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Record Label Infringes Own Copyright, Site Pulled 282

Posted by kdawson
from the wonder-who-filed-the-complaint dept.
AnonCow sends in a peculiar story from TorrentFreak, which describes the plight of a free-download music site that has been summarily evicted from the Internet for violating its own copyright. The problem seems to revolve around the host's insistence that proof of copyright be snail-mailed to them. Kind of difficult when your copyright takes the form of a Creative Commons license that cannot be verified unless its site is up. "The website of an Internet-based record label which offers completely free music downloads has been taken down by its host for copyright infringement, even though it only offers its own music. Quote Unquote Records calls itself 'The First Ever Donation Based Record Label,' but is currently homeless after its host pulled the plug."
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Record Label Infringes Own Copyright, Site Pulled

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  • And people say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kidde_valind (1060754) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:51PM (#25434703)
    ...the copyright system works and is perfectly sane.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who says that? The pro-copyright infonazis say it's not even near comprehensively draconian enough (though they don't say draconian). The digital liberty freaks say it's gone way too far. I haven't seen _anyone_ say it's fine the way it is for a looong time.

      • Not to mention that this situation has nothing to do with the state of our copyright system.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It does have to do with the state of the copyright system being based with the assumption that all copies are unauthorized, unless proven otherwise, and the DMCA(among other legislation) not specifying non-snail-mail proof as acceptable just exacerbates the problem. However, in the main, you're right, this is a stupid ISP problem, not a copyright problem.

          • Re:And people say (Score:4, Interesting)

            by unlametheweak (1102159) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:52PM (#25436015)

            I'm wondering if the RIAA told on him. I'm wondering if I decide to write a poem and post it on my Website; will I then have to pay to have a lawyer formally copyright it for me. I suppose it would be useless for me to even start a blog in that case.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              Why do you think you need a lawyer for something as trivial as registering a copyright? As you can see by checking the US Copyright office fee schedule, [copyright.gov] doing it on-line only costs $35, much less than an attorney would charge you just to discuss the issue.
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by mcgrew (92797) *

                doing it on-line only costs $35, much less than an attorney would charge you just to discuss the issue.

                I have some experience with lawyers, as my ex-wife once successfully sued the city of Springfield when I was married, and I've been divorced and bankrupted, both endeavors of which necessitate legal council. A lawyer will NOT charge youto "discuss the issue" unless you already have him or her on retainer. (S)He will tell you if you have a case or not for free.

                If it is you who is doing the suing, in most ca

            • Re:And people say (Score:4, Informative)

              by houghi (78078) on Monday October 20, 2008 @05:22AM (#25438643)

              The moment you write it, you have the copyright. If you want to extend your copyright, only then do you need to do something.

              Copyright is a default.

              • The moment you write it, you have the copyright. If you want to extend your copyright, only then do you need to do something.

                You're partly right. As soon as you record something "in fixed form" (on paper, hard drive, CD, or whatever), the copyright is yours. But if you want to go to court over it, you'll want to have it registered.

                From the Copyright Office website [copyright.gov]:

                In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, r

    • by Bootarn (970788) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:14PM (#25434907) Homepage
      Copyright fault (Lawyer dumped)
    • by edalytical (671270) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:19PM (#25434945)

      ...publicity stunt.

    • Re:And people say (Score:5, Informative)

      by leamanc (961376) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @09:50PM (#25436441) Homepage Journal
      I hear what you're saying...it's baffling that anyone could defend current US copyright law. But in this case, isn't the problem with a very uninformed web hosting provider taking the wrong action? There was not a DMCA notice issued, but rather the host just decided to pull the site because they (wrongly) assumed it was copyright violations. The RIAA was not behind this, as the content was not even in their reach.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The same thing happened to Kahvi.org a few years back. Kahvi.org hosts free legal music, sent for release by the artists themselves under various licensing, many a times Creative Commons etc. Someone decided that nobody can really be giving legal music away for free, and called Kahvis ISP, which promptly pulled the plug without even consulting with Kahvi staff. They were understandably pissed off, and terminated their contract with said ISP immediately. Theyre still going good, and serving free and good ele

  • Yawn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:55PM (#25434735) Homepage

    When even pink contract spammers can find a way online, are you telling me they can't find an ISP that doesn't have their head up their ass? File a breach of contract lawsuit if you got good reason to and if not just move on.

