Thursday, January 31, 2008

International Quick Hits

Yes, if you are on the RSS feed, you are getting this. A new goal for 2008: to post more. Readers of the website and on the RSS feed will receive this. Those getting the e-mail will not.


Similar to the infamous Napster cases in the United States (from the earlier part of this decade), and using something similar to a new provision (well, it's new in copyright terms) in the U.S. Copyright statute, German content licensing authority GEMA won a copyright infringement case against RapidShare, which allows users to save and share files.

Here is a description of RapidShare: The site allows any user to upload files of up to 100 MB and up to 2000 MB for premium members. The user is then supplied with a unique download URL which enables anyone, with whom the uploader shares it, to download the file. No user is allowed to search the server for content; all files have to be downloaded by following a given URL.

It certainly allows a user to upload any file - whether that user owns the copyright or not - to the RapidShare service, and then give the URL to the file to any of the user's friends. Certainly (under U.S. law - ยง512 of the Copyright statute, but it also seems as if German law is similar), it is the website's responsibilty to take down any copyrighted material that the website does not have permission to hold.


The Copyright Royalty Board is holding hearings on the rates on digital reproductions of songs in the United States.


Verizon does not want to install software on its networks to play copyright police.

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