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EMI Caught Offering Illegal Downloads 182

Posted by Zonk
from the dirty-dealings dept.
Hypocricy, LLC writes "While the RIAA is swift to punish any person caught offering illegal downloads, they're not very swift with outrage when a member company like EMI offers illegal downloads. Not only did the band King Crimson's contract never allow digital distribution to begin with, but band member Robert Fripp claims that EMI offered their music for sale even after their contract ended entirely."
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EMI Caught Offering Illegal Downloads

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  • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:56PM (#21203463) Journal
    It's not illegal if a corporation is doing it. Or The President (same thing). Or the CIA. Or if the Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Defense say it's OK.
  • by The Iso (1088207) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:56PM (#21203471)
    Contrary to common practice, KC owns the copyrights to their work.
    • by dpilot (134227)
      Well this has simply got to be stopped!

      Haven't they heard that we're now an ownership society?

      Stuff like this is supposed to be owned by publishers!
    • by ehaggis (879721) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:34PM (#21204001) Homepage Journal
      and KFC owns the rights to their 11 herbs and spices secret formula.
    • by Sleepy (4551)
      Ah. Perhaps that explains EMI's actions then. Punishment.
    • by shark72 (702619) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @09:29PM (#21205989)

      "Contrary to common practice, KC owns the copyrights to their work."

      It's more common than you might think. Plenty of musicians own the publishing and performance rights to their work. If they don't, the rights are often owned by a management company that's not connected to a label.

      The interesting thing is that this difference between distribution rights and publishing rights was a major hitch in online music sales getting off of the ground. Record companies couldn't simply put legacy stuff up for sale without breaking the law (as we apparently see in this EMI case); they had to get permission from the singer and/or songwriter or their agent or heirs. As recently as a couple of years ago it was common to find eight of ten tracks of a CD available for download; the other two were held up because, say, the lyricist for that song wouldn't give permission.

      A common reaction among P2P users at the time was "Well, if the [bad word here] record company won't make the music available for legal download, they deserve what they get and I'll exercise my God-given right to have the entire Turtles catalog for free." But ironically enough, it was often the [bad word here] artist who was holding things up.

      Nowadays, virtually all new recording contracts include digital distribution clauses. But as EMI has found out the hard way, there are still a few holdouts.

  • But since (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JamesP (688957) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:58PM (#21203487)
    this is "official piracy" there is no DMCA, there is no "thousands of dollars lost per song", etc, etc

    Record companies do this ALL THE TIME.

    Thay will most likely get a slap in the wrist and carry on with their criminal activies as usual.

    • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:09PM (#21203657)
      They need to reassemble the court/jury that convicted that woman and fined her a gazillion dollars. See whether they'd have the parts to go after somebody who can fight back.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Quantam (870027)
      Allow me to briefly explain to you how the laws regarding awarding of damages for willful copyright infringement work.

      Infringement by an individual: $150,000 per infringement
      Infringement by a corporation: $750 per infringement
      • So you're saying if I incorporate MYSELF, I'm less liable for potential infringement? Well, that's a bizarre twist of the law books.
      • Wouldn't the criminal penalties for commercial copyright infringement apply here?
        • by mpe (36238)
          Wouldn't the criminal penalties for commercial copyright infringement apply here?

          What kind of criminal penalties are actually applicable to "corporate people" either on paper or in practice. e.g. anyone ever seen (or heard of) a corporation even being arrested and taken to a police station for "questioning".
      • Re:But since (Score:5, Informative)

        by cfulmer (3166) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @09:34PM (#21206025) Homepage Journal
        Lest somebody take you at face value, you're just being cynical -- the statute does not differentiate. A corporation can also be found liable for $150,000 per infringement and an individual can be found liable for $750.

  • by julesh (229690) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:58PM (#21203501)
    One writer I know got seriously pissed when her publisher's parent company gave google permission to include her entire book in google books. No, they didn't have the rights required to do that. Did they care? Not really, no.
    • by empaler (130732) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:21PM (#21203837) Journal
      From http://books.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=43756&topic=9011 [google.com]

      What if I find one of my books in Google Book Search and would like it removed?

      We're happy to remove your book from our search results at any time, just as we do for website publishers and our web search results.

      If you're a current Google Books partner, you can simply add it to your uploadable list of books that you don't want scanned through the Library Project. Just log in to your account and follow the instructions here [google.com]. If the book is already findable on Google Book Search, please also send an email to books-support@google.com [mailto] or contact your account manager.

      If you're not a Google Books partner and you want us to remove a book, you'll need to provide us with a small amount of information about yourself as well as the specific name of the book you don't want included in Google Book Search. Unless you specify otherwise, we'll use your information only to verify that you are indeed the owner of that particular book. Please see our privacy policy [google.com] for more details. To begin this process, please start here [google.com] to identify yourself as the owner. If the book is already findable on Google Book Search, please also send an email to books-support@google.com [mailto] with this information.


      HTH.
      • by julesh (229690)
        What if I find one of my books in Google Book Search and would like it removed?

