German law enforcement to MPAA: we’re not your bitch any more

Via Udo Vetter’s law blog: the german state attorney office has declared that they will no longer prosecute minor offenses in regard to copyright infringement. You now need to share more than 3000 MP3 files or more than 100 movies before they will act.

The decision arises from them recognizing that the media companies have only been using the attorneys to get contact data from potential file sharers in order to make money through cease and desist letters. They never intended to have people prosecuted. This was a huge burden on the state attorneys office, and a burden to taxpayers, serving only commercial interests.

Great decision. Read a crappy auto-translation of the original article here.

In other news, german media corporation Bertelsmann is getting rid of Sony BMG.

Beatles iPod: Hurry up, Apple!

Here’s another reason why Apple Records may finally give in to reality and agree to sell Beatles music on iTunes:

Beatles tunes copyright may expire in 2012.

There was a discussion around the same issue with Cliff Richards on Adam Curry’s podcast. A listener called in and compared the issue to a worker having 50 years to make sure he put enough aside to survive retirement. Given a successful musician’s income, that should do the trick. I find that comparison highly appropriate.

I hope the british regulators are being a bit more sensible than the americans, avoiding a second Sonny Bono act.

John Perry Barlow on Hollywood and Hackers

Via BBC News:

“I’ve got good news and bad news and good news. And the good news is that you guys have managed to buy every major legislative body on the planet, and the courts are even with you. So you’ve done a great job there and you should congratulate yourself.

But you know the problem is – the bad news is that you’re up against a dedicated foe that is younger and smarter that you are and will be alive when you’re dead. You’re 55 years old and these kids are 17 and they’re just smarter than you. So you’re gonna lose that one.

But the good news is that you guys are mean sons of bitches and you’ve been figuring out ways of ripping off audiences and artists for centuries…..”

Read the full article here.