Monthly Archives: January 2011

RIAA Not Keen On Hearing The .MUSIC

While brand owners have taken issue with the vast trademark implications of ICANN’s proposed (and at this point, likely) expansion of the domain name space to add countless new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to the Internet, one organization has raised the specter of increased copyright infringement pursuant to domain name expansion.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade organization representing the music labels and artists well known for its aggressive tactics designed to counter music piracy, has expressed concern over ICANN’s gTLD program, and specifically possible "music themed" gTLDs. In a January 5, 2011 letter… More

Is it getting hot in here? Perfect10.com takes on Chilling Effects

In what must be one of the nation’s longest-lived Internet copyright wars, Perfect10, Inc. recently opened up a new front, asserting that online publication of its Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown notices is a copyright violation.

Perfect10, founded by former mathematics professor and professional poker player Norman Zada, is a softporn fee-based Internet site and print magazine that publishes pictures of women in various states of undress. Although Perfect10 tries to reserve these pictures exclusively for its customers, the images have a way of getting around, and are often republished online without authorization.

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Dollar Bin Divers Rejoice! First Sale Doctrine Applies to Promo CDs

Most of you serious music fans have at least one. At some point, you were diving through the dollar bins of a used record store and came across an unfamiliar album by your favorite artist, bearing a label such as “Promotional Use Only – Not for Sale.” These Promotional CDs are routinely mailed in advance of their commercial release by record companies to a select group of music critics, disc jockeys and other music industry folks. What a find! But then you notice some fine print:

PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY – NOT FOR SALE. THIS CD IS THE PROPERTY OF THE… More

Ninth Circuit Imposes DMCA Liability, Even in the Absence of Copyright Infringement

The Ninth Circuit’s liability determination in MDY Industries v. Blizzard, discussed in my prior post, rested not on copyright infringement, but on a violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) provisions regarding circumvention of access controls.

As discussed previously, Section 1201(a)(1) prohibits “circumvent[ing] a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under” Title 17. 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A). Both the Fourth Circuit, in MGE UPS Systems, Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial, Inc. et al., and the Federal Circuit, in Chamberlin Group Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., have held that the "DMCA prohibits only… More

Update: Blizzard Owns Your Software

As expected, the Ninth Circuit has declared link that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft (WoW) software licensees are just that — licensees, and not owners — because the WoW Terms of Use sufficiently restrict the transfer and use of the WoW software. MDY Industries, LLC v. Blizzard Entertainment et al., No. 09-15932 (9th Cir. December 14, 2010). This outcome was predictable, and consistent with the court’s decision in Vernor v. Autodesk, which outlined a three-part test for determining the owner/licensee status of a software user.

In Vernor, the court determined that Vernor’s sale of used copies of AutoCad was… More