Weblog Entries: File Sharing

The RIAA's First Hurdle

Boston College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last week evinced the first signs of opposition to RIAA scaremongering. Over the past 3 months, the Recording Industry Association of America has issued 871 subpoenas demanding information from several major tertiary institutions about the use of file sharing P2P applications on their local area networks.  Read more »

RIAA Ignores the Real Pirates

In an insightful article at BBC, Mark Ward describes the true threat to the music industry: street piracy. According to the article:

[t]he pirate CD market is now so big, $4.6bn, it is "of greater value than the legitimate music market of every country in the world, except the USA and Japan".
 Read more »

Lawsuits and Satellites

The latest in the recent spate of RIAA subpoenas seems to have been served to a 12 year-old girl from New York, America. Realising the unwanted publicity this could generate, the RIAA quickly settled with the girl's mother for $2000 (several times less than most suits).  Read more »

Nutty Power and the RIAA

Gympie, Queensland has a new 'green' power plant fuelled entirely by the discarded shells of Macadamia nuts, which burn cleaner than other fossil fuels (less CO2 emission). "Mmm... Macamadamia..."  Read more »

Have You Been iJacked?

Wired brings word of yet another bizarre, technology-inspired urban trend beginning to crop up amongst owners of Apple iPod music devices. Ranking among flash mobbing and playlistism, morning joggers seem to be approaching one another and exchanging headphone jacks (hence the term 'jack swapping') in order to gleen a glimpse of the other person's musical taste.  Read more »

The Beginning of the End (of Bad Puns)

In a request filed by six Australian music labels to the Federal Court, access has been granted to documents and computer records of Sharman Networks, including source code and encryption technologies used by the infamous P2P file-sharing application, Kazaa.  Read more »

RIAA Sues 717 for Unauthorised Distribution

The Recording Industry Association of America (‘RIAA’) has sued a further 717 US-based individuals it claims have been distributing music without permission on peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) networks. Among them are 68 university students.

The latest bout of legal action brings the total number of individuals sued for filesharing to almost 8500. The RIAA last initiated a round of lawsuits in December 2004, targeting 754 alleged copyright infringers.  Read more »

Underground Filesharing Continues: BitTorrent Sites Proliferate Despite Takedown

This is what industry groups like the Recording Industry Association of America (‘RIAA’) are afraid of: exponential and untraceable growth of underground data distribution networks. Analysis suggests that current technologies — in particular, a method of filesharing known as BitTorrent — are indeed capable of large-scale electronic duplication of copyrighted files in relative privacy.  Read more »

Rest In PC? RIAA Sues Deceased Defendant

Apparently not satisfied with the outcomes to its civil actions against earthbound mortals, the RIAA has taken to suing the dead. In one of the latest batch of lawsuits, the statement of claim names the recently deceased Gertrude Walton as sole defendant. She stands (or, perhaps, rests) accused of sharing over 700 songs owned by member publishers via peer-to-peer networks:  Read more »

Hollywood Files New Round of Filesharing Lawsuits

(Reuters) - Hollywood’s major movie studios filed a new round of lawsuits nationwide Thursday against people who trade illegally copied films and TV shows on the Internet.

The civil suits against unnamed ‘John Doe’ defendants seek up to $150 000 per downloaded digital file and come as the film industry prepares for its annual Oscar telecast in Hollywood… The studios claim they lose [USD] $3.5 billion worldwide in annual revenues from sales of illegally copied movies on video and DVD formats in street bazaars and black markets.  Read more »

MGM v Grokster Ltd Amici Curiae Briefs Filed

Inter alios, 17 professors of computer science have made amici submissions to the United States Supreme Court concerning MGM’s forthcoming appeal.  Read more »

Closing Arguments Delivered in <em>Universal Music v Sharman License Holdings</em>

With Universal Music due to conclude its case against Sharman Networks next week, users of popular filesharing software ‘Kazaa’ will soon find out whether their much-revered application is permissible in the Australian jurisdiction. Concluding arguments were last week submitted to Wilcox J of the Federal Court of Australia, marking the end to another chapter in the litigation of peer-to-peer technology:  Read more »

<em>Grokster</em> Appeal News Roundup

Yesterday, oral arguments were presented to the Supreme Court of the United States by the parties in MGM Studios v Grokster. There has been extensive news coverage of the appeal, which is important for a number of reasons — both legal and social. As the analysis begins to trickle in, I’ll post relevant links here:  Read more »

Perzanowski Comments On <em>Grokster</em>

No one paying attention to Grokster expected the Court to give an unequivocal thumbs up to Sony's substantial non-infringing use test. The question was whether Sony would be supplemented, altered, or discarded. Which, if any, of those possibilities will actually come to fruition is still anybody's guess. Sony's applicability appears to have been definitively limited to refuting imputed intent, but Grokster offers little by way of substantive clarification of the standard.  Read more »

Senators Grill P2P Providers

Having suffered a recent setback at the hands of the Supreme Court, file-swapping companies face the specter of new federal legislation aimed at reining in porn and piracy. Michael Grebb reports from Washington, DC.

