BLACA/IPKat seminar. While on the subject of events, next week sees the joint event run by Blaca and the IPKat: a discussion of the topic "Are human rights moral rights?" (click here for full details). The date is Wednesday 12 February and the venue is the London office of IP-themed law firm Bird & Bird. Star attractions are Bird & Bird partner and Cyberleagle blogger Graham Smith and our very own Eleonora Rosati. Now, we have a little problem with this seminar which is that it is fully booked but we have some lovely souls on our waiting list who would really like to attend. If you are one of the lucky ones who registered early, but find that you can't come after all, do please email Tom and let him know, so we can break the good news to one of our "waitinglistees" that there is room for them after all!
|You have to kiss a lot of these|
before you find a Prince
"Last Tuesday, Prince filed a lawsuit in San Francisco’s US District Court against 22 internet users for bootlegging. Two days after deciding to sue each bootlegger for $1m (approximately £600,000), he announced that he was dropping the action. Bootlegging, for those who are unsure of the meaning of the term, refers to the making and distribution of unapproved videos -- and it unequivocally amounts to copyright infringement as the music is copied without the author’s permission. Prince deplored the fact that these users were providing links of his performances on their websites or Facebook pages for the public to download, on the basis that the availability of these illegal videos encouraged people to access these instead of his official ones.
Prince’s decision to sue the internet users was heavily criticised. His fans accused him of going to war against them, since some of the web pages he had decided to sue were in fact fan pages dedicated to him. Had there not been a fan base, there would have been no demand for his videos: all this meant was that his fans appreciated his music. The bootleggers have since removed the contested material from their websites. We may question if Prince really intended to sue them or only used the threat of litigation to have the links removed from the Internet.
Prince has engaged in litigation before. In 2007, he filed a claim against YouTube, eBay and The Pirate Bay for encouraging copyright infringement. However, he never went through with the claim. Online piracy is a worrying growing phenomenon since the availability of high quality music in digital format has made it possible for illegal copies to be made more easily and for those to be of good quality. Many people have turned to those rather than paying for their music. Copyright infringement is becoming harder to control and a problem for which no adequate solution has been found yet. Prince is due to release a new album this year, but he may find difficult in today’s social media age to completely prevent people from distributing his work without his permission".
Why sue if you can strum?
(image on poster/T-shirt here)