The Court believes that “legalizing” file-sharing encourages the distribution of counterfeit and pirated works. In addition, it explains that the system poses “an unfair disadvantage to the copyright holders.” The Court further notes that the Dutch system also punishes those who buy their digital movies and music from authorized sources, as they also pay the piracy levy on the devices and media they record them to. “All users are indirectly penalized since they necessarily contribute towards the compensation payable for the harm caused by private reproductions made from an unlawful source. Users consequently find themselves required to bear an additional, non-negligible cost in order to be able to make private copies,” the Court notes.

The Netherlands Must Outlaw Downloading, EU Court Rules (Update) | TorrentFreak

After a public consultation and a thorough inspection of local copyright legislation, the UK Government decided to change current laws in favor of consumers. The changes have been in the planning stage for a few years, but this summer they will finally be implemented. Starting in July people are free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as it’s for personal use. To inform the public about these upcoming changes the Government has just released a consumer guide, summing up citizens’ new rights. “Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office writes. “The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

UK Govt: DVD and CD Ripping Will Be Legalized This Summer | TorrentFreak

Jury slaps $41M copyright verdict on MP3Tunes founder

Michael Robertson, an early innovator in cloud-based music services, can’t catch a break in court. A jury last week found that Robertson had ignored “red flags” of copyright infringement at his defunct file-locker service, MP3Tunes, and this week it reportedly imposed a whopping $41 million damages verdict.

The details of the verdict are still unavailable, but Reuters reports that it included an unusual $7.5 million of punitive damages on top of ordinary statutory damages — automatic penalties of up to $150,000 per infringement set out in the Copyright Act. The verdict was awarded to a group of music companies that acquired EMI, which sued Robertson and MP3Tunes in 2007.

» via GigaOM

Book publishers, as per a 2002 court decision Random House v. Rosetta Books, must get an author’s permission to republish a book as an ebook. Publishing houses, the Second Circuit court found, had the rights to publish the work “in book form”—a form that was found to exclude ebooks. If publishing houses wanted to make an ebook of a book they had published, they would have to renegotiate each book with its author. For record labels, the opposite is the case, the result of a 1998 Second Circuit decision Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Ltd. v. The Walt Disney Company. In that case the court was asked to decide whether Disney had violated the copyright on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, which appears in the Disney film Fantasia, when Disney had released Fantasia on video. Boosey, who held the Stravinsky rights, argued that the original 1939 license covered the “only format known at the time, acetate-based film produced for viewing in theaters.” The court disagreed, siding with Disney: “Converting old music to new formats did not require the licensee to negotiate a new license with the copyright owner,” Heald writes. For this reason, “music publishers can proceed with the digitization of their back catalog without competing to re-sign authors or hiring lawyers to re-negotiate and write new contracts.”

Why Are So Few Books From the 20th Century Available as Ebooks? - Rebecca J. Rosen - The Atlantic

Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have a way to prevent any coffee not licensed by Keurig from brewing in the machine as early as this fall.

Ars Technica (via dbreunig)

(via dbreunig)

Judge Refuses to Alter Pandora’s Payments to Songwriters

A federal judge on Friday left unchanged the royalty rate that the streaming service Pandora pays songwriters, a move that may fuel efforts by music groups to change the decades-old government regulation over licensing.

Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled on Friday that for each year from 2011 to 2015, Pandora must pay 1.85 percent of its revenue to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for the use of its members’ music, according to a statement by the society, better known as Ascap, which was sued by Pandora in late 2012.

While Ascap revealed Judge Cote’s rate determination, her full decision remains under seal for the parties to review for potential redaction of confidential information.

» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)

With its single-serving coffee pods, Green Mountain Coffee has transformed the business of brew. Pop a capsule into one of the company’s Keurig machines, and the machine will instantly churn out your daily caffeine dose. But Green Mountain doesn’t want copycats taking the business it pioneered away. That’s why CEO Brian Kelley says its new coffee makers will include technology that prevents people from using pods from other companies. The approach has been compared to DRM restrictions that limit the sharing of digital music and video online. But more than just curbing your coffee choices, Green Mountain’s protections portend the kind of closed system that could gut the early promise of the Internet of Things — a promise that hinges on a broad network of digital, connected devices remaking the everyday world.

Why Copyrighted Coffee May Cripple the Internet of Things | Wired Business | Wired.com

Because [Aereo’s] system transmits the same underlying performances to numerous subscribers, the system is clearly infringing," he wrote. However, he said that line of reasoning doesn’t extend to other cloud-based services, what you’d commonly associate with Amazon storage lockers or Dropbox. "That conclusion, however, should not call into question the legitimacy of businesses that use the Internet to provide new ways for consumers to store, hear, and view their own lawfully acquired copies of copyrighted works.

US sides with networks against Aereo in Supreme Court fight | Internet & Media - CNET News

“The Copyright Act does not tolerate business models premised on the unauthorized exploitation of the copyrighted works of others,” said the brief, which was filed by broadcasters including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

TV Networks Ask Supreme Court to Shut Down Aereo - NYTimes.com

In Kimball’s reading, the 2nd Circuit saw Congress as attempting to “distinguish between public and private transmissions.” Kimball sees no such distinction, believing Congress intended the Transmit Clause to apply to a broad swath of technologies. Copyrighted works watched privately can still be “public performances” under particular circumstances (hotel video-on-demand systems, for instance). “Congress expressly used language throughout the definition section of the 1976 Copyright Act that would encompass all known or yet to be developed technologies,” Kimball wrote in today’s order.

Aereo loses copyright fight, gets banned in 6 states | Ars Technica