    • by mangu (126918)

      are you telling me they can't find an ISP that doesn't have their head up their ass?

      To use a Slashdot-approved car analogy, what you are telling us is that if you find a used-car salesman that offers stolen cars for sale that's no big deal because there are plenty of used cars for sale that aren't stolen.

    • Re:Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thermian (1267986) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:36PM (#25435075)

      When even pink contract spammers can find a way online, are you telling me they can't find an ISP that doesn't have their head up their ass? File a breach of contract lawsuit if you got good reason to and if not just move on.

      The problem is one of perception. There is a perception that spammers (and other internet denizens of a dodgy nature) are primarily a Russian and Chinese problem (a lie, but there we are), and that the US, with its 'clean' internet must crack down on the currently hot, if in reality extremely unimportant, issue of copyright enforcement (not that it isn't important, but no way is it as important as is being ranted in the halls of power).

      Its an assumption that all the big problems on the internet are 'somebody elses problem', so they focus on silly things like music copyright, often mindlessly following 'the rules' so that only the big labels get a say.

      Its classic disassociation, and it can't last. I'm not being all 'ooh look at me, I'm a liberal', I'm being realistic.

      The old economic and copyright models are collapsing. Not into anarchy, that's far too pessimistic an assessment. No, they're falling in the face of different models. In the case of Internet and copyright the people who run things (businesses, not regulatory bodies) aren't quite as up with the trends as they need to be.

  • by kcbanner (929309) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:55PM (#25434741) Homepage Journal
    I mean, the market for hosting is so huge they shouldn't have a problem finding a company that actual understands CC and won't pull their site right away. I hope they do.
    • by Edgester (105351) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:07PM (#25434833) Homepage Journal

      If you RTFA, then you would know that the ISP is denying him access to his data, and he has no other copies because his local hard drive died. Summary: Murphy struck and his ISP is holding the only copy of his data hostage until he can prove that he owns the copyright on the files.

      One could argue that his local hard drive was the backup to his ISP and vice versa. I have a co-worker who says you should always keep three copies of important data in different places. This lends weight to the three copies idea.

      • by kcbanner (929309)
        Ouch. I didn't RTFA, your right...but if your running a record label you'd think backups would be up there on the ol' priority list.
      • by SpacePunk (17960) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:20PM (#25434953) Homepage

        I don't see any reason that the site owner couldn't contact the feds, and charge the ISP for data theft. If it were me, I'd look into something like trademark dilution also since the ISP is hosting ads on the domain name.

        • by Fluffeh (1273756)
          Oh stop, this common sense? This simple solution? Preposterous! Outrageous! Disgusting!
          • by SpacePunk (17960)

            Pretty outrageous huh? The key to everything is to use the system to your own benefit. Even if you have to fling a lot of shit at it until something sticks.

      • by mariushm (1022195)

        He should just create another domain like company-license.com which is for the sole purpose of showing the CC license.
        Then just snail mail a letter saying the license is this and that and online at company-license.com and get his data...

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        I have a co-worker who says you should always keep three copies of important data in different places. This lends weight to the three copies idea.

        "I tell you three times!"

        -- R.A.Heinlein, "Number of the Beast" 1980.

      • by Swampash (1131503) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:50PM (#25435549)

        he has no other copies because his local hard drive died

        See, that's the point where I stopped caring. This guy is too stupid to own a computer, let alone run a record label.

        • by frieko (855745) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @10:40PM (#25436763)
          Hold on now. He contracted the storage of his data to professionals (the ISP) and retained a personal backup. What's stupid about thinking that would be sufficient? What's wrong with thinking that the people you contracted and paid to store and serve your data would actually do those things?
          • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Sunday October 19, 2008 @11:28PM (#25437019)

            Hold on now. He contracted the storage of his data to professionals (the ISP) and retained a personal backup. What's stupid about thinking that would be sufficient? What's wrong with thinking that the people you contracted and paid to store and serve your data would actually do those things?

