Archives for August 2011

MP3tunes Summary Judgment Decision: Defendants Only Liable For Specific Songs In Takedown Notice That Were Not Taken Down

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tac Anderson

The Southern District of New York has issued its ruling in the Capitol Records v. MP3tunes case, granting partial summary judgment for each side. The bottom line is that MP3tunes and its founder, Michael Robertson (also the founder of, are only liable for the infringement of sound recordings that were specifically identified in DMCA takedown notices but not removed from users’ accounts.

One amazing nugget hidden in the first footnote of the decision (page 12), is the court’s holding that the DMCA safe harbor applies to pre-1972 sound recordings, even though such recordings are not protected by federal copyright. This holding, if noticed and followed by Justice Kapnick, should destroy the claims brought by UMG Recordings against Grooveshark in New York State court. UMG brought these claims in state court, limited to common law copyright infringement for pre-’72 recordings, as an attempted end-run around the DMCA.

There are lots of other points of interest in the decision, which I will get to soon. In the meantime, I wanted to post the decision as quickly as possible for your reading enjoyment:


District Court Applies Irrebutable Presumption Of Ownership From False Authorship Claim On Registration









In what can only be described as a stunning case of confusion between the Section 410 evidentiary presumption afforded certain copyright registrations and a fraud on the Copyright Office challenge to the underlying validity of a copyright registration, a court in the Central District of California refused to even consider a defendant’s challenge to the plaintiff’s copyright ownership merely because the plaintiff had obtained a registration falsely listing itself as the author of a fabric design.

[Read more…]

The Vanishing First Sale Doctrine: Second Circuit Joins Ninth In Holding First Sale Not Applicable To Copies Manufactured Outside U.S.

Get out of here
Creative Commons License photo credit: benchilada
In Wiley & Sons, Inc. v. Kirstaeng, the Second Circuit has now (by a 2 to 1 majority decision) joined the Ninth in holding that the first sale doctrine, recognized in Section 109 of the Copyright Act, does not apply to copyright-protected works embodied in copies manufactured outside the United States. [Read more…]

Recording Artists Set To Recapture Rights To Classic Albums

The upcoming war between recording artists and their slavemasters, er, I mean record labels, concerning termination of copyright transfers and the related work made for hire issue is a topic near and dear to my heart.  [Read more…]

UK To Undertake Major Revision Of Its Copyright Law To Adapt To Digital Economy

Creative Commons License photo credit: Romain SPINETTI

The British government has announced ambitious plans to make significant changes to its copyright law in hopes of helping the UK take better advantage of the changing economic landscape in the digital age.
The proposals are remarkable both for their substance and the procedure planned for the drafting and implementation of the legislative revisions. [Read more…]