't being sued...allegedly...if the anonymous post is to be believed.

Chico_Loco




msg:3160617
 6:11 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's easy to think that the music industry are cry babies, particularly when it's viewed from the average users perspective, since it's the average user that has the content (MP3 downloads via. P2P, clips on MySpace & YouTube etc..) available to them for viewing for free.

Realistically however, they do have a legal & corporate responsibilty to protect their copyrighted titles and their artists. Most of us don't like that fact (myself included), but that is how US entities and copyright law work.

I'm not sure how well MySpace facilitate removal requests from those whose copyright holdings have been infringed, but if your a large company with many titles that are being infringed upon, the logical course of action is to sue and not have a dedicated team towards making removal requests. It just has to be done, simple as that.

The train of thought here is quite simple:

1) People visit MySpace in part because there is a lot media on there (much of which is copyrighted).

2) That traffic generates revenue ($900 mil w/ Google alone).

3) Because that copyrighted material is a driver of traffic (if only partial), then the copyright holders want a royalty. Simple as that - and they are entitled to it!

Of course, on top of that, they can still sue because of lost revenue.

I'm not a lawyer or anything, and I know dick about copyright law, but it would seem quite obvious to me that MySpace are indeed infringing copyright laws are should be subject to penalties.

If Google put ads on YouTube, then they should expect the very same nightmare to come true for them. C'mon - really - how many videos on there are very obviously ripped from copyrighted places? The lack of revenue sources is the only reason that they haven't been sued yet!

Compworld




msg:3160675
 7:05 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If that happens, Google's stock will get hit hard.

Chico_Loco




msg:3160685
 7:21 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google have been pretty good about these things though. We know that they'll do video ads on YouTube, but I'm sure they have a pretty clad way of either doing a revenue share with copyright holders, or some other way out.

wildbest




msg:3160693
 7:32 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because ISPs and computer makers don't make a direct profit from the copyright theft, i.e. they don't make any money from advertising carried alongside the transmission of pirated videos.

They do, gibbergibber! For instance, looking at my screen showing pirated videos I'm also able to see the brand of my monitor - Samsung SyncMaster. Go get them too?

percentages




msg:3160700
 7:41 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole copyright law thing needs to be addressed, in the USA especially. It is getting out of hand with the help of unemployed lawyers!

If I can copyright a video, why can't I copyright my face? If I can copyright a photo of my face, why can't I sue anyone who publishes an image of me?

How exactly is educational and "for profit" defined?

All search engines make money, and they show copyrighted images, so they all must be guilty under the current "dumb-ass" law the USA has!

Universal can pick on MySpace.com today, (bad choice IMHO), it could have picked on many others instead. But, someone can most likely pick on you tomorrow......

The only thing clear here is that the current law is an ass and needs a lot of refinement!

Chico_Loco




msg:3160722
 8:14 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Percentages,

All of your questions have some degree of validity. Again, I'm not a lawyer of any kind, but in the hopes of getting a valid rebuttal, I will offer my opinions.

You can't copyright your face because it is something that is exposed in the "public domain" on a daily or regular basis e.g. I could take a picture of you as you walk down the street. If a photographer took a photo of your face, then he/she could copyright that particular picture because he/she took the initiative to create it, thus they retain the right to copy/redistribute it. This is the basis on which the “paparazzi” operate. You can't claim rights ("copyrights") to human beings, only particular instances thereof!

Determining "educational" and "for profit" is more complex, from what I understand. Some of the things that they would look at to determine the answer is: a) was it issued by a college / government funded or educational institution, b) do they generate an income from commercial sources (ads etc...).

As for search engines... well, most of us on here would agree that they are indeed engaging in copyright infringement, however there is something called "fair use" in copyright law, which means that a thumbnail or small portion of the image can be used so long as a link to the originating website is provided. Google News is a good example of such. The image links to the location from which the image was taken, yet the title links elsewhere.

Copyright people – please share your input!

