Last Month, Universal accused MySpace of infringing its copyrights by allowing its customers to post music videos from artists such as Jay-Z on the site without permission. CEO Doug Morris called Myspace Copyright Infringers. These were the words that kicked off the war and the landmark battle.
This is a big one because this could shape the broader commercial relationship between traditional media companies and a new generation of internet start-ups that rely on them for content.
Both parties believe that the DMCA (the Digital Millenium Act) is on their side. The DMCA was written before social networking sites even existed. This will be a tough one because this battle is philosophical and debeatable. It’s a grey area.
Thereâ€™s a lot of grey area here,â€? said Lee Bromberg, a partner at Bromberg & Sunstein, a Boston-based law firm that specialises in intellectual property
Kraig Baker, a partner at Davis, Wright, Tremaine: â€œItâ€™s part of the continuing struggle between content owners and developers of technology,â€? he said. â€œPeople are trying to find out where the line is.â€?
â€œI think thereâ€™s a tension between the law as written, and the law as intended,â€? Mr Liebenson said. â€œThe DMCA was enacted in a very different era.â€?
Regardless, this is just one of many lawsuits that will plague the future. Lawsuits are typical in these type of technological transitions. Labels will continue to do whatever they can to protect their empire even through the murky results.
Sirius Satellite Radio said on Monday that retail sales since the Thanksgiving weekend have been less than it expected and it now sees 5.9 million to 6.1 million subscribers by year’s end.
“This year’s retail sales results since the Thanksgiving weekend have not been at the pace we had anticipated,” Sirius Chief Executive Mel Karmazin said in a statement.
Bottom Line: will people pay for radio?
Warner Music home to artists including Madonna and James Blunt, reported a fourth-
quarter profit on a gain from a legal settlement. Revenue fell as album sales declined.Â New releases from groups including Danity Kane and Mana failed to match last year’s recordings from Blunt and Faith Hill.Â CEO Edgar BronfmanÂ boosted more profitable digital sales, which almost doubled to 12.2 percent of revenue. Music companies look to sales from downloads, cell phones and online videos to make up for falling CD revenue.
“Revenue was a little lighter than expected,” said Eric Handler, a Lehman Bros. analyst who rates the stock “neutral” and doesn’t own it. “Digital was quite strong — they’re outpacing the market on that,” Handler said. He said CD sales were “quite weak.”
Without the $13 million gain from a lawsuit against online file-sharing service Kazaa, the company lost $1 million
(reporter, Don Jeffrey )
Â Russia is known not to act out on its claims.
Sony BMG’s director of digital services, Gavin Parry, was one of the few industry executives to talk publicly this week.
“It has been pretty erratic,” he says of physical sales this year. “Some months have been down 10 per cent and other have been down 30 per cent. Globally there are some indications that digital isn’t replacing the void but for Sony BMG, it is. We are up. If people are sitting back waiting for iTunes to fix it, they’re in strife.”