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MP3Tunes 'Safe Harbor' Court Challenge Approaching 94

Posted by kdawson
from the no-friend-of-yours dept.
markjhood2003 sends along an update on a story we first discussed two years back: EMI's lawsuit against MP3Tunes on the claim that cloud storage of music is illegal. The case has gathered importance as cloud computing has grown in capability and acceptance. Opposition briefs in the case are due on Wednesday and oral arguments will start in January. EMI is making the unusual move (the opposition calls it "desperate") of insisting that the EFF's friend-of-the-court brief not be accepted. "EMI says the brief filed last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups supporting MP3tunes’s argument that it’s not responsible for what music its users store on its servers should be barred because it is 'a pure advocacy piece, not a "friend of the court."' Amicus curiae briefs are often filed by interest groups and the government in cases that could set major precedents, in order to illustrate the broader ramifications of the case. ... After three years of litigation, EMI argues that EFF’s brief is too long, thereby 'circumventing' the court’s 'page restrictions' causing 'additional burden' to the court and “prejudice” to the EMI. ... In addition, EMI says, EFF’s brief 'contains unsupported speculation that is not helpful to the Court.' Anyone can submit such a brief as long as they’re not a party to the case, and judges have full discretion whether to accept them. They almost always do."
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MP3Tunes 'Safe Harbor' Court Challenge Approaching

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  • by euphemistic (1850880) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @06:47PM (#34325234)
    32 whole pages including cover page, table of contents and submission credits at 1.5 line spacing? And people accuse Gen Y of having a short attention span... I'd have to agree that EMI are scraping the bottom of the barrel for reasons.
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @06:52PM (#34325266)

    Research on reading typically comes up with results like the following
    (google it for more details)

    - Longer line lengths generally facilitate faster reading speeds.

    - Shorter line lengths result in increased comprehension.

    - The optimal number of characters per line is between 45 and 65.
        (some studies say 66 to 70, but you get the point.)

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:57PM (#34325876)
    The concept of "stealing ideas" is flawed. Ideas occur independently and simultaneously to many people when the conditions for that idea are right. And virtually every copyrighted work is derivative... can anybody cite a single movie Disney ever published that was based entirely on original characters and story line? Copyright monopolists have argued that libraries should be illegal, audio tape should be illegal, and videotape should be illegal. Now they are arguing that cloud storage of data should be illegal. I expect this argument to have much the same result as the previous ones.
  • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:14PM (#34326440)

    If all I have purchased from the record companies is a license to the music, then isn't all that matters is that the person accessing the cloud has a license? Doesn't that license entitle me to certain listening rights.

    That's why this thing is so screwed up. Hardware manufacturers sell a product. Software manufacturers sell a license. The RIAA/MPAA have deluded themselves (and gotten a bunch of laws passed supporting them) that they are selling something which isn't quite a product and isn't quite a license. By their terms, in any case where it being a product would benefit you (able to play it at parties, make backups of it, etc), they want to treat it like a license. But any case where it being a license would benefit you (discounted format upgrades, free replacement for destroyed media, making copies for your home stereo, MP3 player, computer, and car, etc), they want to treat it like a product.

  • by poopdeville (841677) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:45PM (#34327094)

    I agree that copyright law needs revising, but I have yet to see someone suggest a decent alternative that benefits both the consumer AND the producer of the consumed good.

    A strong case can be made that copyright is just not working for its intended purpose.

    Consider that the US Government alone spends 20+ billion dollars a year on pure science and scholarly research. And that copyright actually stifles the movement of the ideas these dollars are supposed to promote.

    20+ billion dollars is worth 2000+ 100 million dollar movies. Hollywood doesn't make that many. If we're being generous, they spend about 3 billion on 300 "blockbusters".

    17+ billion dollars is worth 17000 1M dollar (to produce!) albums. I only know of one "one million dollar album" (I'm sure there are a few out there...). But realistically, call it 170000 "100 thousand dollar albums". The music labels do not make 170000 albums in a year. Let's call it... 3000 albums a year. That's another billion dollars.

    We have 14+ billion left. Television costs about 1000$ a minute to produce. That means that the remaining science budget is worth about 14000000 minutes of television. That's worth about 26.61 years of television, produced every year. How much of what is on cable is a re-run? How much is pretty much worthless after it first airs -- (Like the news)? The figures I've seen suggest that about 1.3 billion dollars were spent on producing new television in 2006. Lets call it 2 billion today.

    We still have 12+ billion left. How many books is that worth? Writers are notoriously poorly paid, at about 5c a word. Lets triple that, to pay editors and publishers' administrative staff. That comes to 80 BILLION words a year. An average book is about 120,000 words, which means that the remaining science budget comes to 2 million books a year. Publishers don't put out anywhere near that many books, and a large number of the books they do put out is paid for out of the science budget anyway. Let's call it 100,000 books a year. That's 1.8 billion dollars a year.

    We still have 10+ billion dollars left in the science budget. Of course, there are many other kinds of productions. And yet, these largest four or five dwarf them.

    Clearly, science costs DWARF the entertainment industry's production costs. And yet we are tying the hands of the people we have chosen to promote for the sake of the minority, few of which have anything to do with "useful arts and sciences" anyway.

    Copyright is rent seeking, and should be abolished (or at least curtailed) as such.

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