CRIA/RIAA/etc

Reports from or about the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and other regional lobbyists for the legacy methods of creation, distribution and funding of music they represent.

Ongoing debate about the proposed levy on audio devices by CPCC.

The Globe and Mail has an article discussing the levy on audio devices such as portable music players, cell phones, and eventually any digital device capable of storing and/or outputting audio.

The music industry won the right to charge small levies on blank CDs and DVDs in the 1990s, arguing that those products were used primarily to copy music and therefore artists deserved a slice of the sales. But the debate over iPods and digital music players is messier, and Canadian laws are partly to blame for muddying things.

While the bureaucrats put "clarifying and simplifying the Act" as the lowest priority in their Section 92 review of the Copyright Act, it should be clear that this should have been the first priority and a key test for all other revisions. Unfortunately the Liberal C-60 went in the opposite direction making things even more complex and impossible to interpret.

RIAA/MPAA not only questionable types abusing copyright...

A Register article by Lester Haines speaks about a group of US cons who attempted to use a copyright-based prison break.

The cons probably thought that if the recording and motion picture industry can get away with what they are doing (abusing the legal system to extort money from people without evidence of wrongdoing, abuse the law to circumvent the tangible property and other rights of citizens, etc), that maybe the same laws could be abused by them to get out of prison.

RIAA has to pay legal fees of person they accused

C|net news reports that the RIAA has been ordered to pay nearly $70000 in legal fees to somebody who they accused of vicariously aiding copyright infringement.

Geist: Putting Canadian "Piracy" in Perspective

A video from Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary that puts the industry claims in perspective. Please write a letter to your MP and future candidates to ensure that they are aware of this issue.

Vote for it on CBC's Exposure.

How the Record Industry Committed Suicide

Failure to embrace collective licensing in 2000 led to the industry's decline, says an article in Rolling Stone article by Brian Hiatt and Evan Serpick. Lacking is any mention of the massive harm that DRM has caused to the music industry.

Incumbent major recording industry labels continues to harm themselves due to lack of basic knowledge.

It is amusing to read the various news articles discussing how Universal Music Group of Vivendi, the world's largest record label, is having disagreements with Apple over iTunes. (News.com republishing NYT, BusinessWeek) They don't like Apple's pricing, and they don't like the fact that the iTunes music store and the iPod/iPhone hardware markets are tied to each other.

RIAA Opposes Ms. Lindor's Request for Discovery into Agreements Among RIAA Members to Pursue Cases Collectively

Lawyer Ray Beckerman continues to blog the case involving Ms. Lindor's case against the recording industry for abuse of copyright. This is information that politicians need to be aware of, given the recording industry has been shown many times to be more guilty of illegal activity than the music fans they like to depict as being "thieves" or "criminals". The SlashDot reference explains it this way:

'The plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have. ...As such, they are guilty of misuse of their copyrights.'

Tanya Andersen Sues RIAA and SafeNet (f/k/a MediaSentry) for Malicious Prosecution

An article on Groklaw discusses a case launched by Tanya Andersen, the plaintiff here, who is the single mother in Oregon that the RIAA prosecuted for the last couple of years and then "on the eve of summary judgment" dropped the lawsuit with prejudice.

I hope she wins and that this case gets adequate publicity. It is important for policy makers to realize that the recording industry is just as (if not more) likely to break the law (and laws against more harmful activity, such as payola/etc) than the cases that they are launching. The debate thus far has been entirely one sided as if the industry is innocent victims being attacked by some terrible evil force -- where reality is quite different.

US Judge deals blow to RIAA, says students can respond to John Doe lawsuit

A case discussed in an Ars Technica by Eric Bangeman will seem similar to the Canadian situation, where a judge felt that actual evidence of infringing activity was necessary before the judge would circumvent the privacy rights of students. Given that misinterpretations of the BMG Canada case are what puts Canada on the so-called watch-list, this is more proof that the only reason the USA isn't on this list is because it is authored by the USPTO.

It also clarifies the false suggestions that ratification of the 1996 WIPO treaties would give them the tools they want to sue (without evidence), given the USA is generally understood to have implemented the most legacy-industry friendly version of the WIPO treaty proposals.

"dinosaurs sitting around discussing the asteroid"

Paul McCartney discusses the industry in a LA Times article, quoting his record producer as suggesting the major record labels these days are like dinosaurs sitting around discussing the asteroid. Mr. McCartney plans to break from past deals with EMI and release more of his own work to digital media.

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