        We're happy to remove your book from our search results at any time, just as we do for website publishers and our web search results. [...] To begin this process, please start here to identify yourself as the owner.


        According to Google, though, they'd had permission to include the book from its publisher, so wouldn't remove it in this case. Despite the fact that the publisher didn't have lawful authority to grant that permission
    • One writer I know got seriously pissed when her publisher's parent company gave google permission to include her entire book in google books. No, they didn't have the rights required to do that. Did they care? Not really, no.

      Both publisher and Google would end up caring when they wind up having to shell out a metric ton of cash (assuming she had full distribution rights and say-so over same), no?

      Hell, the number of lawyers dying to get a 30% cut of the resulting judgment would for a really long line to her door...

      /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by king-manic (409855)

      One writer I know got seriously pissed when her publisher's parent company gave google permission to include her entire book in google books. No, they didn't have the rights required to do that. Did they care? Not really, no.

      Depending on how the laws are interpreted in the future, Google didn't have to ask permission to archive, index and present excerpts of her book for search purposes as it is generally accepted to fall within research based fair use rights. It's a huge deal in the book industry and library industry but legally it's mostly going in Googles favor. Should it become possible to take more then small excerpts then Google might be in trouble but generally Google attract business so your friend may want to investig

      • by julesh (229690)
        Depending on how the laws are interpreted in the future, Google didn't have to ask permission to archive, index and present excerpts of her book for search purposes as it is generally accepted to fall within research based fair use rights.

        They weren't presenting excerpts; they were providing large sections of the book for online reading (i.e., the "opt-in" option).
  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @05:59PM (#21203511)
    some Crow's Tongue in Aspic.
  • you are assuming the message of the RIAA is "don't trade digital music because it doesn't abide by good ethical or legal standards or common business sense"

    you are giving the RIAA way too much credit if you think that thought ever motivated them

    the RIAA's message has really always been "do whatever the hell we tell you to do because we have more lawyers than you"

    with such a realization, you can come to understand the RIAA is operating in perfect consistency, without any hypocrisy about its behavior at all
    • by neersign (956437)
      their message is really, "we can't make money off of you if we cannot control the downloads." and this quote from the article is great: "Fripp says the EMI licence was subsequently not renewed because he and the band were not willing to approve download rights, "because the royalty terms offered sucked."" - once again proving that the members of the RIAA are only out to pad their own pockets...if it means toes get stepped on, so what. I wouldn't be surprised if they account for litigation/pay-offs in thei
  • In Germany, too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by saibot834 (1061528) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:02PM (#21203581) Homepage
    The GVU [wikipedia.org] (The German Federation against Copyright Theft) actively used and supported illegal Filesharing by setting up their own servers from which users could download copyrighted stuff. Of course they didn't bother asking the copyright owner if this was ok, they just did it, until Heise.de revealed the story [heise.de] (German Site) and the Office of Public Prosecutor came...
  • sex pistols (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xPsi (851544) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:03PM (#21203585)
    would be happy with the (apparent?) hypocrisy of EMI [lyricsfreak.com]:
    Don't judge a book by the cover
    Unless you cover just another
    And blind acceptance is a sign
    Of stupid fools who stand in line
    Like
    E.m.i
  • If they can't find a way out of it, they should be liable for the exact same amounts they try to charge regular people, only more, because they profited directly from the sale.
    • No, this goes far beyond "exact same penalties".

      Maybe someone can summon the Friendly Neighborhood New York Lawyer for his take.

      If this can stick, I want to see the sub-companies of the RIAA absolutely crushed by this and the other not-yet-found examples.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:12PM (#21203705) Homepage
    The way the music industry is set up right now, the big 4 companies screw the label execs, who screw the label talent managers, who screw the band managers, who screw the musicians. (His career so far has been moving slowly up the chain, so that he's now responsible for more screwing people over than being screwed. Also, he's honest enough that when he was managing a band he wasn't simply taking the money and telling drunk band members they'd spent it all on drugs.)

    The fact that EMI assumed that King Crimson had agreed to the one-sided contracts that they have for most everyone else is a clear indication of how screwed up the industry is.
  • Hey, I give EMI a little more leeway than the others. EMI is the one that has been speaking about having to change their business model, and is the one offering DRM-free music on iTunes, etc. There were a couple more recent factoids that were slashdotted that showed they were different than the rest of the RIAA.

    So try to hate EMI a little less than the rest. Thanks.
  • Will be strictly followed in this case, and EMI will pay at least $10K for each count of offering a song for download, that is a visit to their website when the user had an opportunity to search and buy songs.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @06:45PM (#21204209)

    EMI offered their music for sale even after their contract ended entirely.

    You simply don't understand. Only We can own music. You can create it, and we'll pay you a pittance, but We actually own it. We own the whole Concept of music.

    We used to own you as well, but some troublemakers and something about a fracas in 1860 changed too much of that. Oh, for the good old days.

