Yet Another Copyright Lobbying Group Caught Infringing

from the always-seems-to-happen... dept

These days, it’s nearly impossible not to infringe on copyright in one way or another during your regular day — but it’s always amusing when big-time copyright supporters are caught infringing (and it seems to happen quite frequently). The latest is musicFIRST, the lobbying group funded (potentially illegally) by the recording industry, which has been pushing a campaign claiming that radio is piracy and demanding that radio stations pay even more royalties than they already do.

But, of course, when it comes to licensing or paying royalties itself… well, you know… that’s a different story.

Billboard has noticed that MusicFIRST appears to have quoted the entire lyrics to the Beatles song “We Can Work It Out” in a mocking press release it put out earlier in the week — but failed to get the necessary license. Now, of course, many of us believe that quoting lyrics like that is perfectly reasonable fair use. But… the recording industry (you know, the folks behind MusicFIRST) doesn’t believe that, which is why they’ve shut down plenty of people for posting lyrics on the web and even thrown people in jail for posting lyrics on the web.

But, when they do it? It’s fine? Funny how that works…

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: musicfirst, riaa, soundexchange

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Comments on “Yet Another Copyright Lobbying Group Caught Infringing”

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37 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s interesting how you marginalize this incident so much. Isn’t “playing GOTCHA!” exactly what these companies do on a huge scale every single day? Also, to your point, doesn’t the RIAA play GOTCHA! with copyright infringers on P2P networks who share for absolutely no commercial gain?

I know it’s hard to look at both sides of an issue when you so adamantly support one side, but you could at least try to hide the bias when someone on your side does the same thing you complain about others doing.

RD says:

WeirdHypocricy Unbound

“It’s always sort of funny when people stop debating the issues, and start playing GOTCHA! Yup, they made a mistake, bad on them. Anyway, it isn’t directly for commercial gain, so who knows what the actual legal implications would be.”

Oh yes, DO downplay this now that its the INDUSTRY that is at fault. When its individuals infringing FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL USE, you are all “THIEF! STEALING! ILLEGAL!” but now that your industry pals are caught out, its “oh, its just a mistake, its not a big deal because its not for commercial gain.”

FUCK YOU HAROLD. You have now proven beyond doubt that you are an industry shill and a hypocrite who will blatantly lie and misrepresent to further your cause. Your opinions are now worthless, as you are proven to be a hypocrite.

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

Why debate points when you are unable to actually comprehend arguments above a third-grade level? Actually, I suppose that doesn’t preclude making points:

1. You are a poopy head
2. You don’t like girls, you think they are yucky. Boys are more your style
3. You like it when those big men from the RIAA touch your private place

And by the way, since when did you care about “commercial pupose” before now?

m says:

Re: Re:

“It’s actually funny as heck to see you guys get all riled up. It’s too bad you can’t debate points, just debating me.”

Heh, good way of saying that you got no point 😉

“Was the quoted lyrics used for commercial purposes?”

Why does it matter? RIAA and their friends want to charge money no matter what the use is, even if it is listening in the garage with more than 5 people. And yes, you can easily make a case for it being commercial use, as they are representing commercial interests of many companies and are trying to promote a certain type of business model.

Cyrus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Perhaps to keep the topic slightly more in line with what Harold is arguing, let us examine it from the opposite side. If I were to post the entire lyrics for the same song on my own personal site, would it be something that you would consider a big deal?

I recognize that people are trying to take this and extrapolate it out to actually downloading copyrighted material (and I would argue that downloading copyrighted material isn’t the same as stealing. There’s a distinction to be made, but that’s for another post). I do not think that your comment can be drawn out to that point.

However, I think they make a valid point in noting that simply saying “it wasn’t for commercial use” opens you up for a series of problems with other things. Remember the issue with the group wanting to show the last episode of Battlestar Galactica on a big screen? It wasn’t for commercial purpose, yet this was a big deal. You note:

“A total lack of understanding on all sides here. Where do I start?

I think it is clear that the guys trying to put this event on knew they were working in the grey. Getting someone to “agree to look the other way” is pretty much a worthless argument, you should get them to look the other way ON PAPER. The rights holder in Canada, Space (cable channel) might have been a better place to go, get them on board and then they will work harder with NBC / Universal to get things worked out.

It’s just one of those things where they went about it the wrong way, and the results are what you see.

NBC / Universal comes off looking bad, but in the end, it’s the guys who started at the wrong place that screwed it up.”

For reference purposes, it is article http://techdirt.com/articles/20090319/1844414186.shtml#comments, comment #21.

I concede that you point out NBC does end up looking bad, but these guys were not interested in any commercial gain. I also recognize that it was for a commercial purpose.

My intention is not to trap you in your comments, but to note that the big players do consider it a serious offense when people infringe, even when it isn’t for commercial purposes. However, we are waving our hands on this issue and saying if it isn’t for commercial gain, why does it matter for them to infringe? I believe, and others can certainly correct me if I’m wrong, that is the crux of everyone “getting riled up”.

RD says:

You got no argument now

“It’s actually funny as heck to see you guys get all riled up. It’s too bad you can’t debate points, just debating me.

