Another day, and yet another astonishing display of arrogance by one of the major record labels. This time it’s the turn of EMI, who are taking the MP3 storage/backup site MP3tunes to court claiming that their storage site infringes copyright.
EMI might have half a leg to stand on if it weren’t for the fact that MP3tunes is an online lockup facility whereby users can only access their own music lockers. Other than exchanging passwords there’s no way that users can freely swap their files with other users.
In fact, so tenuous is EMI’s claim that in March a judge threw EMI’s demand that MP3tunes hand over the content of it users’ lockers out of court. On that occasion MP3tunes argued, quite rightly, that EMI’s demand was an invasion of their clients’ privacy. Thankfully, the judge agreed.
Hopefully, the frankly ridiculous attempt by EMI to get MP3tunes shut down will end in similar humiliation for the label. Otherwise a dangerous precedent will have been set.
If a major label is allowed to close down any site it feels users might be storing ‘copyrighted’ material – regardless of access controls – then large chunks of the internet as we know it could also be deemed in breach of copyright and therefore illegal.
And all this from a company who’s recent change of CEO appeared to promise a fresh approach to tackling the same tired old issues that have been dogging the recording industry for so long now. Oh well, it appears that normal service has been resumed all too soon.