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The Media Music

Victory For Music Locker Services? 51

Joining the ranks of accepted submitters, Gaygirlie writes "Michael Robertson, the owner and founder of the MP3Tunes music locker service, has been locked in a copyright infringement case with EMI Records for a while now, especially because of the Sideloading search engine that is tacked along with the locker service. Now the case has been resolved though: EMI Records won. But lost on all the accounts that actually really matter." The important parts here are that MP3Tunes was granted safe harbor protection under the DMCA, and that merging multiple copies of the same file doesn't make distributing that master copy a public performance.
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Victory For Music Locker Services?

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  • Their thing is also neat.

    I hope this means they'll be able to ramp up the service now, as their support sucks.

  • Wait, what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @02:57PM (#37182454) Journal

    Judge Pauley soundly rejected that line of reasoning, writing that "MP3tunes does not use a 'master copy' to store or play back songs stored in its lockers. Instead, MP3tunes uses a standard data compression algorithm that eliminates redundant digital data."

    That sounds awfully clueful for a jurist... he even used the the word "algorithm" correctly.

    What country was this in, again?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sanosuke001 ( 640243 )
      It wasn't a jurist; it was the Judge. However, your skepticism still seems relevant...
  • Inconclusive at best.. The lawyers can milk this for a while longer

    • Re:Victory? No (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [eilrigyag]> on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:02PM (#37182540) Homepage

      Inconclusive at best.. The lawyers can milk this for a while longer

      If you'd actually read the whole thing you'd see that this is a clear victory: the Judge clearly ruled that these locker services do not need to buy licensing from record companies, they don't need to police the files of the users unless someone files a DMCA takedown request against a specific file.. How is this NOT a huge victory?

      • Conclusion

        It's not clear where the ruling leaves MP3tunes.

      • How is this NOT a huge victory?

        Because it's only a skirmish. From the article: "So if Judge Pauley's reasoning survives appeal, [companies doing, or potentially doing, similar things to mp3tunes] will be on solid legal ground." That's a big if—record companies have deep pockets.

      • Re:Victory? No (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Kirijini ( 214824 ) <kirijini @ y a h> on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @04:47PM (#37183874)

        How is this NOT a huge victory?

        From the point of view of mp3tunes, this decision is not a huge victory because it's liable for at least hundreds, if not thousands, of separate acts of copyright infringement (the decision is surprisingly imprecise as to exactly how many acts of infringement mp3tunes is liable for). If EMI chooses to have statutory (as opposed to actual) damages awarded, then mp3tunes is on the hook for between $750 to $150,000 per infringement (to be decided by the judge or a jury if EMI demands it). If somehow EMI is awarded the max statutory damages (unlikely but possible), that's 15 million dollars for every 100 songs infringed; EMI is claiming 3189 songs are at issue - if that's right, then mp3tunes max liability is $478,350,000 - half a billion dollars.

        It's also not a huge victory for mp3tunes because there are a number of unresolved issues - including whether it's founder Michael Robertson is personally liable for songs he personally added to the mp3tunes service. Unreolved issues will go through more litigation, including possibly an actual trial. That, of course, is expensive and sucks for mp3tunes.

        From the point of view of the public, google, and amazon, this is great, for all the reasons you mentioned.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:07PM (#37182598)

    It's fun to violate the

    It's fun to violate the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Until you get violated by the

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @03:32PM (#37182930) Homepage

    Looks like the RIAA will be shopping for a new law. Any legislators or political party in need of funding? I think I know where your next "donation" is coming from.

  • Does this mean my t-shirt from 1998 is back in style again?
  • I rested all my hopes and futures on my one hit song "Bootleg Rum and the Red Flag Pirate" Little did I know they were forbidden words.

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