            Any data not stored on equipment or media under your direct control should be considered expendable. Period. That means that the owner of that data should have maintained multiple backups (preferably incremental so he'd have a history of changes) with off-site copies. Unless that ISP specified that it would provide backup and loss indemnification services (some do, but I'm betting this one doesn't) he's responsible if that data gets lost.

            In the meantime, assuming that this goofy ISP still has his site, he really should contact law enforcement, or a good lawyer at minimum. This is insane.

            The OP is correct: the guy screwed up.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mysidia (191772)

        Seems like he needs to file a complaint in court and get a subpoena or get a judge to order that the ISP turn over the files.

        And pursue some legitimate action against the ISP for unwarranted disruption of business (removing his web site).

        They are clearly not operating within the DMCA safe harbor, if they are "pulling for copyright infringement", and not putting the materials back up without proof.

        If there were a DMCA letter anyways, the site owner has the option of a DMCA counter-notification.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by roguetrick (1147853)

          There's no mention of a DMCA complaint, the ISP just decided to say "prove it or fuck off." That causes no static with the DMCA safe harbor provision, if anything the safe harbor provision says ISPs that know of infringing content are liable.

          All that said, the ISP is still a bunch of idiots, if law-abiding idiots.

    • by WK2 (1072560)

      The market for hosting is huge. Prices are very low. However, most of them are lame and full of bullshit. The problem mentioned here is with ixwebhosting.com.

  • by JohnnyGTO (102952) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:55PM (#25434743) Homepage
    I gotta get off. All hope is lost, sanity has fled us. Run for the hills everyone. It can't get stupider then this. Or can it?
  • The copyright notice (Score:5, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:56PM (#25434745) Journal

    It's right here [archive.org]

  • by n0dna (939092) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:57PM (#25434759)

    Copyright holders by definition cannot violate their own copyrights. They have the (copy)right to do with their own material as they see fit.

    • by philspear (1142299) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:09PM (#25434853)

      Copyright holders by definition cannot violate their own copyrights.

      You say that, but I've violated my own copyrights several times. I can send you a video for $20, assuming you're over the age of 21.

    • by aussie_a (778472)

      Copyright holders by definition cannot violate their own copyrights.

      Tell that to the webhost.

    • by db32 (862117)

      Wow, just wow. I mean I know people don't read the article, but you have outdone yourself by not even reading the summary. That is the whole point of the damned story and the summary seems to be fairly clear in indicating that.

  • by TD-Linux (1295697) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:58PM (#25434763)
    Their host chose to pull the plug on this website because they thought it was a risk, and because of their own lame policies. It's not like anyone actually sued for copyright infringement. The host, not the band, is who loses here. They can just go find another host who is more worthy of their service.
    • by NormalVisual (565491) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:06PM (#25434827)
      And in case anyone was wondering, it looks like their host is IX Web Hosting [ixwebhosting.com].
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:41PM (#25435121)

        Wow, that talking woman that pops up sure is annoying.

      • Thank you. I hope that every Slashdotter who reads that will click on the link at least once. Maybe we can slashdot them...
      • by gravis777 (123605)

        Who in their right mind would go with an ISP that has flash video on their front page? How annoying. Of course, mine uses cPanel, so who am I to judge?

      • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:43PM (#25435937)

        Hilarious! A website I co-maintain switched away from IX just last week, because when they last recompiled PHP, they set the register_globals setting to "on", thus allowing our site (and who knows how many others) to get hacked. When we asked them about it, they claimed that the default setting in PHP 4 and 5 is "on", which isn't true (the default has been "off" since 4.2.0, in 2002, and the setting is being done away with altogether in PHP 6).

