Limewire – What Next ?

As you may have heard, Limewire lost their case this week in the United States.

The Recording Industry Association of America had filed a lawsuit against them in the state of New York on August 4th, 2006, claiming they facilitated copyright violations with their file sharing software, by not taking the appropriate measures to prevent such activity. And on Wednesday the 12th of May, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against Limewire.

Of course the recording industry praised this ruling, both in the United States and in Canada. But could this all have been prevented ?

On February 12th, 2010 Limewire CEO George Searle posted an entry on the company’s blog stating that Limewire had been “working diligently with labels, publishers and artists to introduce a full range of commercial services that harness, rather than alienate, music fans”.

The company had signed an agreement with independent music distributor CD Baby on July 1st, 2009 to sell recordings from their 240,000 plus artists to Americans via their online store.

But of course Mitch Bainwo, RIAA’s Chairman and CEO, claimed that Limewire had “thumbed its nose at the law and creators” in RIAA’s May 12th, 2010 press release on the ruling, because they failed to both negotiate licenses with the labels and impose filters on their peer to peer transfers.

By finding LimeWire’s CEO personally liable, in addition to his company, the court has sent a clear signal to those who think they can devise and profit from a piracy scheme that will escape accountability

Yes, the distribution of copyrighted material using LimeWire’s software was illegal. But whether it was a “piracy scheme” is debatable because Limewire would not have even bothered to warn its users of the implications of such violations nor would they have implemented any content filtering if they were in it to profit on the back of copyright owners.

RIAA obviously believes that the multiple statements and warnings found in LimeWire‘s end-user license agreement and copyright documentation are tantamount to lip service, along with the basic content filtering. But I believe the consumer, those that buy music or purposely use services where the copyright holder is compensated, do heed to these warnings and do use these filters.

Personally I have avoided peer to peer software because of the spam files and possibility of infection by malicious software. But now that LimeWire has partnered with AVG Technologies I may consider using the program. But only if I know the artists and copyright holders are compensated.

I believe LimeWire could distribute funds derived from advertisements and Livewire Pro software sales to copyright owners. And this could result in further partnerships with wireless device manufacturers, who could stream content and targeted advertising on their devices.

But of course we’ll need to wait until June 1st to know what the monetary penalties and damages will be, the original figure being $150,000 per occurrence of an illegally traded file according to Betanews. And then there’s the possibility of an appeal or settlement.

Here are some interesting links until then :

Arista Records LLC et al v. Lime Wire LLC et al

Press Releases

Interesting Reading

Canadian Listings Completed

I’ve just completed the addition of both parts of the Canadian CD/DVD & Blu-Ray source listings to this blog, which can be found in the menu on the left side of this page, under Buy Stuff. I hope to have the memorabilia listings up by the end of this month.

BTW, I will turn on comments after the transition and will probably add a contact form for additions, corrections and comments.

EMI Music Group Update

The Wall Street Journal reports that Terra Firma Capital Partners, the group that owns EMI, has received their stockholder’s approval to secure a $156 Million deal that will keep Citigroup at bay for the next two years.

By next March the label will still need a restructuring plan to handle it’s significant debt and people are in the industry are still speculating on whether Sony or Warner will buy up some of the company’s assets.

The HST – A Canada Day Gift !

Ontario residents and non-residents traveling to Ontario will not be paying more taxes on the following :

  • CD, DVD, Blu-Ray Discs
  • TVs, Mp3 Players, DVD/Blu-Ray Players
  • Movie Tickets (reduction of 2%) / Cable Television
  • Computers, Hard Drives, Prepackaged Computer Software
  • Books, Audio Books & Retail Magazine Purchases
  • Music Lessons/Educational Services
  • Municipal Public Transit/GO Transit
  • Bridge, road, and ferry tolls
  • Products on which they paid both the GST and PST on prior to July 1st, 2010

But they will be paying more taxes on the following :

  • Internet Access Services in Ontario
  • Concert Tickets for events in Ontario
  • Alcohol purchases in Ontario
  • Gasoline/Diesel/Electricity/Natural Gas purchased in Ontario
  • Accommodation in Ontario (Hotels/Motels/Camping)
  • Airline, Bus and Rail Tickets/Taxi Fares in and from Ontario
  • Magazine Subscriptions (Ontario Residents Only)

In contrast British Columbia residents will be paying less in taxes to fuel up their cars and less on accommodation. But they’re still going to pay more for their utilities.

Isn’t this a FUN Canada Day gift ?!

Roger Ebert Hates 3-D Movies

On April 29th Roger Ebert posted his comments on the 3D film trend on his Newsweek column. And quite frankly I agree with most of what he had said.

3D appears to be a gimmick that Hollywood appears to think will make the consumer forget that their film plots are being recycled (ex. Dances With Tall Blue Aliens In Space).

So what if it pops out of the screen ?! There are limitations, especially when a person has astigmatism like yours truly. And I’m not about to pay more to become some beta tester.

Platinum Blonde On Tour

80’s rockers Platinum Blonde are back on tour :

May 8th, 2010 – Cobourg, Ontario
Park Playhouse & Performance Center
May 24th, 2010 – Oshawa, Ontario
General Motors Center
May 28th, 2010 – Peterborough, Ontario
The Montreal House

Platinum Blonde