Is ripping from CDs fair use?

More iPod blues for the IPKat. PC Pro reports that RIAA has petitioned the US Copyright Office, which is charged with determining the exceptions to the anticircumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), arguing that ripping music from CDs is not fair use, and so is not legal. This comes as somewhat of a surprise since, in Summer 2005’s Supreme Court Grokster litigation RIAA’s counsel said:
"The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."

Now RIAA claims that this wasn’t a general statement of law. Instead, all that was intended was to say that ripping would be legal if the copyright owner granted permission and copyright owners very often grant that permission. In the submissions to the Copyright Office RIAA said:
"Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization… In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorisation, not about fair use."
The IPKat has always thought that the UK has a lot to learn from the US when it comes to space shifting. It seems that if RIAA has its way, this will be a thing of the past. The idea of lots of individual consumers negotiating ad hoc licences from individual copyright owners is laughable. If the IPKat was a cynic, he’d suspect that there’s some sort of collecting society waiting in the wings, ready to grant blanket licences to iPod owners for the right price.

Olfactory mark decision

The IPKat has come across an olfactory mark decision by the OHIM Fourth Board of Appeal, concerning (he thinks) an application for the smell of lemon.

The trouble is, it’s only in Spanish. Any assistance on this would be appreciated.
A PAIR OF LEMONS A PAIR OF LEMONS Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, February 17, 2006 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

The IPKat has received this from Udo Pfleghar (Boehringer Ingelheim): "The decision deals with an olfactory mark - in this case the scent of lemon for "soles of shoes and footwear". In line with previous decisions of the ECJ, the Fourth Board held that the wording "the scent of lemon" was not a suitable graphic representation of the mark.

The Board cites the decision of the ECJ in Sieckmann C-273/00 (scent of cinnamon, represented in a chemical formula) and quotes a literal excerpt from the Court's answer to the second question:

2. In respect of an olfactory sign, the requirements of graphic representability are not satisfied (...) by a description in written words (...)

In the light of such a clear and definitive ruling from the highest Community Court the Board declares any further analysis to be superfluous and rejects the appeal".

Many thanks, Udo

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