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.

Bye bye, RIAA

Dear RIAA,

the times they are a-changing (is this a copyright infringement already?)

In the last months, a lot has happened:

In response to all that, music downloads have grown by almost 40 percent.

And all you can do is sue single moms?


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.

Universal wants money from each iPod sold

Isn’t it amazing what these idiots think they can do?

“Universal believes that much of the music on portable players is illegal, and the company argues that it deserves a share of the profits from such devices in order to make up for the money lost in album sales. Microsoft’s decision to cut a deal seems to have been driven by its need to launch with a large music store for the Zune—and Universal is one of the biggest players in the game. The Microsoft deal will clearly set a precedent for other music labels, who will no doubt try to squeeze cash from both Microsoft and Apple in the coming years.
It’s nice to dream about the possibilities, but the reality is that the music labels now want both things. They want a levy on each player sold, but still want the long arm of US law to reach out and pluck thousands of dollars from file-swappers’ pockets.”

I don’t know what to say. What if we just stop buying their stuff once and for all? Got to the podsafe music network, myspace or other sites and get some fresh stuff. Who wants to pay for all these american idol wannabes anyway?