Mix-Tape SWAT Raid Based On Non-Copyright State Copyright Law
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept
Things start to get a little shifty with these true names laws, as there's some question as to whether or not they illegally pre-empt federal copyright laws. The analoghole blog has done a pretty great job of delving into this issue, noting that the Georgia law's attempt to make the distribution of unauthorized audiovisual works illegal would certainly appear to step on the toes of federal laws. The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that it does not, while a similar law in California also stood up to a legal challenge. It seems like the effort has been made to really make an end run around copyright law, as the Georgia law says that owners of the "master copy" of a recording determine what's authorized and unauthorized distribution -- not the copyright holder, meaning even if an artist holds the copyright to their music, but their record label owns the master tapes, they're not the ones making the call. While the law, and this case, isn't very clear, one thing is: the RIAA has again used the legislative system and public law enforcement as a servant to protect its outdated business model. While there's enough question surrounding these true names laws to warrant further examination of them by a higher court, we're once again left wondering why state legislators and police have seen fit to do the entertainment industry's dirty work.