May 2, 2008

4 More Hours of Deposing LimeWire COO

Lime Wire's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer has been ordered to undergo 4 more hours of deposition, in addition to the two days of deposition that already occurred.

"Considering the facts set forth in Rule 26(b)(2)(C)(iii), this is a case in which the stakes are high, both sides have significant resources, and Bildson is apparently a central figure in the case."

The four additional hours "should be adequate time, particulary if the witness comes to realize that brisker, more responsive answers will undoubtedly reduce the tedium that he apparently feels and so visibly displays, with salutary effects on the impression he will make on the eventual factfind at trial."

I.e., take a hint.

Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC, No. 06 Civ. 5936, 5/2/08 N.Y.L.J. "Decision of Interest" (S.D.N.Y. April 15, 2008).

Ramones & Digital Exploitation

Reinhardt (p/k/a Richie Ramone and Richie Beau) v. Wal-Mart stores, Inc. et al, No. 07 Civ. 8233, 2008 WL 1781232, (S.D.N.Y. April 18, 2008) (Scheindlin, J.).

Court interprets recording contract relating to exploitation "by any method now or hereafter known" -- license reaches digital media and distribution. [Patry].

May 1, 2008

'Fair Use Project" to Represent Expelled in 'Imagine' Suit

From the tipster wire:

Stanford Law School’s Fair Use Project to Represent Filmmakers in Lawsuit Brought by Yoko OnoPublication

STANFORD, Calif., May 1 , 2008—The Fair Use Project of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society today announced that it is signing on to defend Premise Media’s right to use a clip of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” in its documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” for the purposes of commentary and criticism. The film, released in the United States on April 18, 2008, is about alleged discrimination against people who support alternative theories of evolution such as intelligent design. The song is played for roughly 15 seconds to illustrate and criticize the ideas suggested in it—that the world might be a better place without religion. Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono Lennon and sons Sean and Julian, along with EMI Blackwood Music, filed suit on April 22, 2008 claiming that Premise Media’s unauthorized use of “Imagine” violates copyright and trademark law. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Premise Media, C&S Production LP, Premise Media Distribution LP, and Rocky Mountain Pictures misappropriated the composition in violation of the Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, and New York state law. On the same date, EMI Records Ltd. and Capitol Records LLC filed suit against the same defendants in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleging violation of their rights in the sound recording under New York state law.

Premise Media contends it has the right to use the song under the fair use doctrine, which among other things permits the use of copyrighted material for the purpose of comment, criticism, and discussion. “The right to quote from copyrighted works in order to criticize them and discuss the views they may represent lies at the heart of the fair use doctrine,” said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project. “These rights are under attack here, and we plan to defend them.” Falzone will serve as counsel on the case along with Stanford Law colleagues Julie A. Ahrens and Brandy Karl. The Stanford team will be joined by Roy Hardin and April Terry, partners at the Dallas office of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP. The producers of “Expelled” spent two years interviewing scores of scientists, doctors, philosophers, and public leaders, including University of Minnesota biology professor P.Z. Myers, who does not support alternative theories of evolution. The clip of “Imagine,” which is audible for approximately 15 seconds, is used in a segment of the documentary in which the film’s narrator and author Ben Stein comments on statements made by Myers and others about the place of religion. In the documentary Stein says: “Dr. Myers would like you to think that he’s being original but he’s merely lifting a page out of John Lennon’s songbook.” This is followed by an audio clip of Lennon’s song “Imagine,” specifically, the lyrics “Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too.” “We included the ‘Imagine’ clip not only to illuminate Ben Stein’s commentary but to criticize the ideas expressed in the song,” says Logan Craft, chairman and executive producer of Premise Media. “Yoko Ono and the other plaintiffs are trying to redefine the Constitution and the free speech protection it affords,” Craft continued. “Our movie is about freedom—the freedom to discuss alternative views of how life began on our planet, the freedom to ask reasonable questions about the adequacy of Darwin’s theory, and the freedom to challenge an entrenched establishment. Now we find that we also have to fight for our free speech rights.”

The plaintiffs in both cases have filed motions asking the court to issue a nationwide injunction against showing the film in its present form. These motions are likely to be heard in the next few weeks.

Patry on P2P Case

Patry blogs on Atlantic Recording v. Howell P2P decision.

April 29, 2008

Project Playlist - Sued by RIAA

The RIAA sued Project Playlist in the Southern District of New York for primary copyright infringement, secondary, infringment, common law infringement of pre-72 recordings, and unfair competition (pre-72 only). Atlantic Recording Corp. et. al v. Project Playlist, Inc., No. 08-cv-3922-DC (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed April 28, 2008). The theme of Plaintiffs' allegations can be summarized as follows: "Project Playlist therefore sets about to increase its user base and profits – all at Plaintiffs’ expense – by portraying itself as an innovative way to find music on the Internet. However, theft is not innovation, and the Internet does not grant a license to steal." (Compl. para. 4).

Read this doc on Scribd: Atlantic v Project Playlist COMPLAINT

April 28, 2008

Coldplay Single - Free for a Week

Beginning tomorrow (4/29/08) and lasting for a one week period, Coldplay will offer at no cost on their website the first single on their new album. On May 6th, the single will be available as a conventional "pay to download" track.

Why only a one week free-trial? The free-download period coincides with the beginning of radio-release. Isn't the first week likely to be the week when demand for the single is highest?

[Billboard article.]

One More Cup of Coffee

Starbucks is "refocusing" their Hear Music and entertainment business on distribution of "digital wares".

AdAge article here.