  • ...there's a vampiric relationship between record labels and artists.
    • by MsGeek (162936)
      "I'm a dinosaur...Somebody's been diggin' my bones..."
    • by unitron (5733)
      A guy on alt.audio.pro or rec.audio.somethingortheother had a sig that said that recording companies are concerned about artists the way that ranchers are concerned about cattle.
  • by jumperboy (1054800) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:03PM (#21204409)

    RIAA:

    Get thy bearings, practice some discipline, or you're in for one more red nightmare. Learn to eat your own cat food, great deceiver, before your coda is a requiem for a fallen angel. We'll let you know if we lament your passing in an epitaph. You may be walking on air now, but soon you'll have only the sheltering sky to protect your easy money, you dinosaur. One big happy family? It is for you, but not for us. If you think the fracture you get when Neal and Jack and me beat you with no warning will leave us sleepless, well, we'll let you know. You should be happy with what you have to be happy with.

    • by 44BSD (701309)
      A waiting man would need two hands, or at least a heartbeat, to understand what sort of red trio of indiscipline could allow such elephant talk. One time, EMI were walking on air, but now they can only get their easy money from this slaughter of the innocents. Peace -- A theme ladies of the road to Asbury Park might tell as a Sailor's Tale to this moonchild -- will now have its cadence and cascade replaced by B'boom. THRAK!
    • That's Okay (Score:2, Funny)

      by wezeldog (982156)
      I repeat myself when I'm distressed.

      lameness filter prevents repetition...damn...this is a dangerous place...
  • whoa (Score:2, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991)
    King Crimson is still around??
    • Re:whoa (Score:4, Funny)

      by Nasarius (593729) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @09:02PM (#21205749)
      If we define King Crimson as "some band Robert Fripp plays in", then yes.
      • by lendude (620139)
        No offence, but how is this an informative comment? It sounds far more like a glib throw away that a few mods have swallowed.

        King Crimson have consisted of a core of players Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford (Bill from 1974) since 1980, and later joined by Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn in the early '90s 'Power Trio' configuration. Several of these members have not been present for some albums during that period until present, and the current line-up is Fripp, Belew (whose has been on ev

  • OK... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday November 01, 2007 @07:15PM (#21204581) Journal
    When asked about the incident, and EMI executive reportedly said "what's the big deal? Everybody does it! I mean, if the bands just charged reasonable prices, we wouldn't have to steal their suff, would we? I mean, come on!"

    -jcr

  • I say the offended party should should make a HUGE example of them. "Making available doesn't constitute piracy" right? EMI is responsible not only for their direct sales (which is a LOT more obvious piracy than P2P and certainly more accountable) but for every conceivable incarnation of copying that may have occured by the purchasers.

    A jury trial should be demanded and I want to be on it!
    • by qzulla (600807)
      We all bitch and moan and groan about the lady who lost to a supposedly impartial jury and you want to be on one with your mind already made up?

      I wouldn't want you on any jury if I was on trial.

      qz
  • by lelitsch (31136) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @08:44PM (#21205549)
    RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America, so why should they give a hoot about band copyrights. Their job is to defend the rights and further the goals of the recording industry. This is like expecting the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to defend the rights of cows.
  • KC should sue them in court. They should use the same legal practices as the RIAA (no evidence required etc). The suspected value for one tune should be, well, approximately 4 billion dollars. Now, multiply that by the number of times that song could have been downloaded...
  • EMI should offer KC $150,000 for each song [messiah.edu] downloaded. After all, turnabout is fair play.
  • "Eligibility for corporate membership in the Recording Industry Association of America, as described in the association's bylaws, is open to legitimate record companies with main offices in the United States that are engaged in the production and sale, under their own brand label, of recordings of performances for home use. Eligibility is not extended to companies that are currently engaged in, have within five years of application been engaged in, or are controlled by any person, firm or corporation which
  • It doesn't seem to me that the law makes a distinction between "making a download available" and "making a download available for a fee". In fact, profiting from the theft of a copyrighted work seems much more sinister than giving one away.

    If EMI is offering to give the entire revenue from online downloads available as restitution for their theft, should not consumers caught up in the Kazaa lawsuits be able to make the same restitution offer?

    From what I've seen of the RIAA lawsuits, the targetted tracks se
    • by mpe (36238)
      I really don't see how anybody gets caught up in those suits, and frankly I don't see why the attorneys involved don't just blow these cases out of the water.

      Possibly because very few of these cases ever get near a court.


      1) MAYBE the IP Address belonged to the user. Say a 90% chance.
      2) MAYBE an unauthorized individual downloaded the music. Say a 90% chance.
      3) MAYBE the RIAA owns the rights to the music. Again, say a 90% chance.
      4) MAYBE the RIAA was right and there was no router involved. Say a 90%
  • Here's an interesting aspect of this:

    If one were to follow one's moral principles to a T, what should happen to everyone who bought an illegal copy of these songs?
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that if you end up with stolen goods, the moral thing to do is to turn it into the police so it can be given back to the original owner. Yes, you end up losing over this --- as if the thief stole from you.
    Now in this case, since copying is not the same thing as stealing, what is the right thing to do?
    Bring i

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