Judge Clarifies 'Fair Use' in Suit
U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel refused to dismiss the lawsuit Wednesday, saying Universal needed to first consider whether the clip was "fair use" before demanding its removal. It's the first such legal ruling requiring copyright owners to consider fair use of their material before demanding that Internet sites such as YouTube take it down. The ruling came in the case of a Pennsylvania woman who sued Universal Music Corp. because it forced YouTube to take down a video clip she posted of her toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Fair use provisions of the U.S. copyright act allow segments of copyrighted works to be used for purposes of parody or satire or in reviews and other limited circumstances. The judge said he would determine later whether the clip constituted fair use, but he knocked down Universal's contention that the company was within its rights to demand the takedown regardless.
Monterey County Herald
Sampling a Song Can Be Fair Use, Rules US Court
The producers of a film defending the anti-evolutionary theories of Intelligent Design probably did not infringe copyright when they used a sample of John Lennon's song Imagine in the film, a New York court has ruled. Judge Richard B. Lowe III ruled in the Supreme Court of the State of New York that "fair use is available as a defence in the context of sound recordings." Past rulings outlawed the use of even very short music clips without copyright holders' permission.
Copyright Law and the Web, Part 1: A Hazy Intersection
Technology often evolves more rapidly than the laws needed to regulate it, especially in the realm of copyright law. Guidelines are in place concerning the ‘fair use' of copyrighted materials, but their interpretations have often left lawyers, judges, corporations and everyday consumers Paul Korzeniowski, e-CommerceTimes
Buyer's Remorse Kicks In; Apple Faces iPhone Class Action
Apple is now facing a consumer class action lawsuit tied to its iPhone 3G, according to filings surfacing Thursday. The lawsuit, entered by Jessica Alena Smith or Birmingham, Alabama, alleges that Apple misrepresented 3G-specific connectivity speeds and capabilities tied to the device. The case, which seeks class action status, closely follows an admission by Apple that the iPhone was experiencing 3G-related connectivity issues.
Alexandra Osorio, Digital Music News
8tracks: Muxtape, Without the Legal Muckiness
Missing Muxtape? A small service called 8tracks is trying to fill the void while avoiding the pitfalls. Playing off the same concept, 8tracks lets you upload up to 30 minutes of music into a custom playlist, which can then be publicly shared with other users. You can search for music using artists, genres, or usernames. So how is this legal while Muxtape ran into trouble?
JR Raphael, The Inquisitr
Shareholders to Napster: Try Harder to Sell Yourself
Three investors are launching a fight to get elected to the board of Napster Inc. so they can push for a sale of the West Hollywood-based digital music company. Their campaign platform: Napster's current management is incompetent and busy enriching itself. The company, which has been on the block before, should try harder to find a buyer. "Napster should be exploring all possible avenues of maximizing stockholder value," including a sale, the investors said Thursday in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "The actions taken by the current board have made that option extremely difficult for potential acquirers."
Michelle Quinn, L.A. Times Blog