• http://oknarb.web-log.nl Branko Collin

    The linked article says: “The charge had been brought by BREIN”. I don’t know what ‘bringing charge’ means, but to me it sounds like BREIN were the ones that filed the law suit, and that’s not the case. ZoekMP3.nl were the ones that wanted a pre-emptive judgement that what they were doing was legal. BREIN had been trying to bully them (and had been successful with others, IIRC) into closing shop.

    Also, stating that BREIN are the RIAA of the Netherlands is a nice condensation, an easy label for foreigners to understand. In reality, they claim to represent a diverse group of middlemen from the music and movie ‘industries’ (their word, not mine), but mostly levy collection agencies such as Buma/Stemra, Sena and Videma. (And they also claim to represent the Motion Picture Association.)

  • sander

    What is also remarkable, is that the Judge in his verdict has explicitly stated that downloading on its own is legal. Only the unauthorized publication of a work can be infringing. This has been an unclear point for some time and the judge put it quite clearly. Here is the quote:

    Anderzijds heeft de wetgever blijkens zowel de huidige Auteurswet en de Wet op de naburige rechten als de reeds genoemde Richtlijn en het daaruit voortvloeiende Wetsontwerp bepaald dat op zichzelf het kopi�ren (in dit geval door middel van downloaden) van een inbreukmakend/illegaal mp3-bestand voor eigen gebruik, geen strijd met de Auteurswet of de wet op de naburige rechten oplevert. Het downloaden van bestanden met behulp van de faciliteiten en diensten van Techno Design, is derhalve in beginsel niet inbreukmakend noch onrechtmatig. Slechts indien de gebruiker van het gedownloade bestand dit weer verveelvoudigt of openbaar maakt kan er sprake zijn van inbreukmakend handelen door die persoon.

    My own english translation (ianal, so forgive my lapses)

    On the other hand the legislator has according to the current Copyright Law and the Law on Neighbouring rights and the already mentioned Guideline and the corresponding draft legislation determined that, on its own, copying (in this case by downloading) of a infringing/illegal mp3-file for private use, is not a violation of the Copyright law or the Law Neighbouring Rights. Downloading files using the services and facilities of Techno Design is, consequently, in principle not infringing nor illegal. Only if the user copies or publicises the downloaded file could there be an infringement by that person.

    Best Regards,


  • Zeldo The Magnificent

    Put Lessig In Jail. Start at the top.

  • http://eamelje.net ijsbrand

    The main point of the verdict is that a search engine just can’t tell if a file is illegal or legal, when indexing a site. So, basically it cannot held to be responsible for linking to illegal content.

    But, Zoekmp3.nl, the search engine, will have to remove links to illegal MP3s from its database, if someone can point out those files are illegal.

  • Philippe A. Phaneuf

    We seem to be going somewhat nutty up here in Canada as well.

    In a recent ruling — and I’m not sure if this is covered earlier in the Blog — a lower court found that music sharing is not illegal under current Canadian law: “Making files available in online, shared directories is within the bounds of Canadian copyright law, von Finckenstein ruled.” http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/03/31/canada/download_court040331

    The Supreme Court of Canada also recently found (unanimously) that the Law Society’s of Upper Canada (i.e. Ontario) was not infringing on copyright laws in allowing people to photocopy whole decisions from commercial reporters: “The Law Society of Upper Canada is not breaking copyright law by photocopying legal decisions for lawyers and researchers, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday.” http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/03/04/canada/lawscoc040304

  • Francis Hamit

    Dear Professor Lessig:

    I’m reading your book. Even though I have my own problems with the abuses of Big Media, I am not pursuaded that the situation is hopeless. The Internet provides many opportunities for small copyright owners to distrubute and profit from their work. I am a cse in point, having recently put some of my previously published work up on Amazon.com and Powells.com for sale. It can be done.
    I am making sales.

    The biggest problem with the Copyright Act, as I see it, is that it fails to provide an even playing field for all creators. Certainly, under the current adminstration, there are no cases of large media concerns being prosecuted for copyright infrigemrnt and related crimes, especially violations of Section 1202.

    Large media concerns seem to feel if they ignore small copyright holders, they will go away, forcing us to the expense of filing legal actions to just get their attention. This, some of us are willing to do..

    The pending legislation called The PIRATE Act would help correct this. You might take a look. Also check out my blog “The Fight For Copyright” at thefightforcopyright@forwriters.org. Feel free to comment there.

    Fair is fair.

    Sincerely, Francis Hamit

  • Robert Lock

    Under the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act the RIAA fills there boots with “levies” on all unrecorded media, most which is used by the computing industry.
    Apart from making more net profit on the tapes, cdr and dvdr’s than the companies that actually make and distribute it, these levies were put in place precisely to compensate the RIAA and less so artists for copright infringment.
    Being paid for the song, movie etc and being paid for the media it is recorded on is double dipping and it is beyond me how consumers and developers and distributors of unrecorded media have not launched a class action against the RIAA!!!!!