Perhaps, but that is because the song fucking sucks.
The Macarena didn't ignore copyright, and it was just as wildly successful and annoying.
Gangam Style exploded because most of the market is a bunch of idiots who will eat up auditory junk food like it is a tootsie roll handed out on Southwest Airlines.
I'm reasonably certain that if Alex Chilton's estate released all of his works to the public domain, that we wouldn't have an explosion of Alex Chilton's popularity. You'd just have a few less people buying it on iTunes.
I can't disagree with your conclusion - yes, there is no magic pill, and what works for one might not work for another. Let the artists make the decision to abandon their rights or not. If they do, and it works for one, maybe it works for 10, and maybe it works for so many that the market changes.
He didn't make $8.1 million by ignoring copyright infringements. He made $8.1 million while or despite ignoring infringements.
But, what is important here is that he made that choice. And, perhaps it shows the wisdom of making that choice. On the other hand, he's also lost a lot of the ability to control the use of his work - and he may not care about that. But, he ought to have the right to make that his choice.
If other musicians take the opposite approach, we very well may find that the free market shows us the right way to do this.
But, lets remember that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data." If we examine every musician (or a statistically significant sampling of musicians) and try and figure out whether just giving the music away is a smarter business move, or if PSY is a statistical outlier, we might come to a different answer. (Maybe not, but you have to do the work -- don't just be lazy and say "look! guy ignores copyright, gets money! The end!)
I think your statement that the artist sued "just to get publicity" is unfounded and unfair. I know the plaintiff's attorney, and she's not going to sign a complaint that is for no reason but a PR stunt.
If I walk into a city, get some random artist to paint my portrait and buy it, then he does not hold copyright to that portrait. He did it for me, using me, and the job will be unique to me.
The presumption is that the artist owns the copyright. You can take that portrait home, but you can't start selling prints of it. You don't own the copyright in a work just because it is a picture of you.
However, if you're smart, you tell the artist to sign a "work for hire" agreement before he starts. Then you own the painting and the copyright to the painting, and you can do as you like with both the physical object and reprints of it.
I am a proponent of the "open wifi=negligence" theory. I still think it is a sound theory, but I also acknowledge that it is now 0-3, and it isn't likely to go anywhere soon -- at least not until someone other than a porn company raises it.
I think that the decisions that say it is pre-empted are erroneous, and the result of judicial laziness, at best. I don't see how a common law claim can pre-empt another common-law claim. Further, negligence requires an additional element, beyond the infringement, which places it outside of pre-emption. But, when your judge is lazy or simply hostile to torrent actions, then you're not going to get anywhere with that.
The Section 230 analysis is just plain stupid - especially when we consider it in light of the pre-emption analysis.
Extending section 230's definition of a "service provider" to a residential subscriber, who leaves their wi-fi open, has neither a textual nor logical basis, nor does the legislative history of the Act support such a reading.
Further, if we understand that Section 230 exempts IP claims, but we say that it applies nonetheless, because the negligence claim is a state law claim, then the pre-emption analysis' weakness shows itself. If it is an IP claim, then Section 230 doesn't apply. So, if it is pre-empted, then Section 230 can't apply. On the other hand, if it is not an IP claim, then it can't be pre-empted. You can only have Section 230 or pre-emption, no matter how much you want to screw over Prenda to get them the hell out of your district.
On the other hand, the weak link in the open wi-fi negligence theory is proving the existence (or non-existence) of a legal duty. Whether there is a legal duty is for the courts to decide, as stated in the "tugboat case." That's what The TJ Hooper case stands for - it is the province of the courts to recognize, or reject, new duties of care in tort actions.
If the court finds no duty, then there is no duty. In part, I like this AF Holdings case, because this court, unlike the two before it, finally did the work of analyzing whether or not a duty exists. It may not bind any other court, but at least it finally devoted some thought to that element. That is where the debate really should be focused.
A recent Wyoming Supreme Court case tends to support the logic that open wifi would not expose the subscriber in a negligence claim. It has some good analysis of both the duty analysis and the causation analysis.
