“The Cable Defense,” “The Cloud” and More about Causation and Copyright
Last time, I tried to make sense of the Supreme Court’s decision in ABC v. Aereo. But there are a couple of major issues that I wasn’t able to touch on: (1) What’s all this about Aereo now saying it’s a cable system? (2) I thought maybe the Aereo decision was going to hurt “Cloud”-based industries? and (3) are we no longer to look “under the hood” of technology to resolve our copyright issues (after the Court dismissed on argument as relying on technology “behind the scenes”)? I also (4) have some further thoughts about the causation requirement in copyright cases (i.e., all that business about “volitional conduct” and “proximate causation”).
1. Is Aereo a Cable System?
As we all know by now, the Supreme Court ruled against Aereo essentially because Congress had set out in 1976 to ensure that cable systems (or, more precisely, their direct technological predecessors, community access TV systems) were “performing,” regardless of whether you thought of them as broadcasters, viewers, or mere conduits. Further, the Court held that such performances were public because Aereo looked a lot like a cable company, and cable companies perform their…
August 29, 2011 | Category: Blog | Tags: #onlinemusicseries, Amazon, Apple, DMCA, Google, music, music lockers, safe-harbor, space shifting, the cloud | Comments: 0
Rick is an experienced Nashville intellectual-property litigator and an erstwhile part-time professor at Vanderbilt University Law School whose writing and teaching focuses on copyright issues but whose law practice involves a wide variety of IP-related disputes.
What the MP3Tunes Decision Tells Us About Music-Locker Services
(I know I said that our next posts in our Online Music Service Series would be about Pandora and Turntable.fm, but the recent decision in the MP3Tunes case has inspired me to look at the Amazon, Google and Apple music-locker services, instead. We’ll use the MP3Tunes decision as a spring-board for discussing music-locker services. We’ll get to Pandora and Turntable.fm next week.)
You might have heard about the decision handed down earlier this week in Capitol Records, Inc. v. MP3Tunes, LLC. You might especially have heard that the decision is “good news” for “music-locker” services like Amazon’s and Google’s–and, by extension, that Apple was foolish to obtain licenses. You might even have heard that “music-locker” services are now definitely 100% legal.
The decision certainly wasn’t bad news for Amazon and Google. We have additional confirmation that providers of music-locker services are not ineligible for DMCA safe-harbor protection. Which we all figured was the case. The most we can say is that Amazon has gone from about 90% certain, to about 92% certain, that the mere fact that its music lockers are likely to be host to infringing content won’t, by itself, deprive Amazon…