Tuesday, April 27, 2010

June Fredericks on Copyright Infringement in Cyberspace

Universal Music Sues MySpace for Copyright Infringement (2006)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/18/technology/18myspace.html
I found an interesting article about a copyright infringement case dealing with Universal Music Group and Myspace. UMG attempted to sue Myspace for copyright infringement due to music from the label’s various artists being available for downloading and sharing through Myspace. Interestingly, UMG made sure to file the case in the state of California which at the time was just making provisions to its safe harbor act, which required sites to remove all material at the copyrighter’s request. In the case, UMG argued that Myspace enabled downloader’s to infringe on the company’s copyright holdings; whereas Myspace argued that they did not condone any unlawful copyright violations and made music available while still respecting creator rights.
Assessment
The case could deal with contributory infringement –being that Myspace profited from advertisements on its site, which accumulated numerous viewers from the listeners/ downloaders that accessed the pages.
Myspace may have prohibited UMG and is corresponding artists from making money on unreleased music, which was subsequently being released, shared and downloaded on myspace for free.

Questions for Discussion for class:

How could Myspace defend UMG's claims?
Is there a definite way to stop copyright infringement from downloads on the internet or are copyrighters fighting a losing battle in regards to the net?
From the surface, what do you think would be the outcome of this case?
Could this case be classified as purely copyright infringement of contributory infringement?

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