Sign up for MM  |  Manage Subscriptions  |  MM Archive

A Fascinating Case... Decision Reserved

The oral argument in EMI v MP3tunes took place as scheduled in a NYC courtroom. I sat in the second row and was the target of several finger pointing accusations by EMI's attorney. Since EMI has a weak legal argument they need to make it personal and that means attacking me as being a bad guy. They called MP3tunes and Sideload "3G music piracy". I'm not sure what that means, but 3G sounds futuristic. EMI made many arguments with no legal basis such as the notion that any new technology needs to be examined by looking at its impact on the existing business. If that were true there would be no VCR, no MP3 player, no PC, or any new technology because doomsdayers always predict the most dire outcomes.

The 1.5 hour hearing was the culmination of a multi-year legal process where both sides have submitted thousands of pages for the court to read. We had a hot Judge. That's legal slang meaning he asked lots of questions of both sides. Rather than give you my assessment it may be interesting to show you the questions he asked since presumably those show areas where the Judge is examining more closely. (Below is my paraphrasing from memory, not an exact transcript.)

Questions the Judge asked EMI:

  • Isn't there a lot of free music on the Internet?
  • EMI employee Sanford Schwartz talked about EMI "virally" spreading music files. Is that true?
  • Are there lawful uses of Sideload?
  • Don't other search engines have indexes like Sideload?
  • Is there a distinction between users who post files on the net and users who consume or download those files?
  • How is MP3tunes different than YouTube?
  • Are users of YouTube flagrantly violating copyright laws if they view an infringing work which has been hosted on YouTube?
  • How is MP3tunes and Sideload different than Colbert Report on YouTube?
  • What about the 50 songs EMI acknowledges they've distributed on the net for free?
  • Does YouTube send notices to users who just view a video which is later removed due to a takedown notice?
  • If users always get the version of the song they store back, why does it matter how the file is stored?

Question the Judge asked MP3tunes:

  • Why not search all lockers and remove other copies from lockers if same as one in a takedown notice?
  • Because of the architecture don't you know where piracy files are?
  • Isn't it obvious that a file from a California swim team web site is not authorized to distribute freely?
  • When MP3tunes disables an offending link can a user re-enable that link?
  • Is MP3tunes use of cover art storage protected by the DMCA safe harbors?

From the questions you can see that the Judge is looking at our case in the light of YouTube which was found to be legal. When Judge Pauley pressed EMI about how MP3tunes/Sideload is different than YouTube there was a long silence. Eventually EMI's attorney said that MP3tunes deals with music files instead of video. The law makes no distinction between a photo, video, music, ebook, document or any other file but rather treats all files the same, so I'm not sure there is any legal difference.

When Judge Pauley asked MP3tunes why we don't go through lockers to remove files which were matched in a takedown we responded that the law does not require it and quote from the YouTube case. We also stressed that it very problematic since the user may have loaded the file when it was authorized or from an authorized source. In addition we pointed out that when Google receives a takedown notice for material in their search engine they are not required to go through Gmail accounts or Google Docs accounts looking for the same material to remove.

Judge Pauley closed the hearing by saying: "This is a fascinating case. Decision reserved." Now, the waiting begins. There is no required time for the Judge to render a ruling. Legal experts I've spoken with said to expect a ruling sometime in the next 2-6 months.

--MR
michael@michaelrobertson.com



The Michael's Minute Meter
 93%
 3%
 3%
 AGREE  DISAGREE  MIXED
  
Do YOU generally agree or disagree with Michael in this week's Minute shown above?
 
I generally AGREE with Michael this week
I generally DISAGREE with Michael this week
I am MIXED or don't have an opinion either way
 

View the Michael's Minute Meter Report


record radio; how to record Internet radio


Why I'm Glad Net Neutrality Is Dead
My Dog Can Get A MRI In 2 Hours, Why Can't I?
Introducing The World's First Radio Search Engine
Is the MP3.com Domain Name Worth Millions?
Besides Tracking Your Every Move Online, The Government Is Tracking Where You Travel - We're All Under Investigation By The Government All The Time
Hey NBA Commish - Replace Boring Jump Ball With a Challenge Ball
Friendship is Magic
Crowd Sourcing Protection
ACTUAL Stats for radio business and they're very revealing!
Radio Hooks-up With Twitter And UberTalk Is Their Love Child
The Tax Wolf in Bond Clothing
Take a ride on the TaxBalloon.com
Radio Stations Are Dead - It's All About The Content - Introducing UberTalk
Download AM/FM Radio Shows To Smartphones & Tablets As MP3s Using DAR.fm
Zynga is a Ville-ain
MP3tunes Files For Bankruptcy Protection
YouTube Prevails (with a Little Help from MP3tunes & Veoh), But Get Do-over On Other Issues
Skydiving with the US Army
The MegaConspiracy is a MegaTravesty of Justice
Screwed FOREVER Artist List (Is Your Favorite Artist On It?)
Why Spotify can never be profitable: The secret demands of record labels
The Myth of the Underpaid Teacher
More Clouds of Music - Why Use MP3tunes?
EMI Loses Again, Maybe An Unlimited Legal Budget Isn't Such A Good Thing
Facebook - Learning Tricks From Record Labels


blog comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2001 - 2011. All rights reserved.