October 18, 2006

More AllofMP3 Posturing [5:21 pm]

Moscow Music Site Defends Free Downloads

A Web site based in Moscow that the United States Commerce Department has branded as the world’s highest-volume online seller of pirated music plans to release hundreds of thousands of albums free, the site said.

Low prices and ease of use have made AllofMP3 a consumer favorite among music download sites, but the site — which claims to operate legally under Russian copyright law — faces ongoing legal battles with the music industry and harsh criticism from the United States government.

Tuesday, the credit card company Visa International said that it had suspended card service to the site, citing concerns over copyright issues.

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“Net Neutrality? What’s That?” [5:12 pm]

Users bemoan loss of Net phones in UAE - pdf

When telecom regulators in this country cut access to the popular Internet phone program Skype, the price of international calling skyrocketed.

The shutdown triggered an uproar among foreign residents who form about 80 percent of the population of the Emirates, a wealthy country with some of the world’s highest levels of Internet penetration.

[...] “It’s infuriating to lose the freedom to call people,” said Rupert Chesman, a 27-year-old Londoner who works as a TV producer in Dubai. “People just want to phone home and now they can’t.”

Etisalat, the Emirates’ chief telecom and Internet provider, began to block Skype and other Internet phone providers this summer, arguing they had no license to sell phone service. Etisalat’s profits have soared since then.

The unannounced Internet clampdown even woke up Dubai’s normally docile press, which devoted pages to expatriates railing at the shutdown. An recent editorial in pro-government Gulf News said the ban was stifling technology that ought to be embraced.

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Keep On Keeping On [9:39 am]

File sharers facing legal action

More than 8,000 alleged file sharers are facing legal action, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

This latest crackdown targets uploaders - people who allegedly put their music files onto peer-to-peer networks.

It forms part of the ongoing battle by the recording industry to put an end to illegal downloading.

Slashdot: International Music Industry Amps Up Anti-P2P War

Related: Universal Sues Music Web Sites, Charging Illegal Sharing of Files

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Art? Or Copying? [7:25 am]

Lichtenstein: creator or copycat? - pdf

Color me naive, but I never thought Lichtenstein’s work was a direct copy of scenes from comic books. I assumed that he stylized certain scenes suggested by the comic vernacular of the 1950s and 1960s. “He tried to make it seem as though he was making major compositional changes in his work, but he wasn’t,” says Barsalou, who teaches at the High School of Commerce in Springfield. “The critics are of one mind that he made major changes, but if you look at the work , he copied them almost verbatim. Only a few were original.”

[...] Lichtenstein’s fans, and the collectors who now pay millions of dollars for individual canvases, will continue to revere his work. But what are the implications for copyright law? Barsalou correctly points that musicians who “sample” other artists’ music have to pay them royalties. Does the Lichtenstein estate owe compensation to the creators of the original work?

After visiting a Lichtenstein exhibition in Chicago, attorney Mark Weissburg wrote an article titled “Roy Lichtenstein, Copyright Thief?” [pdf] [...]

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