After working for over 30 years as an intellectual property lawyer, I retired from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in January 2010. I'm now doing some volunteer work at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco.
As someone who helped Eric prepare his request for publication, I have the following comments. The California Courts of Appeal are the mid-level courts in California, between the trial court and the Supreme Court. While the Supreme Court publishes all of its opinions, the Courts of Appeal don't. The Courts of Appeal hear lots of appeals that don't present new issues of law and that are routine, so many if not most of their decisions are unpublished. (Except for death penalty cases, there is no right to appeal to the Supreme Court so it only takes important issues, and it publishes everything.)
However, Redmond v. Gawker wasn't a routine appeal, and it did discuss new issues of law. So the opinion should have been published, and I suggested to Eric that he request publication. Why was the request unsuccessful then? I think the Justices believed that Gawker should win, so they said so, but they didn't want to stick their neck out with a published opinion that would establish precedent. Sometimes those cases happen, and we unfortunately get decisions that are worthy of being published, but aren't.
In order to record and upload a video to YouTube containing someone else's music, you need a synch (synchronization) license. This is even true if you are performing the music yourself (such as the Church example in these comments) and not using the author's own recording.
Problem is: you can't get a synch license! When I started learning the guitar and posted my own recording of "Brown Eyed Girl" on YouTube, I got an email from Van Morrison's publishing company. The company said that I needed a synch license to post the video -- but they wouldn't give me one. They did kindly agree to let my video stay up if I gave Morrison's publishing company credit in the video's comments, which I did. But without a synch license, the publisher has the right to send a takedown notice (absent fair use arguments).
SOPA makes it a felony to upload a video of someone singing a copyrighted song with up to 5 years in prison. Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of manslaughter for killing Michael Jackson and only got a 4 year maximum sentence.
So it's a bigger crime to sing one of Michael Jackson's songs than it is to kill him.
Take it Easy, Don. Thereís a New Kid in Town, and itís called the Internet. Get Over It. I Canít Tell you Why, but in The Long Run, there isnít going to be a Heartache Tonight. One of these Nights I hope youíll you understand that for search engines to Take it To the Limit, they canít be forced to police every search result.
Internet companies only grow when living Life in the Fast Lane, able to operate, innovate and design products without needing to check for permission from the music industry. If every time you wrote a song you had to worry about what every user who plays it and every store that sells it might do with it, you would lose your Peaceful, Easy Feeling quickly. Big companies might run filters, but if the small ones had needed to they would be Already Gone.
An important item to add to Downes' list is to fix the lack of notice and hearing in the existing draft of the Senate bill. See item 1 of the law professors' letter, available at http://blogs.law.stanford.edu/newsfeed/files/2011/07/PROTECT-IP-letter-final.pdf
This might be one of the easiest fixes to the bill -- just require a notice and hearing, such as a hearing similar to a civil preliminary injunction hearing.