Indian Music Firm Sues Yahoo Over Music Streaming

from the and-this-again dept

There is no DMCA-equivalent in India, apparently, meaning that there are no similar "safe harbors" that protect a service provider from the actions of their users. However, that still doesn't mean one should automatically blame the service provider for a users' actions -- but that's exactly what an Indian court has done. An Indian music company has sued Yahoo and won an injunction barring Yahoo from streaming any of the company's music. While the company had sent complaint letters to Yahoo, Yahoo (reasonably) had asked it to follow the basic takedown procedure, which requires proving that the company properly owns the copyright on the song and then requesting it be taken down.

However, the company says: "it is not possible for the company to spend time and resources to monitor copyright infringements on sharing sites." What they don't explain is why, if the copyright owners themselves can't do it, why they think sites like Yahoo and Google should be able to do it. In fact, it's even more ridiculous when you realize that many musicians want their music on these sites, and Yahoo, Google and others have no way of knowing whether or not a song on their sites has been put their legitimately or not. To have a court demand that Yahoo somehow "figure it out" simply isn't possible, unless it bars all use of music, which hardly seems like a reasonable request.
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Filed Under: copyright, india, liability, music, safe harbors
Companies: super cassettes industries, yahoo


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  1. identicon
    cram, 2 Jun 2008 @ 6:51pm

    Ironical

    The company that sued was India's firt major audio pirate. That's how they started out in business, blatantly ripping off film tracks and selling them in the late 80s. But they were also responsible for bringing down the cost of recorded music (then cassettes) in the country, forcing the likes of HMV to cut cassette prices by more than 70%.

    "In fact, it's even more ridiculous when you realize that many musicians want their music on these sites."

    That's not true. In India, most of the popular music is film music, published and owned by companies. They call the shots; the musicians are at the mercy of movie makers and recording companies, because to make it big as a musician one needs a movie break. And musicians only get one-time payment for their music.

    Musicians in India mostly don't want their music on any Web site (many have actually said so), because as recorded music sales keeps falling, thanks to piracy, it becomes more difficult for them to negotiate decent deals for their next movie project.

    Piracy is so rampant in India it has nearly destroyed the recorded film music business. The only way out is for film companies to start giving away music for free and make their money elsewhere.

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