        They have horrible service, with response time to service tickets measured in days. We've had numerous issues with the database servers being pegged as they've expanded their customer base without upgrading their servers. You can't restore from backups without contacting customer service. Sure, it's cheap, but as they say, you get what you pay for.

        The incident mentioned by the OP is apparently the frosting on the cake.

    • How could they think hosting unregistered original music is a risk? Have they never seen a band's MySpace profile?

      I'm with Warll below, that they made up an excuse to dump a high bandwidth user.

  • Well. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Warll (1211492) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:59PM (#25434773) Homepage
    I wouldn't be all that surprised to hear that this is just the host's way of kicking off a heavy bandwidth user.
    • I would be suprised to actually HEAR that. I wouldn't be suprised to see evidence SUGGESTING that.

      Noob question: wouldn't they have it in their contract that you can't use more than a set amount of bandwidth if that is an issue? If not, why not? Or are ISPs kind of acting like all-you-can-eat buffets that SAY you can eat all you can, but cut you off at 20 pounds of taquitos... lying bastards at ponderosas...

    • Re:Well. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Restil (31903) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:22PM (#25434977) Homepage

      Well, most hosting providers actually expect their customers to use a significant amount of the bandwidth they provide, and enforce quotas when reached. If a customer used 100% of their allocated bandwidth they would at most be cut off for the duration of their payment period, or given the option to purchase additional bandwidth. This isn't like a cable company offering "unlimited" bandwidth and retroactively redefining the meaning of unlimited.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cruciform (42896)

        But then you get into resellers selling hosting as unlimited (which is quite common these days) when it's just a virtual server with no such lack of restrictions.
        And there's thousands of these guys out there now. Fly by nighters that disappear after they take in a few bucks and hit their limits.

  • Find another host. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:02PM (#25434811) Journal
    Most websites will have copyrighted material on them. Most of the copyrighted material will not be registered. If they have this policy, and they require proof that most people won't have, it's a bit pointless arguing with them, and a lot easier to find a new host with more sensible policies.
  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:08PM (#25434851)

    And I think I've found the perfect guy for them [madisonrecord.com].

  • by reynaert (264437) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:19PM (#25434951)
    So, the hosts asks for a copy of the registration records with the Copyright Office. That's stupid but it's not an impossible request. Record label dude can't give records because the copyright isn't registered. Fair enough. What I don't get is why record label dude doesn't simply register the music and say the registration is being processed? That makes a lot more sense than blathering about Creative Commons, and it's actually helpful if there ever are real legal problems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SpacePunk (17960)

      The advantage to copyright registration is to be able to prove ownership if questions arise. Anything created is immediately copyright by the creator, but that can be challenged by a thief if there's no record. The creative commons is just a license people stick on their material, but it's still not proof that they own the copyright. Someone can just come along, challenge the material in court as their own, and maybe win that challenge without a copyright registration. It's not all that expensive to do,

    • They don't have a copy of the material to submit to the Copyright office, their local machine crashed and the web host has the only copies of the content in question.
    • by IronClad (114176) on Monday October 20, 2008 @12:29AM (#25437421) Homepage

      >Fair enough

      Not fair at all. First of all, if the blog and myspace post are accurate, then the ISP is citing their TOS as the agreement that requires this. The TOS here dated June 16:

      http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.tos#q21 [ixwebhosting.com]

      says *nothing* about copyright registrations being required or any other provenance for hosted content. If they don't have some other reason for the service outage, I'd speculate that they're making up the "terms" as they go.

      >why record label dude doesn't simply register

      I see no indication of how many files we're talking about. Depending on how it's structured, $35/file could add up to cash that a struggling artist does not have. They probably would not be needed later either, as I think most folks are inclined to respect CC license provisions.

      Still, it's hardly a problem going forward. If the label's report bears scrutiny, then the IX brand is toxic.

  • *AA Involvement? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:55PM (#25435237) Homepage Journal

    Are we sure the AA's aren't involved in some back room, pulling the strings to cause this guy more grief?

    He was in effect in direct competition to the 'industry'.

