MP3Tunes owner Michael Robertson recently said EMI has been engaging in massive free online distribution, “using its own websites, using music blogs and other third party sites, and employing paid content delivery networks, of its song files, including the song files which it alleges MP3 is infringing,” posted Ray Beckerman in Recording Industry vs The People recently.
Interesting in more ways than one.
He was discussing Capitol records vs MP3tunes in which EMI did its best to have counterclaims dismissed.
The opposition papers list a number of sites on the internet where EMI has made its song files available for free download, “free to everyone (except, apparently, MP3tunes),” noted Beckerman.
He went on »»»
As an illustration, MP3 Tunes alleged:
One prominent example is the song U R So Gay from the aforementioned Katy Perry, who is signed to Capitol Records, which in turn is owned by EMI. While this is one of the thousands of songs EMI is suing MP3tunes for linking to on its Sideload.com web site, everyone else in the world is free to listen to and download the song from the following URL: http://capi001.edgeboss.net/download/capi001/katyperry/audio/katyperry_usogay.mp3
In the above-referenced URL, edgeboss.net is the domain name. As explained above, it is the brand name for Akamai, the CDN that EMI pays to distribute its music, for free, over the Internet. Just before that, capi001 reflects that EMI`s Capital Records has an account with Akamai for music distribution.
Very interesting. And there’s more to this than immediately meets the eye.
Bizarre RIAA sue ‘em all marketing campaign
“In days of yore, when the corporate record labels wanted air-time for one of their tunes, they’d fire CDs at every DJ and his brother,” said p2pnet in 2006.
But not any more, we went went on, “because they’ve found a clever, new ‘high tech’ way of getting the music out.
The mysterious new playola technology was called Kazaa, “the self-same p2p file sharing application used by many, if not most, of the 19,000 or so men, women and children the RIAA has singled out as the back-drop for its bizarre RIAA sue ‘em all marketing campaign.”
“I`ve been informed by more than one source that the major labels have encouraged the use of the very P2P networks they’re villifying,” Beckerman, the New York lawyer who’s representing a number of RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) victims including, not at all incidentally, self-confessed technical ignoramus Marie Lindor, told me.
“Radio DJs have said the record company people who used to drop by with CDs would instead now tell them to get Kazaa, or gnutella or something, and download the song files that way,” he said.
In a recap, “In UMG v Lindor we’d served an interrogatory asking about the record company employees’ use of p2p file sharing,” Beckerman told me . “This was based on information I’d been given by several DJs that the record company promo people had stopped visiting the radio stations with stacks of CDs in hand, and were instead instructing the DJs tyo download them with Limewire or Kazaa.
“The record companies objected, I offered to narrow its scope to ‘in the ordinary course of business of the record companies’. Richard Gabriel said that sounded reasonable. But then, after conferring with his ‘client’, he refused to answer even the narrow question.”
Gabriel is the same RIAA attack lawyer who’s now a judge in Colorado.
“At the conference before magistrate judge Levy I offered to narrow the scope even further, limiting the interrogatory to the record company employees’ dissemination of song files to radio station DJs through p2p file sharing,” said Beckerman, adding »»»
Richard Gabriel said “I’ll ask my clients”. the Magistrate said ” you don’t have to ask them, I’m ordering it “
The record companies then answered the interrogatory “No,” indicating their employees had never done it.
At the deposition of Joanne Cho, however, from Universal, it turned out she’d never asked about that before responding to the interrogatory; all she ascertained was that it had never been Universal’s official policy to use p2p file sharing software, which was of course not the question they’d been ordered to answer.
When I went back to the Magistrate Judge he declined to order them to respond to the interrogatory as originally asked.
Back to the future
In his post on the Michael Robertson allegations, “Here are some other examples of EMI songs which Akamai currently distributes over the Internet, free to everyone (except, apparently, MP3tunes),” says Beckerman, to wit »»»
(Declaration of Michael Robertson, pages 4-5, paragraphs 10-11). The opposition papers continue:
· Lil` Ru, Don`t I Look Good (EMI`s Capitol Records)
· Beastie Boys, Car Thief A Capella (EMI`s Capitol Records)
· Doves, Sky Starts Falling (EMI`s Capitol Records)
· Seth Lakeman, King and Country (EMI`s Relentless Records)
· XX Teens, Darlin Original (EMI`s Mute Records)
· Moby, Moby Last Night (EMI`s Mute Records)
MP3tunes also has several examples of music that EMI has distributed for free over the Internet in the past, but has removed from the Internet since the start of this litigation.
12. In addition, MP3tunes has since found EMI-copyrighted songs on the Internet
with URLs indicating that they were distributed by CoralCDN and Nine Systems, two other paid services which, like Akamai, distribute free MP3s for download over the Internet.
(Robertson Declaration, pages 5-6, paragraphs 11-12). MP3Tunes went on to document that EMI itself distributes the song files for free from its own web sites, directly:
Among the record label sites owned by EMI which distribute free MP3 files are EMI Chrysalis, Definitive Jux Records, Siren Records, Parlophone, Bec Recordings, and Mute Record. Here are examples of actual EMI-copyrighted songs currently available for free download to everyone (except, apparently, MP3tunes):
· Vincent Vincent and the Villains, I`m Alive (EMI Chrysalis)
· Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules Theme (EMI Chrysalis)
· Aesop Rock Ghosts of The Barbary Coast (EMI`s Definitive Jux Records)
· Goldenhorse, Don`t Wake Me Up (EMI`s Siren Records)
· Goldenhorse, Fish (EMI`s Siren Records)
· Sparklehorse, Shade and Honey (EMI`s Parlophone Records)
· Mailers, Morning Runner (EMI`s Parlophone Records)
· Baby Shambles, Lost Art of Murder (EMI`s Parlophone Records)
· Chris Taylor, Take Me Anywhere (EMI`s Bec Recordings)
· Chris Taylor, That`s How It Goes (EMI`s Bec Recordings)
· Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, Mad World (EMI`s Mute Records)
Please note that these too are just examples. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other EMI copyrighted songs on such sites which fit this category.
(Robertson declaration, pages 6-7, paragraph 13). The papers also alleged that many of the links which form part of EMI’s infringement claim are links to music blogs and other sites which offer free downloads of EMI material with EMI’s authorization or implied consent.
Definitely stay tuned and if you’re a DJ who’s had dealings with EMI, or any of the other labels, we’d love to hear from you, anonymously or otherwise.
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