Jailtime Seems A Bit Harsh For Online Music Store Owners Who Didn't Get All The Right Licenses
from the why-not-just-make-them-pay-up? dept
Law Professor Michael Scott points us to the news of what appears to be a similar offering in Italy -- except that, in this case, the operators of the site have been sent to jail. The only news that I can find on this is from the IFPI site -- which is obviously a bit biased, but it does look like the owners of the site did get a license from the Italian Authors' Society (SIAE), which they believed was sufficient. A lower court agreed, but the appeals court has sided with the record labels.
But here's the kicker: the operators of the site have now been sent to jail for criminal copyright infringement. Already I have problems with most criminal copyright infringement cases -- because, by any reasonable standard, copyright is a civil dispute -- it's an issue between two businesses. In this case, it's even more egregious because it seems clear that the site wasn't just some random guy selling MP3s he had no right to, but had clearly tried to obtain the correct licenses. However, these days, when to do just about anything with music you need to get numerous different licenses (Peter Jenner, back at MidemNet, claimed that you needed 33 different permissions to do pretty much anything with music in Europe, though others disagreed), it seems fairly ridiculous to throw someone in jail for not being able to figure out every single party that has to sign off on something -- especially when you were lead to believe that you had what you needed via the Authors' Society.