[edited by: Chico_Loco at 8:18 am (utc) on Nov. 18, 2006]

jason77




msg:3160746
 9:10 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, it is the same as on tv. An tv is an old business.....

Much of the material is also a copyright infrigement...they just put 10% of the production costs aside for that and domt bother. Only a small fraction of infrindgements is detected anyway.....

wildbest




msg:3160747
 9:11 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can't copyright your face because it is something that is exposed in the "public domain" on a daily or regular basis.

Exactly! You're just hitting the controversy. Why can't I copyright my face, but I can copyright my text, images, audio and video on my website that is exposed in the "public domain" on a daily or regular basis? WWW is a "public domain", remember? My website is my online face after all. If you have configured your web server for anonymous access, all you have there is exposed in the "public domain" and per your definition above you can't copyright it!

Chico_Loco




msg:3160762
 9:53 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wildbest, the later part of that sentence may answer your question:

You can't claim rights ("copyrights") to human beings, only particular instances thereof!

By that I meant specific photos or videos taken by a 3rd party. Well, not only by a 3rd party - but you can't copyright your face, but pictures of it (by you or other) can be copyrighted. When something is in the "public domain", there may be an infinite number of interpretations thereof, but the specific picture which I might take (via. my camera, for example) is mine in particular, and so I therefore own the rights to "copy" (copyrights) or modify it as I see fit.

A movie produced by a studio (such as Universal) retains similar rights in that they organized the shoot and took the shots, thus they retain the rights to copy/reproduce/redistribute the material. Just because some lame-wad chooses to upload an illegal copy of the movie to a 3rd party website (MySpace, for example) does not diminsish the rights of the studio, yet infringes thereon, hence "copyright infringement".

Basically, you cannot copy anything that comes from elsewhere unless you obtain permission. Considering that Universal are suing, it is logical to assume that not all copies of their material(s) on MySpace have received such permissions.

It amazes me that people don't understand this. If you can't understand this, then you really don't know the difference between using things which you have the permission to use, and stealing (right and wrong). There really is a stark contrast.

I mean, we've all downloaded "illegal" programs, music or material, but standing up and professing that such content is "fair game" or otherwise is just stupid, because it's not.

And, yet again, I accentuate my lack of knowledge in this area. We really need a copyright lawyer to comment on all of this before we can say that we "know what we are talking about". Of course, the people that are truly familiar with this area of law are probably not on here :(

[edited by: Chico_Loco at 10:17 am (utc) on Nov. 18, 2006]

wildbest




msg:3160767
 10:13 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

The original question discussed is:
If I can copyright a photo of my face, why can't I sue anyone who publishes an image of me?

In answer to you argument you think I've missed, I'm not claiming the 'rights ("copyrights") to human beings'. It is not about my face which presumably is part of my human being. It is all about the copyright to photo (image copy) of my face!

Chico_Loco




msg:3160773
 10:37 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

In answer to you argument you think I've missed, I'm not claiming the 'rights ("copyrights") to human beings'. It is not about my face which presumably is part of my human being. It is all about the copyright to photo (image copy) of my face!

You can copyright a particular image of your face (which you have taken), yet not that which was taken by another party (since it's their "vision" of your face, not your face per se).

wildbest




msg:3160783
 11:07 am on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

If I've visited your website, I have already a copy of your site (text, images, sound) on my browser cache and my computer. So, it's a third party "vision" of your online face, not your online face per se!?

You can copyright a particular image of your face (which you have taken), yet not that which was taken by another party (since it's their "vision" of your face, not your face per se).

Their "vision" of my face is strikingly similar to my "vision" of my face! Or, their "vision" of my face is strikingly different to my "vision" of my face! All the "visions", however, have one and the same essence - my face - that's why I'll sue them all... Got the idea now?

tigertom




msg:3160823
 12:57 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

MySpace has no case. Neither do the posters here who are arguing for them, albeit elliptically.

You distribute pirated material, you get sued. That's it. You can argue what you _think_ the law should be, but it's a waste of bytes.

