Australian Recording Industry Group Tries To Assert Copyright On A Picture of a Piece of Paper
from the we-like-the-law-when-it-suits-our-purposes dept
A site called Earsucker.com recently posted a couple of images of a leaked itinerary from pop artist Lady Gaga’s Australian tour, detailing her (largely uninteresting) schedule for a couple of days, prompting a friendly letter from Australian music industry group MIPI, threatening legal action if they weren’t removed. Unsurprisingly, the group claimed the images infringe some undefined copyright, as well as breach some confidentiality. Earsucker responded with some helpful legal education by pointing out that it’s based in the US, where Australian copyright law doesn’t apply (not yet, anyway), and that it can’t be held responsible for some third party’s breach of confidentiality with Lady Gaga or her management.
That’s all well and good, but it misses two important questions: first, what in these images could be protected by copyright? Second, what the hell does MIPI or its backers gain from getting this piece of content taken down on a copyright claim? It’s understandable that Lady Gaga and her management wouldn’t want this sort of info appearing online for security reasons. But what’s it got to do with MIPI (which stands for Music Industry Piracy Investigations)? This sort of episode, in which somebody uses the threat of a copyright lawsuit to get content they simply don’t like taken down, reinforces the need for real repercussions for bogus takedowns and threats. Copyright laws and legal threats shouldn’t exist as vehicles for record companies and their pals to stifle free speech, but when they can do so with no real repercussions, it’s hard to imagine they’ll actually stop.