Copyright Infringement Ruling: Cox to Pay BMG $25 Million

In a significant victory for BMG and copyright enforcer Rightscorp, a federal jury in Virginia found Cox Communications guilty of ignoring music piracy, directing that it pay BMG $25 million for the violations. Although Rightscorp was not named as a plaintiff, it provided the evidence that made it possible for BMG to go to trial. Rightscorp has been sending out copyright notices asking for $20 to $30 per song for what users believed were pirated songs. Cox was the biggest holdout, making them a target for BMG and Rightscorp. Continue reading Copyright Infringement Ruling: Cox to Pay BMG $25 Million

Rightscorp Signs Sony as Client, Continues to Combat Piracy

Rightscorp, a company that goes after people who illegally download songs, has just signed Sony/ATV Music Publishing as a client. The signing is a coup for the company, which despite having signed a few big clients, has been struggling on the verge of bankruptcy. In addition to Sony/ATV, Rightscorp also counts BMG and Warner Bros. among its clients. The company process is to scan the Internet for illegal downloads, using its proprietary algorithm to gather IP addresses, and then threaten those users with legal action. Continue reading Rightscorp Signs Sony as Client, Continues to Combat Piracy

RIAA Confronts BitTorrent Over Its Piracy-Enabling Software

The Recording Industry Association of America, which has long fought piracy, is now taking aim at BitTorrent, the company whose technology enables it. The RIAA sent a letter to BitTorrent demanding that the company pay closer attention to the use of its software in peer-to-peer infringement. This came after the RIAA’s random sample of 500 audio torrents revealed that 82.4 percent of them were commercially available and likely protected by copyright. BitTorrent has stated that it does not endorse or actively engage in piracy. Continue reading RIAA Confronts BitTorrent Over Its Piracy-Enabling Software

Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

After several months of discussions, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has officially declared Fridays as the release day for all new music albums. In today’s digital era, music listeners want to have access to albums the moment they are available anywhere in the world. Rather than staggering the releases on different days in different countries, the universal release approach aims to combat piracy. There is no word yet on when this new distribution model will take effect. Continue reading Global Trade Group Proposes Universal Release Day for Albums

Could Removal of DRM Restrictions Actually Decrease Music Piracy?

  • New research from Rice and Duke universities challenges conventional wisdom by suggesting that the removal of digital rights management restrictions can actually decrease music piracy.
  • “Marketing professors Dinah Vernik of Rice and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke used analytical modeling to examine how piracy is influenced by the presence or absence of DRM restrictions,” explains the press release. “They found that while these restrictions make piracy more costly and difficult, the restrictions also have a negative impact on legal users who have no intention of doing anything illegal.”
  • “In many cases, DRM restrictions prevent legal users from doing something as normal as making backup copies of their music,” said Vernik, assistant professor of marketing at Rice. “Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate.”
  • According to the research paper, copyright owners don’t necessarily benefit from less piracy. “Decreased piracy doesn’t guarantee increased profits,” Purohit said. “In fact, our analysis demonstrates that under some conditions, one can observe lower levels of piracy and lower profits.”
  • The press release includes a compelling statement from the late Steve Jobs: “Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.”