Originally by Wired News: DAT's Entertainment, 12:23 PM

Research into Legal Music Downloads in Australia

Australian lawyer, academic researcher and music industry commentator Alex Malik presents the second of a two-part look at the Australian market for digital downloads. His research has found that while IFPI are spinning the success of authorised downloads, the reality shows that at least in Australia, there are substantial gaps in available repertoire and a heavily protected market controlled by the majors.

Originally by The Register - Internet and Law: eCommerce, 12:32 PM  Read more »

CD-Burning More Costly Than P2P: RIAA

'The Recording Industry Association of America ('RIAA') has acknowledged that P2P file-sharing is less of a threat to music sales than bootleg CDs.

The RIAA's chief executive, Mitch Bainwol, last week said music fans acquire almost twice as many songs from illegally duplicated CDs as from unauthorised downloads, Associated Press reports.  Read more »

Film Publisher Offers Free Content, Uses BitTorrent as Marketing Tool

P2P technologies like BitTorrent are most commonly associated with pirated content and copyright infringement. While there is a great deal of legitimate content benefiting from the decentralised distribution network provided by BitTorrent technology, it can't be denied that the vast majority of 'torrents' are infringing copies of works.  Read more »

Sony to launch P2P music swapping network

In one of the most significant digital music announcements of the year, Sony BMG has partnered with British digital music outfit Playlouder MSP to make its music catalog available online. Subscribers will be able to exchange licensed music freely, in any bitrate they want, since a portion of the subscription fee goes to a digital pool which is divided amongst Sony and other artists. Playlouder MSP will supply the broadband connection itself, and attempt to monitor leakages.  Read more »

UK ISP Offers Music Downloads Amnesty

'Cory Doctorow reports that a UK ISP called PlayLouder MSP has secured a licence from Sony that allows its customers to legally share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog with other PlayLouder customers: "This is such stupendously good news that I frankly didn't believe it...I spent the day going back and forth with the two [principals] from PlayLouder MSP, Paul Sanders and Paul Hitchman, and based on what they've told me, I'm prepared to say that this is the best thin  Read more »

Australian Movie Industry To Target Illegal DVDs, Sue Downloaders

According to The Australian, ‘The movie industry may consider prosecuting internet users who download pirated copies of Hollywood blockbusters, warning it will take pirates to court if consumers “migrate to illegal downloads en masse”.  Read more »

Clerks Rejoice, The MPAA Is on the Prowl Again

‘The Motion Picture Association of America said it filed 286 lawsuits against people around the United States based on information acquired from file-trading sites shut down earlier in the year. Most of those sites were hubs connecting people using the BitTorrent technology, a peer-to-peer application designed for speeding downloads of large files’:  Read more »

Accused Users Fight RIAA Summons

'First there was the mother, Patricia Santangelo, who has refused to roll-over to RIAA demands to pay their extortion fee because they claim to have identified her IP address as involved in Kazaa file sharing. Now Judge McMahon doesn't seem to be letting the RIAA have it all their way either in this case. Godwin's Law summarises the rebuke of Judge McMahon to the RIAA lawyer now that a court case has been filed.  Read more »

RIAA Issues Ultimatum: Capitulate or Go the Way of Grokster

'The Recording Industry Association of America ('RIAA') has told seven P2P software companies to get with the programme -- or face the consequences. ... The RIAA hasn't said which P2P networks it sent cease and desist letters to, but the Wall Street Journal yesterday named LimeWire, BearShare and WinMX, and it's not hard to guess who the others might be.  Read more »

RIAA Says P2P Encourages Illegal Downloads

One Slashdot reader had this to say about the recent activity in the world of music copyright holders: 'The RIAA is at it again, attacking inconvenient technology because it can be abused. They have sent another round of letters to P2P services, asking them to stop "encouraging users" to illegally distribute copyrighted material. eDonkey, LimeWire, and Kazaa are all on the RIAA's hit list, along with 2Hub, BitTorrent, WinMX and Free Peers, maker of file-swapping software BearShare.  Read more »