Music Industry

Megaupload Gone

Megaupload, the Hong Kong based file sharing service, has had their Ashburn, Virginia servers shut down by Federal authorities in the United States. And four employees of this company have been arrested in New Zealand.

An indictment filed Thursday accuses the company of having cost copyright holders $500 Million in lost revenue for having facilitated the illegal distribution of music, film and other copyrighted content. But the company claimed these allegations were “grotesquely overblown” prior to the shut down, according to USA Today.

Unfortunately Megaupload also had legitimate users, whose files are inaccessible now. The site had 150 million registered users and had 50 million hits per day.

I had used the service years back to send my own videos to fellow Youtubers, which was more convenient than sending it by email. I have since found other services but it’s still a shame to loose such a resource.

About Face On SOPA for GoDaddy

GoDaddy has reversed their position in regards to the Stop Online Piracy Act according to an official statement issued today :

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

The Stop Online Piracy Act was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 and would enable the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright owners in the states to impose American law on foreign sites by compelling American search engines to remove links to these foreign sites, by disallowing American advertising on those sites and by severing payments processed by American facilitators like Paypal.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and numerous other groups have voiced concerns about the ramifications of this legislation, including some Canadian groups who believe the United States could attempt to isolate countries whose copyright laws are not compatible with theirs.

Bell To End Throttling In March

Bell Canada has sent a letter to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission stating they will end their Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMP) on March 1st, 2012.

In this letter the company claims P2P traffic has been diminishing in comparison to other traffic, some of which was misclassified as P2P traffic according to The Canadian Gamers Organization.

Parliament May Be On Break….

But your local Member of Parliament‘s office should still be available to receive letters and emails in regards to the digital locks provisions in Bill C-11 and Lawful Access until Parliament resumes in late January.

Over 80 thousand Canadians signed the petition against Lawful Access, including yours truly.

Please consider signing this petition. Thank you.

Megaupload To Sue Universal Music ?

Billboard reports that the above commercial has sparked a lawsuit in-between Megaupload and Universal Music Group.

The file sharing service claims that Universal Music Group had filed a takedown notice with Youtube for copyright infringement to have this video removed.

“Let us be clear: Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group,” said MegaUpload CEO David Robb. “We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing MegaUpload.”

RIAA and the artists featured on the video could not be contacted for comment by Billboard by the printing of their article.

Canadians To Pay For Music Previews ?

Starting tomorrow the Supreme Court of Canada will hear appeals in regards to royalty payments for music previews and music in video games.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada wants royalties every time someone clicks on one of those short previews when they Shop on iTunes, eMusic, etc, and had appealed an October 18th, 2007 Copyright Board of Canada decision stating that these qualifies as “fair dealing”.

Unfortunately for the consumer many retailers have decided to drop previews because of this case, including, and if the Supreme Court rules in their favor previews might be removed on most sites because the royalties would be quite prohibitive.

A ruling establishing royalties on previews could also set a precedent that could hinder film previews and trailers in Canada. But I am hoping the previous Copyright Board of Canada decision will stand.

Previews are not purchases but research to which the end result might be a legitimate purchase. And without previews, people will think twice about making a purchase, so it is counterproductive.

Then there’s the fact that this ruling would not apply to foreign sites, where previews are accessible by Canadians. And any attempt to collect royalties for previews from these foreign sites would be problematic because of their national “fair dealing” exemptions.

Apple and Canada’s largest telecom companies are of course fighting this appeal. The Canadian Recording Industry Association had also opposed royalties on previews so I am guessing that their modern counterpart, Music Canada, also oppose them.