This is one of those stories that really, really makes me want to get up on my soapbox. This type of thing has been going on too often and too long. The United States Government is simply letting it and, more often than not, condoning it.
- Linking is the same as publishing
- Sued a dead woman
- Sued a dead man, and gave the children 60 days to Grieve and then sued the children
- Sent a DMCA takedown notice letter to a network printer
- RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police (yro.slashdot.org)
- MasterCard may cut off file sharing sites over piracy (arstechnica.com)
- MegaUpload Dares RIAA To Sue Them (yro.slashdot.org)
- Crookes, RIAA, MPAA, ICE – ‘Linking Is Publishing’ (yro.slashdot.org)
- Ralph Janke: Mastercard Taking on Functions of Courts? (drupal.txwikinger.me.uk)
- MPAA/RIAA Lobbied Extensively In Favor of Domain Seizures (torrentfreak.com)
- “New” Sue Em’ All Campaign, the MPAA Copies the RIAA (lockergnome.com)
- MasterCard willing to cut off pirate sites (news.cnet.com)
- Homeland Security is Now Working for the Recording Industry? (techie-buzz.com)
I caught this one off of my TechDirt feed. It seems that a band had licensed a work under a Creative Commons License. While there are several types of Creative Commons Licenses, they are all pretty much self descriptive. More specifically, in this court case, it was a non-commercial, non-derivative, attribution type of license. So it is okay to use such a piece, unaltered, non-commercially and attribution must be given. According to the TechDirt Article and and article it references at Technollama, a movie theater not only used it in a commercial but gave no attribution and altered it slightly!
The band opted not to accept a settlement and sued for copyright infringement. The Belgium Court agreed, from Technollama;
The court acknowledged the licensing under the CC license and the fact that the theater did not respect any of the license features:
- no attribution was made
- the music was slightly modified for the ad
- the advertisement, even for a theater was a commercial use prohibited by the license.
The actual documents are available but they are in French. From what I see, the theater violated every term of the license. The band was awarded 4500€, 1500 Euros for each attribution of the license not respected.
I find this to be most interesting in terms of appropriate intellectual property rights. First, it shows that, at least in Belgium, the courts have respected the CC license. There was a violation of how the artists wished their material distributed, the theater, although claiming good will and ignorance, violated the license.
Second, the case was directly between the right holder and the violator (and, unlike the RIAA cases the accused knew they were being sued). I don’t know how much or how little the settlement actually adds up to. Doing a quick Google search, I am told it is just over 6,250 US Dollars.
I reckon the RIAA would think that figure low. I also have to wonder how many “infringed” RIAA artists have seen that much money in a settlement?
- Belgian Court Rules That Violating Creative Commons License Subjects You To Copyright Infringement Charge (techdirt.com)
- Belgian Court recognises CC licences (technollama.co.uk)