Was the quoted lyrics used for commercial purposes?”

A) DOESNT MATTER for infringement. And before you SUDDENLY advocate fair use (which you NEVER do) remember that commercial purposes is only ONE leg of fair use.
B) It was used in a PRESS RELEASE, so YES it was for commercial purposes.

There are your “debate the points.” Now you have nothing left to stand on as, once again, you are WRONG and a hypocrite. And dont bother trying to spin this again and come up with yet another “angle” on how this is right, but individuals doing it is wrong.

Also:

“Dude, you have a lot of anger. You should really deal with that a little more constructively.”

Not really, but at the same time, if people dont speak out against idiocy and things that are wrong, then soon only idiocy rules the world. Not that we are far from it anyway, but sometimes you gotta fight it. We wouldnt have an America if people took the attitude of “dude, chill, its only taxes and religion, dont get so worked up.”

On the other hand, I could just say “coming here is how I deal with it.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Commercial? Non-commercial? Fair use?

All interesting talking points, but it does overlook one question that has not been posed. Assuming this group screwed up, what did they do about it to ameliorate the situation? I rather doubt they stood up on a soapbox and screamed expletives at the rights holders for the lyrics as so many anti-copyright critics are want to do. More likely would be a mea culpa and an apology to clear the air. This is how things are supposed to work, a point lost on so many critics of anything to do with copyright.

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

Assuming this group screwed up, what did they do about it to ameliorate the situation? I rather doubt they stood up on a soapbox and screamed expletives at the rights holders for the lyrics as so many anti-copyright critics are want to do.

No, because doing so would make them incredible hypocrites (a point that has gone clear over WH’s head) and would subsequently damage their credibility. For those of us that don’t have a vested interest, we decry the idiocy of the current IP laws. Which party are you going to side with, the general public or those with a conflict of interest?

More likely would be a mea culpa and an apology to clear the air. This is how things are supposed to work, a point lost on so many critics of anything to do with copyright.

Creating a double standard, one for the public and one for yourself, and prosecuting “violators” until someone calls you out and forces you to sweep it under the rug is how things are supposed to work? That is, assuming this is their response?

Jesse says:

“It’s always sort of funny when people stop debating the issues, and start playing GOTCHA! Yup, they made a mistake, bad on them. Anyway, it isn’t directly for commercial gain, so who knows what the actual legal implications would be.”
-WH

I agree that gotcha gets boring fast. But the recording industry has made “gotcha” their business model. If someone is going to ride in on a high horse and yell a moral panic about copyright infringement and lay down the law in such a way that the only way to obey it is to be absolutely perfect, I think it is only fair that we expect perfection from that man on the high horse.

Weird Harold (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Jesse, not really.

“GOTCHA” is when you as a whole ignore all the good, or correct, or properly presented arguments, and hop on a spelling mistake or another error that really has no bear on the discussion. So rather than discuss what MusicFIRST had to say, what was said about their point of view, etc, we get a discussion about a “GOTCHA”.

It is the type of approach that the weasel Karl Rove used to keep the republicans in power and to keep the democrats on their heels. Rather than debating and working on the subject, he would send the opposition into a tizzy over something so minor, something that the press would run with.

Sort of like passing an 800 billion dollar recovery aid package, and bitching about 100 million here or 20 million there. They played gotcha and the whole process went to crap. The media ended up focused on the gotcha, and not the content.

Men are men,they are not perfect, none of us are. What might have seemed like a grand and intelligent gesture is in fact a little embarrassing, it’s just too bad that no time will be spent looking at what they had to say.

RD says:

Once again...

“GOTCHA” is when you as a whole ignore all the good, or correct, or properly presented arguments, and hop on a spelling mistake or another error that really has no bear on the discussion. So rather than discuss what MusicFIRST had to say, what was said about their point of view, etc, we get a discussion about a “GOTCHA”.”

Oh so you mean, like YOU do in EVERY SINGLE DISCUSSION where you ignore all questions, focus on something other than the main point, and argue some small point endlessly?

James "Jimmy Bob" Bodean says:

Folks, if it is part of a parody, it is probably NOT a copyright violation. Also, the poster who pointed out you are all concentrating on whether it is “for commercial purposes” was right: that is one of SEVERAL factors in fair use, which is a DEFENSE. Whether you infringe or not doesnt hinge on whether it is for commercial prposes or not. Please learn a little of the law, it would help all of us tremendously.

F.Artist says:

Who are the bigger crooks?

Ask Michael Jackson who are the bigger thieves… the people DLing on the net or the record labels?

Try this for a breakdown. The average major label is paying 13% of the PPD to the artist. What’s PPD? thats the distributors price, not the retail price so its 13% of 75% of a CD (or 50 or 60% online) . Minus any deductables, for anything they decide to spend your money on in advance. So in the case of MJ they spend 13million advertising and video without consent and hand him the bill. And half of that production they do in house and set their own price. So on an album you are paying $20 for one or two songs you like and only a $1 is going to the artist, but that’s getting taken off them anyway. Only the writer is guaranteed to make anything because there are laws in place for force the record label to pay them something. Otherwise the labels would steal every last penny.

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