Music Technology

HMV Digital Now Fully Online

HMV Digital Canada is now fully online. They had been beta testing their site for a while now and are now offering software that can sync music download purchases from the site into iTunes.

This site is of course Windows and Mac compatible.

ACTA – The State Of Play

The above is a 33 minute keynote address by Micheal Geist on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and the lack of transparency in regards to the international negotiations taking place in regard to this agreement.

Youtube Wins

The United States District Court, Southern District of New York, has rules in Youtube‘s favor, against Viacom’s claims.

The court ruled that Youtube had taken sufficient measures to protect the copyrights of Viacom, in accordance to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, this site qualifying for protection from prosecution according to 17 U.S.C. § 512(c).

The ruling can be found by clicking here. And don’t forget to visit my Youtube channel.

Limewire Goes Legit & Google’s Music Plans

According to Digital Music News, Limewire will soon offer a legal Cloud-Based iTunes compatible music service to Americans.

This service will be available in late 2010 and will include an expansion of Limewire‘s store.

But Google will also be adding music downloads to their search engine later in the year according to the Wall Street Journal, of course enabling Americans to purchase music via their search engine.

Canadians will likely see a delay because our government is currently updating our Copyright Act with Bill C-32, whose implementation has been delayed by a scheduled adjournment of Parliament until September 30th, 2010.

The NMPA Sues Limewire

The National Music Publishers’ Association has filed suit against Limewire on behalf of eight of the association’s members.

The NMPA allege that Limewire had facilitated copyright infringement through its web application, as stated in their press release, dated June 15th, 2010.

The Recording Industry Association of America had successfully sued Limewire and is currently trying to freeze it’s assets, as of June 10th, 2010.

The music publishers represented in the lawsuit are EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Bug Music, MPL Music Publishing, Peermusic, and The Richmond Organization.

CPCC demands levies on MP3 Players

In a press release dated June 2nd, 2010 the Canadian Private Copying Collective criticized the recently proposed amendments to the Copyright Act stipulated in Bill C-32.

They are again proposing a levy on Mp3 players, this time at a rate of up to $25 per unit in response to a survey of 1000 Canadians. And apparently found some support in The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to extend the levy to digital music recorders.

In response to this issue Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus proposed such a levy on audio recording devices in a private members bill in Parliament, Bill C-499, on March 2010. But it stalled at first reading without the support of the conservatives, who in turn tabled Bill C-32.

The problem here is that the CPCC are trying to implement a scheme that ignores the fact that royalties are already being collected on the sale of online recordings, a medium in which copying is required for use, and that the popularity of these recordings are dependent on the sale of mp3 players.

The CPCC may claim that MP3 players are without value without music in their press release. But online recordings are nothing but a series of ones and zeros without devices to play them. And compact discs are a dying format from which people will make less and less private copies from as time goes by so the CPCC is basically trying to sustain their existence by levying anything that comes along.

One has to wonder what the true value of these rights are now that the CPCC are attempting to propose a significantly reduced rate, from $21 per gig of memory in March 2002 to $25 per unit.

Did the value of these rights drop over these eight years or is the scheme being made more palatable ? And would the later then mean the rights are being subjected to the market and are flexible in value ?

The CPCC do attempt to claim they are looking for fair value on their Save The Levy site. But how fair is it to levy consumers via the mp3 player manufacturers, who would pass on these expenditures to their customers ?

Private copying may result in copying. But this copying is distinguished from commercial distribution because it is for private use by the consumer.

It does not result in the collection of funds by the consumer, from which royalties would have been collected if it were commercial distribution.

Furthermore it is the consumer that distributes music to these devices and not the manufacturer of these mp3 devices, so the manufacturer is not engaged in the commercial distribution of music either.

Like the compact disc player, these are playback devices in which media is introduced by the consumer ; Media whose data is played from the media, stored in memory and converted into music.

Yet CD players are not levied because the distribution medium in question is the compact disc, a format whose sales result in royalties. And in turn it can be argued that online recordings are also formats whose sales result in royalties.

Bill C-32 addresses issues relating to online piracy by establishing penalties for the illegal distribution of music, both offline and online. And this will further promote the collection of royalties from legitimate online distributors and sites from which music can be streamed.

I believe the proposed mp3 player levy is redundant in light of the measures tabled by the Government of Canada and could be counterproductive if it results in significantly higher prices when it comes to audio playback devices.

In conclusion I oppose the proposed levy as a consumer and would remind the government that such a levy would promote the importation of playback devices by individual Canadians, to the detriment of Canadian retailers.

——-

I would again like to remind you that you may contact your local member of Parliament on this issue using the contact information provided by the Parliament of Canada web site.

You will find this information by entering your postal code in a form on the main page, under the words “Current Parliamentarians“.

Thank you.