Former Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom's long, wild ride through the courts has crashed into another setback, with the Supreme Court declining to hear an appeal in the 2012 seizure of his assets in New Zealand.
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The operators of YouTube-MP3.org, a popular website for turning the audio tracks of YouTube videos into MP3s, have agreed to shut down the site and hand over the domain to the RIAA. This predictable outcome comes after 15 of the world's largest record companies filed a complaint in a California court. Poor little YouTube-MP3.org never had a chance.
Grooveshark was one of the last big illegal music services left when it was shut down by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) earlier this year. So it's not all that surprising that a Grooveshark clone received similar legal treatment, although the size of the fine is something else.
We've known for years that the RIAA acts like a bunch of hypocritical bullies with nothing better to do than pick on the helpless. But wow. The latest report about how the lobbying organisation is now bullying small music sites that not only have zero revenue but also pay licensing fees is just pathetic.
The RIAA is a real stickler about copyright. It basically wants to turn Google into its own private internet copyright police, to make sure the internet is free of offending links. But, as we've learned before, the RIAA doesn't always feel like paying attention to copyright laws itself, and over the weekend we learned that this applies even when adhering to copyright doesn't cost a cent.
It should come as no surprise that the RIAA, of all organisations, plays particularly fast and loose with its DMCA takedown requests. But thanks to a ridiculous blitz, the RIAA just had its 25 millionth link removed from Google search results. And it's not slowing down.
When Napster exploded onto the scene in 1999, not every musician responded by frothing at the mouth. In this exclusive clip from the Napster documentary Downloaded, you'll see that artists' reactions were as diverse as the music they make. Trent Reznor's smug braininess meets multiple Spice Girls and everybody walks away wondering how Spice Girls haven't heard of the internet. In 1999. Seriously?
Ain't nobody in the US House of Representatives gonna be listening to no Spotify at work. Why? The House's IT overlords don't see fit. Not because Spotify is distracting and there's real work that needs to be done or anything, no. It's because Spotify has P2P guts and P2P is baaaaaaad, apparently. Yeah, even the RIAA thinks that line of reasoning is stupid.
Pandora, which quietly reinstated its internet radio service in Australia back in July, wants you to know that Pandora is good for music because it pays artists millions and millions of dollars for their songs. Take Drake and Lil Wayne -- they get nearly $US3 million each a year. And Pandora wants to pay them more.
Today the US Court of Appeals helped the recording industry extort $US222,000 from Jammie Thomas-Rasset for distributing 24 songs on the internet. The original verdict called for a preposterous penalty of $US1.92 million. Sure, this new amount of just under $US9000 per song is a smaller penalty, but it's still absurd.
TorrentFreak has posted a supposedly leaked presentation by the RIAA's chief lawyer that says that it defended SOPA and PIPA even though it knew the censorship legislation wouldn't be effective against music piracy. Is the RIAA for real, or are they just covering their arses? And what does it mean for your freedom going forward?