You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.
Skip to content

Legal WTF? Transmission of works

A few friends have told me about and a few swear by the site. I would possibly join in the fun (the price for a song ~$0.10 is where I actually value digital media files) but from my weak legal (self) training I think it’s a bad idea to pretend these are legitimate purchases. In other words I wouldn’t try to sell my MP3 collection, purchased from, to someone on eBay. RIAA would come a knockin’ at my door with a lot of angry looking documents is my bet.
It would appear that I’m not the only one to think that. US based media cartel RIAA has brought in US Trade Representatives Office and, according to a CNN article, hints at denying WTO ascendance! Talk about clout.
So the legal WTF I have is based on this quote from the article:

According to IFPI’s lawyers, agencies such as ROMS [Russian Multimedia and Internet Society] do not need to seek permission from rightholders if they are licensing the broadcasting, performance or transmission of works by cable — but they do if it concerns their sale over the Internet.

Wait, wait, wait. I thought in the US RIAA was trying to say that it IS a transmission over cable… Is there some difference the court is making now regarding what is a cable? At the very least I think Russian law leaves way more room for interpretation and should require that all of these quaint differences are ironed out before shutting down the site.
Whether or not we [Americans] are accessing the site is a different matter all together.

In other news, a pdf was produced by MPAA with a topology of the “underground pirates” (cue scary sounds.. something pirate like)
I think the “Suppliers” is grouped wrongly. Those who are replicating large amounts of pirated hard copies (physical discs) are not really connected to those who distribute to topsites. In fact most of the topsite operators hate/shun/avoid/flog those who would be motivated by profit (which in the case of producing hard copies requires a profit model). It’s little violations of truth like this, or one could assume it is ignorance on the part of MPAA, that end up making so many angry. I understand going after the millions of illegal copies produced in China (and Russia) but what sickens many is the unfair lumping of these two types of pirates.
The other really irritating add on here is “facilitators”. One could literally include Google in this catagory and in fact should. Search engines, regardless of content, should never ever be illegal. If the MPAA wants to use the search engine to go after violators I understand. That’s just part of the game. Shutting down search engines because people have used it to find infringing material is unjust. And I mean unjust in that Rawlsian fashion here. I’m somewhat suprised MPAA didn’t use the RIAA word inducer.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.