Rupert Murdoch, Pirate? Gave Away Jimi Hendrix CD Without Clearing The Rights

from the oops dept

Rupert Murdoch has been one of the more outspoken media industry folks about how evil “piracy” is in destroying his newspaper industry, usually pointing his anger towards Google, which almost certainly doesn’t infringe on Murdoch’s copyrights. So, it’s interesting to find out that the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times in the UK has apparently been found guilty of pretty widespread copyright infringement, in distributing a Jimi Hendrix live CD to readers without first obtaining the requisite rights from the Hendrix estate (thanks to PeteProdge for sending this over). There’s been an ongoing legal fight about this, and the Sunday Times has now lost. The article suggests that the paper may be facing damages of about $250,000, which seems pretty low, considering that we’re used to seeing numbers like that thrown around for sharing just a few songs online, and in this case, over 1.3 million copies of the CD were given away.

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Comments on “Rupert Murdoch, Pirate? Gave Away Jimi Hendrix CD Without Clearing The Rights”

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38 Comments
Thomas (profile) says:

The media companies..

define piracy as anyone else using their work. To them it is NOT piracy for them to copy or redistribute anyone else’s work, regardless of copyright or IP rules. Why is anyone surprised they would do this? And of course they won’t pay a realistic fine since they have the judges on their gift list. If an individual did what they are doing, they would be demanding multi-million dollar penalties and jail time.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point you’re missing is that it’s only U.S. courts who are awarding damages beyond the GNP of, say, Rhode Island, for minor infringement.

Courts in Canada, the UK, Australia etc wouldn’t dream of those kind of damages simply because the punishment doesn’t fit the “crime”. That and the plantiff hasn’t a hope in hell of ever collecting.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The sad part is Jammie Thomas got smacked for unauthorized distribution for a few thousand times. The Sunday Times got smacked for 13 million unauthorized distributions and got smacked for less then $0.02 per song.

The Sunday Times gets punished by paying 2 cents per song and we get the privilege of paying 99 cents per song.

out_of_the_blue says:

You're blatantly wrong, Mike. Was not

“pretty widespread copyright infringement”, but “did not obtain the proper copyright clearance for the giveaway”.

And an oblique damage:
“In May 2008 the claimants chose to pursue a claim for damages relating to loss of earnings from the delay to the concert film project.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Sunday Times didn't do their fact checking

The Times did license the music….from a company (Charly) who didn’t own the rights.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/10/sunday_times_hendrix_ruling/

but of course this should never happen because it is incredibly simple to determine who owns the rights to piece of work which is why google should be responsible for stopping infringement, right Rupert?

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