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MP3Tunes 'Safe Harbor' Court Challenge Approaching 94

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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  • Enough Already. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BigSes ( 1623417 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:27PM (#34325022)
  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:31PM (#34325066)

    Physical location of information storage is irrelevant.

    What matters (and what should matter legally) is who has control of
    and access rights to the information. That is the person who is
    in possession of the information and determining its disposition.

    Whether a person chooses to manage their personal or personally owned
    information on a local hard drive, a usb stick, or a rented chunk of the
    cloud ought to be completely irrelevant.

    If law is going to rule on uses of internet architecture, law had
    better understand fundamental concepts of internet architecture,
    such as virtual private networks and idependent security realms.

  • EMI expands scope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by guyminuslife ( 1349809 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:39PM (#34325154)

    In their next case, they'll contend that not only are users breaking the law when they store their music on a hard drive they've rented, they're breaking the law when they store their music on a hard drive they've purchased. And of course, when I say "hard drive" I mean a "storage device," such as a flash drive or an optical disk. In other news: EMI pushes for a return to vinyl records.

  • by KublaiKhan ( 522918 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:44PM (#34325198) Homepage Journal
    ...from the bottom up. Simply put, the extant laws and the interpretations thereof are no longer valid for the changes that digitization have brought on. This revision has been needed for many years now, and the record industry's insistence on maintaining outmoded and obselete restrictions is a direct result of their inability to innovate a way to make a profit outside of their old model.

    I see no reason why the *AA should stifle creative expression because they're unable to continue making a profit on buggy whips.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @07:51PM (#34325252)

    I love the EFF. I do. But they're rabidly pro-copying. Or pro-sharing.

    Yes, where it's legal to do so. They do not condone copyright infringement.

  • Self Ownage (Score:2, Insightful)

    by paxcoder ( 1222556 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:05PM (#34325406)

    If I were a judge here, and were talked out of reading a FOTC letter, I'd just be more interested in reading it.
    Weather forecast for the upcoming years: Increase of music in the troposphere.

  • by Bucky24 ( 1943328 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:39PM (#34325724)
    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.

    Remember, despite all their flaws, the copyright laws we have today did and still do serve a purpose. They keep people from stealing ideas. They work wonderfully for solid non-digital things, like the thousands of goods we buy in stores-its only when we try to apply them to electronic data and ideas that we start having problems.
  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:43PM (#34325756)

    Attaching data to a medium which cannot be duplicated and degrades over time is the cornerstone of the entertainment industry's business model. Cloud computing, networks, and any other form of data duplication and replication is therefore its natural enemy.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:46PM (#34325794)
    If we accept EMI's argument, then all of the online data backup services are also facilitating copyright infringement and should be shut down. Microsoft's latest buzzword is "the cloud", why haven't they filed an amicus brief?

    And by the way, how the fuck can anyone object to an amicus brief? Wouldn't doing so just result in dozens of similar organization filing essentially the same brief? I assure you, EMI, we can file 'em faster than you can object to 'em!
  • by Jumperalex ( 185007 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:32PM (#34326110)

    So why does it matter where it is stored, who stores it, blah blah blah.

    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.

    Or to put it another way, isn't MP3Tunes.com responsible for doing nothing else beyond ensuring I have a license for the music they are serving me? Isn't a reasonable method for discerning that fact my ability to upload a copy of that music?

    There are two scenarios: either I uploaded a licensed version so now STFU. Or it is an unlicensed version and as such MP3Tunes still isn't facilitating since they aren't the ones that gave me the unlicensed version in the first place and oh yeah BTW I already have an unlicensed copy so the battle is lost. No one else is "getting" that unlicensed version since the only reason they even have access via the cloud is because they already uploaded a licensed version or [drum roll please] they already are in possession of, and uploaded, an unlicensed version.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:34PM (#34326138)

    > They keep people from stealing ideas.

    How do you "steal" an intangible??

    To quote a famous insight...
    "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

    The concept of Imaginary Property is absurd to begin with ... I have a sequence of numbers, yet somehow magically it is "owned" by someone else because it just so happens these numbers represent the frequencies of Happy Birthday. EMI can go fuck themselves.

    Copyright is eventually going away in a few hundred years, whether they like it or not, and maybe we can get onto more important things instead of arguing over who "owns" what particular sequence of numbers.

    The Fashion Industry has no copyright at all yet it still "magically" makes money ...
    http://blog.ted.com/2010/05/25/lessons_from_fa/ [ted.com]

    "Resistance of the Future is Childish"

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:13PM (#34326424)

    Actually, the whole of human understanding is inter-related ideas. No idea can stand in isolation from any other. However, reality has little bearing on how the judiciary process works. In fact, an argument could be made that it can function in the absence of any grounding in reality. For that matter, the same can be said of society in general. One of the cornerstones of our society is the idea we can own land. We have entirely artificial barriers that we've interposed between ourselves and our physical environment. I cannot walk outside, point to a random spot on the ground, and prove a relationship between it and anyone else based on what my senses tell me. Nonetheless, this artificial social construct of land ownership is an intrinsic part of our daily lives. Society would not function without it. I couldn't force you to leave "my" home if you were not welcome, businesses could not develop the land because the next day somebody else might come and knock down their building, etc. Land ownership, however artificial, does serve a purpose.

    Intellectual property too has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives -- and it is also as artificial of a social construct as land ownership. And the courts' job is to uphold social constructs and maintain the status quo... not debate the merits of said constructs.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis