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January 20 2012 Posted by: Mark Fidelman in: Miscellany

Music Industry to Business: If We Can’t Buy SOPA/PIPA Laws, We’ll Just Sue You Instead

imageThe song Blackout is moving up the Music Industry charts, and is bound to reach number one because it fits the industry’s belief systems.

In what can only be described as acts of Dumb and Dumber, the music industry is now targeting businesses in their quest to censor the internet and control our rights to digital goods. 

Just recently, EMI filed suit against Boston based Redigi in an attempt to shut down the company’s facilitation of used music sales.  In EMI’s complaint, the company claims that, “While ReDigi touts its service as the equivalent of a used record store, that analogy is inapplicable: used record stores do not make copies to fill their shelves,” and further, “ReDigi is actually a clearinghouse for copyright infringement and a business model built on widespread, unauthorized copying of sound recordings.”

Apparently the Music Industry, EMI and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) forgot to re-read the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) which states, and I’ve borrowed from blogger Bijan Sabet here:

1. Users take responsibility for content they upload
2. Content owners notify website owners of infringing material
3. Website owners receive the notice, review the notice and then take down any infringing content.

In other words, Redigi is protected from legal action because the user is responsible for their actions. That’s why sites like eBay and YouTube are not shut down or sued by over-zealous copyright holders. 

In it’s response filed today, Redigi counters that it’s not creating copies, but legally facilitating a sales of legally owned music. Redigi’s service is so sophisticated that it can detect legally owned music from copies and thus only allow the sale of legally owned, digital goods.  Also, that first sale doctrine applies in digital goods as it does in the analog world.  In other words, Redigi only allow users to sell legally purchased digital music and that right is secured by law. 

From my viewpoint, we are dealing with part two in the horror of the grotesquely senseless. That Hollywood and the Music Industry haven’t yet understood that they are in a new world. A world not controlled by scripts, stages, sets and lights.

And after years of preaching about infringement violation, they are attempting to infringe on ours. They are effectively saying that we no longer have the right to the digital goods we buy. That they still own them even after we pay for them.  That first sale doctrine is suspended because they say so. 

To further understand the lunacy of the Music Industry’s attitude, observe the RIAAs callous reaction to the Wikipedia self imposed blackout RIAAs:  "After Wikipedia blackout, somewhere, a student today is doing original research and getting his/her facts straight," tweeted spokesmen Jonathan Lamy

Notably, in the practice what you preach department, Lamy later deleted the tweet in an ironic act of self-censorship. 

From my perspective, the music industry possesses neither the mind nor the initiative to understand that the world has passed them by. They are stuck in a type of mind-set epitomized by the intellectually sterile.  No new ideas, no understanding of new business models, and no reason to connect with the 21st century.

They are having to deal with irrelevancy, and are striving to bring the rest of us with them. 

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