I'd rate the music industry over internet geeks in any scrap. They're meaner, and they're used to getting money out of people in the 'real world' i.e. with a baseball bat.

The little dinks that think 'information wants to be free' or 'the music industry is rich enough already' make me laugh.

I'm a musician. If I found someone was pirating my music, I'd make them sorry, if I could.

Go Universal!

I vaguely recall the founders of YouTube were laughing when they announced the Google deal. They were making a _loss_ out of hosting _pirated_ material, and then the No. 1. interent company gave them a fat payout. I'd be laughing too.

About time this Web 2.0 bunkum was holed below the waterline.

Matt Probert




msg:3161004
 5:46 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just did a quick search on MySpace, first for music by a group called The Damned and then for the even better known "Elvis Presley"

Masses of it.

So much for MySpace policing copyright! Or perhaps they have never heard of "Elvis Presley"?

Matt

weeks




msg:3161018
 6:04 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

tigertom, I am a content provider, so I feel your pain. But, if someone gives me a copy of your music and I give it to someone else, no law has been broken and no ethics violated.

But, if that someone charges even a penny for your music without your permission, I'll vote to boil them in oil and feed them to the dogs.

RedWolf




msg:3161029
 6:29 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can't copyright your face because it is something that is exposed in the "public domain" on a daily or regular basis e.g. I could take a picture of you as you walk down the street. If a photographer took a photo of your face, then he/she could copyright that particular picture because he/she took the initiative to create it, thus they retain the right to copy/redistribute it. This is the basis on which the “paparazzi” operate. You can't claim rights ("copyrights") to human beings, only particular instances thereof!

Actually this isn't quite true. If you are taking pictures of average people and they are recognisable at all then you need a signed model release before you can publish or sell the photos. Do a google search on model release for more info. Dan Heller has a very good article on the legal requirements.

The "paparazzi" operate is a grey area in that famous personalies are considered "newsworthy" and do not get that protection. Personally I think this is a piece of $%#@, but that is the way the laws are.

Chico_Loco




msg:3161038
 6:39 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually this isn't quite true. If you are taking pictures of average people and they are recognisable at all then you need a signed model release before you can publish or sell the photos.

Since I can do nothing more than conjecture on this topic, your input is highly appreciated, thanks.

As for faces - we perhaps all visions of it are strikingly similar, but we're not really talking about faces here. We are talking about copyrighted music and videos on MySpace, and has been pointed out, it is there "en masse".

We all want to view and download things for free, but that's illegal, and the responsibility is also on the website owner and not just the uploader.

tntpower




msg:3161076
 8:00 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well done, Universal Music!

incrediBILL




msg:3161101
 8:54 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, this thread has so much misinformation it should be submitted to Urban Legends.

First, MySpace hosts a ton of information they don't own. I don't care whether it's just a picture pilfered from a photographer low down on the food chain or the RIAA, or Universal, they are defending that they own, not a 'bunch of crybabies", so let the lawsuits begin and let these jerks that encourage this behavior suffer in their wallets as they deserve it.

Second, to make this a fair thing, MySpace should be forced to comb through their sites and cough up all the idiots that uploaded the material so they can be sued individually and see if they learn anything from being slapped upside the head with a demand for a few thousand dollars per person.

Last but not least, you CAN sue people for using your image without permission, unless it's news and/or you're just one person in a larger public crowd and not the subject of the photo. That's why photographers make people sign things called "MODEL RELEASES" and even a Model Release doesn't give the permission for slander or negative association. For instance, a model that signed a release sued and won when their image was used in an article about AIDS or some such disease as it implied that model had that disease, OOPS!

Now let me ask the question, all of you that think Universal is wrong to defend their copyrights, cry babies and all sorts of other idiotic nonsense, would you feel the same way when your website shows up duplicated somewhere?

Of course not, you would be ticked and go after the copier, same rules apply to everyone including Universal.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 8:57 pm (utc) on Nov. 18, 2006]

herewego




msg:3161140
 10:09 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

<oh...>

This 69 message thread spans 3 pages: 69 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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