For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 2 January 2004

TEST-ACHATS BRINGS TEST CASE AGAINST THE MUSICAL BIG BOYS

Music giants EMI, Sony, BMG Music and Universal Music face legal action for installing anti-piracy systems on CDs that prevent buyers from making private copies. The Belgian consumer association Test-Achats said it had received a rising number of complaints from consumers in recent months about CDs equipped with anti-piracy systems. These systems not only make it impossible to make lawful copies for private purposes but even to read the CD on certain equipment, such as computers and car stereos. Test-Achats had received the most complaints about Laundry Service by Shakira, One Giant Leap by Faithless and Bjork's Greatest Hits album. Said a spokesman for the organisation: "Consumers who buy CDs in good faith have become victims of a practice which misses its objective and is in breach of copyright legislation. We demand an end to this and have therefore decided to file suit against the four music market leaders”. Sony, BMG Music, Universal Music and EMI Group were unavailable for comment. If this case is commenced in Belgium but gets referred to the European Court of Justice, it may be a good five years before it is resolved.

The IPKat, a law-abiding beast, sees no reason why copyright owners should not take steps to protect their legitimate interests. But he would be more sympathetic towards the industries that commercialise their works if he hadn’t been forced to pay high European prices for copyright-protected products that, for “protection” purposes, are formatted differently to the same products when they’re sold in the USA. As it is, he feels that as a consumer he has been abused for years by market differentials and he hopes Test-Achats’ case will do at least something to redress the balance.

Anti-piracy systems here, here and here
Click here for the real names of Shakira and Bjork

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