Does Bluebeat Actually Have A Legal Basis For Its Claim Of Copyright Over Beatles' Songs?
from the unlikely,-but... dept
Folks on pretty much all sides of the copyright debate have been in pretty much universal agreement that Bluebeat's claim that its "psycho-acoustic simulation" lets it recreate songs and claim an entirely new copyright on the files is ridiculous to the extreme. However, an anonymous commenter on the site (no idea if they're connected to Bluebeat, but wouldn't surprise me) claims that if you look closely at US copyright law, there actually is a basis for this. Specifically, the commenter points to 17 U.S.C. section 114 (b) which reads, in part:
The exclusive rights of the owner of copyright in a sound recording under clauses (1) and (2) of section 106 do not extend to the making or duplication of another sound recording that consists entirely of an independent fixation of other sounds, even though such sounds imitate or simulate those in the copyrighted sound recording.The argument is that an MP3 file is a duplication of another sound recording, but is done as an entirely independent fixation of other sounds. In case you're playing along in the home game, clauses (1) and (2) of section 106 of copyright law pertains to reproducing copyrighted works or preparing derivative works. Now, whether or not an MP3 is actually an independent fixation that simulates the original or a direct copy is an open question which I'll let you argue about in the comments. Of course, if we were actually paying attention to what the copyright law actually says, people might have noticed (as at least a few lawyers have) that section 101 limits the use of the term "copies" to material objects -- and does not cover pure digital files. But, it's not like we should let what the law actually says get in the way of how we interpret it.