January 7, 2009

Denying Summary Judgment to RIAA in Veoh

In the federal case UMG Recordings v. Veoh Networks, UMG's motion for summary judgment has been denied. UMG moved for partial summary judgment determining that Veoh was not entitled to the "safe harbor" afforded by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The District Court disagreed.


UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., No. 2:07-cv-05744-AHM-AJW (C.D. Cal., decided Dec. 29, 2008) [Doc. 293]

Has Anyone Read?

Steve Knopper, APPETITE FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age (Free Press 2009).

Commentary from New York Times.

Barring Foreign FM Broadcasts in Europe

Sabrina Tavernise, "Azerbaijan Bars Foreigners From Use of Its FM Band", 1/6/09 New York Times (World).

Azerbaijan has begun to enforce a law that bans foreign companies from broadcasting on national frequencies, effectively closing its airwaves non-domestic radio broadcasters. Foreign companies are still permitted to broadcast on shortwaves, satellite and cable. “They can broadcast any way they like, except for on our national FM frequency,” said an official in Azerbaijan’s presidential administration.

January 6, 2009

iTunes Goes DRM-Free on Remaining Majors

Apple reportedly has signed a deal with three more major labels (Sony, Universal and Warner Music) to bring more DRM-free MP3s to iTunes.

As part of the deal, Apple will reportedly be more lax on their strict price fix, breaking MP3s into three tiered pricing: Older catalog tracks,79-cents; newer songs, 99-cents; and hit songs, more.

[Rolling Stone]

January 4, 2009

Zappa/Ryko Dispute Update

A reader emailed us asking for an update on earlier postings (January 2008) about a dispute between the Estate of Frank Zappa and the Rykodisc label.

The docket sheet indicates that after some initial scheduling issues, defendant Rykodisc filed a motion to dismiss and for a more definitive statement in June 2008 (Docket no. 17).  On Sept. 3, 2008, the court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's Lanham Act claims (i.e., trademark claims), but denied the motion for a more definitive statement (Fed.R. Civ. P. 12(e)).  (Docket no. 25).  Unfortunately, the order refers to an August hearing for its reasoning, the transcript of which is not available.

Thereafter, defendant answered the amended complaint, and the parties are now litigating issues concerning leave to serve interrogatories. 

[Zappa v. Rykodisc, Inc.; case no. 08-cv-00396-WHP (S.D.N.Y. filed 1/15/08)]