September 25, 2008

Aerosmith Singer Sues Bloggers

More blogger news this week:

Article --

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler sued unknown bloggers who allegedly impersonated him on the internet, writing about "intimate details" of his life. The suit accuses the bloggers of public disclosure of private facts, making false statements and misappropriation of likeness. It also seeks an injunction to have the defendants stop impersonating him online or elsewhere.

Streaming Royalties

Royalties Deal in Online Music

Record labels, music publishers, songwriters and online music services have reached an agreement on how to compensate music creators for online distribution of their content, they said.
Under the proposal, providers of such services will pay a royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue after other royalties are calculated.

From The Digital Media Association (DiMA):

The agreement, in the form of draft regulations submitted to the Copyright Royalty Judges, proposes for the first time mechanical royalty rates for
interactive streaming and limited downloads, including for subscription and
ad-supported services. The agreement proposes a flexible percentage of revenue
rate structure, with minimum payments in certain circumstances.

Limited download and interactive streaming services will generally pay a mechanical royalty of 10.5 percent of revenue, less any amounts owed for performance royalties. In certain instances, royalty-free promotional streaming is allowed. Outside the scope of the draft regulations, the parties confirmed that non-interactive, audio-only streaming services do not require reproduction or distribution licenses from copyright owners.

The agreement does not address royalty rates for physical product or permanent music downloads. The Copyright Royalty Judges are expectedto issue a ruling on those rates on or before October 2

September 24, 2008

P2P Jury Award Set Aside

RIAA's $222,000 verdict in Capitol v. Thomas set aside. Judge rejects 'making available'; attacks excessive damages. [Article]

September 24, 2008, decision setting aside verdict

Synopsis from Ray Beckerman:
In Capitol v. Thomas, District Judge Michael J. Davis has set aside the jury's $222,000 verdict and ordered a new trial, ruling that his jury instruction -- which accepted the RIAA's "making available" theory -- was erroneous. He also rejected the 'offer to distribute' theory.

September 23, 2008

Sanction Motion Argues Blogging is Vexatious Conduct

Ray Beckerman defends alleged file-sharers in cases brought by the RIAA; he also runs the most comprehensive blog about the RIAA's legal campaign against file-sharing.

In UMG Recordings, Inc. et al. v. Lindor, No. 05 CV 1095 (DGT)(RML), (E.D.N.Y. motion dated Sept. 12, 2008), plaintiffs filed a memorandum of law in support of their motion for sanctions and to dismiss without prejudice. Their argument is:

Defendant And Her Counsel Should Be Sanctioned For Providing False And Misleading Information And For Unreasonably And Vexatiously Multiplying And Prolonging This Litigation; Defendant and her counsel should be sanctioned for discovery abuses under Rule 37 and the Court’s inherent authority; Defendant’s counsel should be sanctioned for engaging in vexatious litigation in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 1927 by making false statements, fighting Plaintiffs’ good faith efforts to uncover crucial evidence, and filing frivolous motions, all of which unnecessarily increased the costs of this litigation; Defendant, her counsel, or both should be ordered to pay monetary sanctions to Plaintiffs because their misconduct demeaned the integrity of the judicial process and unnecessarily prolonged and increased the cost of this lawsuit.

At page 19-20 of the brief, plaintiff's argue:
Finally, as this Court is aware, Defendant’s counsel has maintained an anti-recording
industry blog
during the course of this case and has consistently posted virtually
every one of his baseless motions on his blog seeking to bolster his public relations campaign and embarrass Plaintiffs. Such vexatious conduct demeans the integrity of these judicial proceedings and warrants this imposition of sanctions. See Galonsky, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19570, at *18-19.

New Music Format

SanDisk, record labels announce new music format
Backed by four major music labels, SanDisk on Monday announced a new physical
music format dubbed "SlotMusic" that's essentially an entire album on a MicroSD compact memory card. Wal-Mart and Best Buy are among the retailers that have already signed on to start selling the cards for the upcoming holiday season