  • Only in America... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp (186804) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @06:55PM (#25435239) Homepage

    ... literally, because the rest of the world has the Berne Convention. What are these "copyright registration forms" of which you speak?

  • sounds fishy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spir0 (319821) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:02PM (#25435271) Homepage Journal

    the story does remind me of something eBay tried years ago -- they took down auctions of people selling their own software or software for linux because the auctioneers didn't have licenses from Microsoft.

    however, this story sounds a bit fishy. I believe that the ISP pulled his site because it's highly likely they're retards and see any online music as pirated, but I'm suspicious of his having lost his own copies of the files. Did the other musicians in any of the bands not have copies? Didn't any of them burn onto CDs to give to their friends, or to play in their cars?

    I think this is creative marketing. When the site goes back up, he'll get loads more hits to his site, and make a bunch of pity sales and more people have now heard of him and his bands. Epic Win.

  • by jmac880n (659699) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:08PM (#25435307)

    According to the article, the web hosting outfit "proactively" took it upon itself - with no complaints - to take down the site.

    IANAL, but.... (take the rest with a grain of salt)

    Since it did not follow DMCA provisions, I would presume that it left behind the DMCA safe-harbor provisions, and is open to a lawsuit...

    • by tsstahl (812393)
      DMCA does not apply here. So far it is a contract dispute between two parties. That is your legal advice from a geek for the day. ;)
  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:16PM (#25435349) Homepage Journal

    It sounds like some suits from the RIAA worked over the weekend to study the nuances of the RoR and narc'd the company to its own host.

  • The web hosting company is IX Hosting, and I certainly hope they get Slashdotted into a smoking crater, and that their support folks get a whole lot of input from various sources about the idiocy of their policy...

    http://www.ixwebhosting.com/index.php/v2/pages.customerCenter#top [ixwebhosting.com]

    --
    Tomas

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:16PM (#25435737) Homepage

    There is a feature on Evite.com, which lets you associate your own icon with your "account". Obviously, using copyrighted images is prohibited.

    Well, the geniuses at Evite have deleted my logo [algebra.com], which I created in Paintbrush [wikipedia.org] back in 1993 (before switching to Unix for good), because — they thought — it can't possibly be my own creation...

    Well, ass-covering, ignorant dimwits working for a corporation... Spit-spit-spit...

    Years later, the same image is forcibly deleted by Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] — where it was only used on my own user-page [wikipedia.org].

    The idiocy spreads...

    Maybe, there is some artistic merit to that poorly-drawn cat on a castle wall? Should I try selling it or something?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RockMFR (1022315)
      The deletion summary on Wikipedia says "GFDL presumed". All images on Wikipedia must have a proper license - in this case, it doesn't appear to have had a free license (it was tagged with {{logo}}, which at the time doesn't seem to have included any information regarding copyright). If you want to use it on Wikipedia, you'll have to release it under a free license.
  • by Stormx2 (1003260) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @08:55PM (#25436035)
    The website was pretty well made, and they had Bomb The Music Industry! signed. Silly name aside, they are a really marvelous blend of punk, twee, and brass, something I could normally never appreciate

    They gave away stencils and cds at shows for free, so that fans could make their own t-shirts. They've got a brilliant DIY ethic going on, and they became something of an underground hit without even properly releasing a CD.

    So I don't know who tagged this "andnothingofvaluewaslost", but you don't know what you're talking about.

    It's very easy to complain about how the RIAA does things, but you need to think up solutions, as well as identifying problems, or you're just being annoying. Quote Unquote make the perfectly valid point that some artists aren't interested in wealth, and can get by on donations alone. Obviously it suits some bands better than others, but it's _a_ solution, not the only solution
  • by ramriot (1354111) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @11:31PM (#25437043)
    It seems that the ISP ix is itself propagating copyright infringement. The landing page they put up for 'Quote Unquote' includes advert links to copyright infringing sites. Perhaps someone should find out if ix is a sub-hoster and then send a DMCA takedown notice to their host. As it turns out they own their own DNS server, so it seems unlikely.

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