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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

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August 22, 2005

Filesharing Amnesty - For Real, This Time

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Cory Doctorow reports that a UK ISP called PlayLouder MSP has secured a license from Sony that allows its customers to legally share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog with other PlayLouder customers: "This is such stupendously good news that I frankly didn't believe it...I spent the day going back and forth with the two [principals] from PlayLouder MSP, Paul Sanders and Paul Hitchman, and based on what they've told me, I'm prepared to say that this is the best thing to happen to the copyfight all year -- maybe all century."

It's pretty astounding. According to Cory, for the cost of regular ISP service, you get:


  • The right to share any song in the Sony-BMG catalog
  • Even if it's out of print
  • In any file-format
  • Using any file-sharing software
  • At any bitrate

The press release is here; no doubt we'll soon see a lot more happening here.

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Use


COMMENTS

1. Crosbie Fitch on August 22, 2005 6:48 PM writes...

If you allow us to filter the music that reaches you (control all music channels to you) and that travels from you, we'll let you expose those parts of your music collection that are within our catalogue, and consequently access all other users' such collections.

(Theoretically, until someone selflessly shares a Sony-BMG work, no-one gets to see anything.)

A thought experiment that might be interesting:

If you could immediately switch your ISP account over (at no cost, and for no change in subscription fee) to the PLMSP system, would you?

Permalink to Comment

2. guest23 on August 23, 2005 9:05 AM writes...

(Responding to the Crosbie Fitch comment)
That isn't how the service works at all - read their press release. You file share as much as you want to other subscribers, and they only take note of the music they have a deal with (labels provide the "fingerprint" of their stuff, whatever that is, needed for the tracking). If they don't have a deal with the label of other music you're trading the only difference is that THAT label doesn't get paid. They're only restricting traffic outside their network - you can p2p anything and everything within it.

Permalink to Comment

3. matt perkins on August 23, 2005 9:47 AM writes...

Not to be too cynical, but ... since I know exactly jack about UK copyrights, can anyone explain whether the UK distinguishes the composition from the recording, as we do in the USA? Can Sony BMG possibly have 'digital distribution rights' in the UK for their entire catalog, or might some artists have retained those for themselves? If either of those issues hasn't been thought through, then this is story is a total fraud.

One final observation -- Sony BMG is not listed in the contacts of this press release. Is it April 1st already?

Permalink to Comment

4. Markus Beckedahl on August 23, 2005 12:11 PM writes...

Hi,

the pressrelease sounds nice and like a small revolution. unfortunatly it seems that the filter system will replace all .ogg,-.mp3-, whatever free file-formats into copyright-protected wma-files. I don't wanna have drm on my computer and i think that this can't be the concept of the musicflatrate. do you have more informations on this?

ciao,
markus

Permalink to Comment

5. Crosbie Fitch on August 23, 2005 6:22 PM writes...

Why is this rumour about format transformation being propogated?

There are plenty of issues to discuss without inventing them.

Permalink to Comment

6. Markus Beckedahl on August 23, 2005 6:43 PM writes...

I found the "rumour" here: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/#082305msp and just wanted to ask if someone has more informations on it.

Permalink to Comment

7. Marc Freedman, RazorPop on August 25, 2005 11:00 PM writes...

Collective Music Licensing Done Wrong. Great concept, positive step, but bad for consumers. See
http://www.p2p-weblog.com/50226711/playlouder_collective_music_licensing_done_wrong.php

Permalink to Comment


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