Come on, protect the motherland / In the navy

The Village People

A cou­ple of inter­est­ing posts on the 1709 copy­right blog, which — for my trainspot­ting sins and fas­ci­na­tion with all things music copy­right — I fol­low.

First up, from a cou­ple of weeks back, was this US deci­sion on the Unit­ed States copy­right law pro­vi­sions that poten­tial­ly allow all artists to reclaim (with restric­tions) all copy­right assigned to a pub­lish­er or a label after 35 years. The first of these come up next year, and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions for the majors are mas­sive.

In the first defin­ing strike, Vic­tor Willis, the lead singer of The Vil­lage Peo­ple, has reclaimed his share of all those songs we all kin­da liked but refused to admit to (unless we were drunk).

Chief Judge Bar­ry T. Moskowitz in the Fed­er­al Dis­trict Court in Los Ange­les reject­ed the song pub­lish­ers’ claim that Mr. Willis was not eli­gi­ble to reclaim his share of own­er­ship of “YMCA” whose lyrics he wrote, and 32 oth­er songs record­ed by the Vil­lage Peo­ple say­ing “The pur­pose of the Act was to safe­guard authors against unre­mu­ner­a­tive trans­fers and address the unequal bar­gain­ing posi­tion of authors.

When placed along­side the raft of dig­i­tal suites, includ­ing Chuck D’s class action, this could turn the major label uni­verse upside down — what is EMI real­ly worth if all those lega­cy acts can reclaim their rights?

Oth­er acts includ­ing Bob Dylan, Tim Waits, Bryan Adams, Bruce Spring­steen, Bil­ly Joel, Ken­ny Rogers, The Doo­bie Broth­ers, Fleet­wood Mac and Tom Pet­ty are said to be sim­i­lar­ly ask­ing for the revi­sion of both song writ­ing and record­ing copy­rights.

1709 not­ed yes­ter­day that some 285 oth­er acts have now filed for rever­sion…

Mean­while, in the land dow­nun­der, where copy­right was enforced in a bizarrely trag­ic way of recent that seemed to strike at the very core of the broad intent of the con­cept, there is a new paper from the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Alliance on the prick­ly sub­ject of pub­lic wifi and copy­right. I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat in air­ports around the world and, whilst not down­load­ing copy­right­ed music or film, tak­en advan­tage of the fast and free inter­net to grab stuff that would’ve pushed my data cap and tak­en for­ev­er when I was still on New Zealand plans.

That said, I know for a fact younger mem­bers of my fam­i­ly — who’s name I won’t men­tion here — have found them­selves with movies on their lap­top dri­ve which weren’t there before we spent an hour or two in a tran­sit lounge. And enforce­ment is prob­lem­at­ic…

While legal/lawful inter­cep­tion can be done, the asso­ci­at­ed process­es are not stan­dard­ised in the way they are for trac­ing (phone) num­bers in a licensed car­ri­er net­work. Prac­ti­cal chal­lenges on a pub­lic Wi-Fi net­work may include:
(a) Dynam­ic address allo­ca­tion, which ham­pers usage track­ing i.e. a dif­fer­ent IP address is allo­cat­ed per ses­sion, which can make track­ing usage by IP address quite difficult(b) The absence of user data on a Pub­lic Wi-Fi net­work i.e. there is typ­i­cal­ly no user data retained on pub­lic Wi-Fi net­works, unlike in licensed car­ri­er net­works.© Per­mit­ting anony­mous, tem­po­rary use, which can be dif­fi­cult to trace after the event.

This one will run and run.… 1

Show 1 foot­note

  1. And in the inter­est of dis­clo­sure — the above VP shot is all over the net, includ­ing Last.fm, and is clear­ly based on a pub­lic­i­ty shot — if I’ve some­how infringed someone’s copy­right, please let me know..

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