Category United States

The Search for Leverage Against Sci-Hub (Updated)

I’m finally getting around to writing about Sci-Hub, the enormous and still-growing repository of scientific journal articles and academic papers that is often called “The Pirate Bay of Science.”  The latest development in one of the lawsuits brought against the site in the United States finally brings a measure of technological interest to the legal […]

New Proposed Legislation Sets Up Showdown Over Online U.S. Music Rights Database

An effort is brewing in Washington to get an authoritative online database of music rights information built for the United States. It started last week as a bill called the Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act. (It has neither a catchy acronym nor even a bill number at this time of writing, so we’ll just call […]

Copyright Office Releases Results of Section 1201 Study

Late last month, the United States Copyright Office published the results of a study on Section 1201 (17 U.S.C. § 1201), the section of U.S. copyright law that makes it a violation to hack DRM systems and other content access and copy controls.  Section 1201 was enacted in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium […]

Proposed Settlement in Spotify Lawsuit Points the Way Towards Solving Music Industry Data Problems

One of the biggest unsolved problems in the music business today is the lack of authoritative mapping between music recordings and the compositions they embody. When music people talk about the industry’s “database problem,” this is a big part of it. In the past, the industry has managed to work around it in various ad […]

In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away

The RIAA’s annual revenue figures for recorded music are a goldmine of information about the state, health, and direction of the music industry. The 2016 figures that the RIAA published at the end of March generated a few common headlines in the trade and business press: Recorded music revenue in the United States is finally […]

Copyright Alert System Shuts Down

Last Friday, the Center for Copyright Information quietly issued a brief statement that the Copyright Alert System (CAS), the American ISP copyright monitoring scheme that started in 2013, is ceasing operations. The CAS was a graduated response scheme of a different sort from the ones that launched in countries like France, South Korea, and New Zealand. […]

Facebook Faces Copyright Issues Amid Video Explosion

It’s fairly well established by now — thanks to court decisions like Viacom v. YouTube and UMG v. Veoh — that online service operators have no legal duty to proactively police their services for potential copyright infringement.  But that doesn’t mean that some services don’t do it anyway.  The biggest example is Google’s Content ID system for YouTube, […]