In Lucero v. Holbrook, 2012 WY 152 (Wy. 2012) the defendant left a running car in the driveway, and a meth-head walked by, stole it, and crashed it into the plaintiff after a high-speed chase. The plaintiff argued, logically, that had she not done something so foolish as leave her car running, unattended, no harm would have come to her.
The Wyoming Supreme Court found that not only was there no duty, but that the harm was not proximately caused by the defendant's carelessness. These are arguments that might also fly in a defense against an open wifi negligence case. Of course, the Wyoming case might have turned differently, had the car been left on a public street, instead of in the owner's driveway - as there is a statute that prohibits leaving the car unattended and unsecured on a public highway. But, that's a matter of state law. Compare State v. Eckhardt, 165 Vt 606; 686 A.2d 104 (Vt. 1996) (Private driveway considered to be a "public highway" for purposes of enforcing DUI statute).
Naturally, all legal analogies break somewhere. So, we might one day find that a court gets past the lazy issues, and then finds that leaving your residential wi-fi open is different than a car accident, and the harm is foreseeable. Or, the thread may continue, with proximate cause or duty (or both) turning against the theory. We may see a sliding scale for forseeability - that in an urban area, the harm is almost certain to occur, and in a rural area, almost impossible that it would occur. A court might find that it applies to a residence, but that a commercial establishment with public wifi might fall under another standard. (Personally, I think that a commercial establishment should not be held negligent for having an open wifi, but I think that a residential customer should be, under the right facts).
Before you open your wi-fi to celebrate this case, wait for an appellate court to weigh in. One will have to, sooner or later, and it might conclusively reject the existence of a duty, but it might not. I am confident that the pre-emption analysis will eventually be rejected by an appellate court. But, then you're going to be left with some heavily fact-based analysis of duty and proximate cause.
This is one of the dumbest defense arguments anyone could raise.
When you think about these cases, think about them rationally. To make it pretty simple: Copyright is exclusively a federal issue. That is why you have to bring copyright claims in federal court. The reason being that you don't want copyright protection to vary from state to state.
Obscenity is a purely local community standard. What is "obscene" in Bibleburg, Mississippi might be completely run-of-the-mill in Las Vegas or Miami.
So, you can't have copyright protection as a patchwork of being protectable in one place, but not another, and over that hill, yonder, it is protected, but not here in this neighborhood.
Anyone who espouses the theory that copyright protection has any relationship to obscenity is a) uneducated on the law, b) lacks the simply ability to use Google c) is so abjectly fucking stupid that they should be sterilized to keep more idiots from populating the earth.
I think it is unfair to call it the "Carreon Effect" -- not just because I still (please forgive me for this) like Chas. But, because the effect that Carreon is experiencing is one that already has a name -- it is named after the guy who already sued the entire internet.
Can I make a little request? You state in your post that you know me and like me (thanks, its mutual). You know my email address. You know my phone number. You have the right to use either one.
If you're going to mention me in a piece, you think you could take 5 minutes to ask for comment? It might actually help you make your post accurate.
1) If you look at the case, you'll find that I am NOT counsel in the Liberty v. Tabora case in New York. Marco Santori is representing Liberty in that case.
2) The EFF is lying, not misrepresenting, not fibbing, lying, about the negligence theory in the case. It has nothing, whatsoever to do with open wifi. Nothing. Nada. Not even mentioned. The only place it is mentioned is in the EFF's lying brief in which they claim that is the issue.
The real story is that Tabora knew that Whetstone was using his internet connection for piracy. The negligence theory is that if T knows that W is committing a crime with his account, and still lets him use is, then T is negligent.
You see? Nothing to do with open WiFi whatsoever.
So the court won't be giving a "clear statement" on the open Wifi theory. Not at all. Because the EFF is lying to try and fool bloggers and journalists who are too lazy to actually look at the case.
It might be good for your credibility to make your report something more than a parroting of the lies.
Now that said, you still might philosophically disagree with the theory -- and that's fair enough. But for fucks sake, at least build it on a foundation of truth and accuracy.