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back to article Mp3Tunes files for bankruptcy

For Michael Robertson, it’s déjà vu all over again. The same flexible and somewhat optimistic interpretation of copyright law that sank his music service in the dot.com bubble has also sunk his current music service, over what was essentially the same idea. On Friday Robertson’s cloud music locker – MP3Tunes – filed for …

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From whom?

I would be interested to know who has given licenses to Google's music service. As far as I was aware, Google is having a great deal of difficulty getting licenses for music due to both distrust of Google as a business partner, and because of ongoing copyright infringement / content theft.

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Re: From whom?

I'm sure all the indie labels and distributors have agreed too, because of course it would be massively unfair just to ensure a few big companies benefited financially from giving away licences to music they don't necessarily own...

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Facepalm

How Much did he lose?

What I would love to know is how much of his $100m did Mr Robertson blow on this little ruse?

You have to admire his tenacity whilst despairing at his inability to quit whilst he's ahead

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Re: How Much did he lose?

Don't worry, he made sure his money was safe... See freespire.com

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Anonymous Coward

Licence to copy...

I have no comment on the legality of MP3Tunes. However, I wonder if I need a licence to copy a song to memory?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Licence to copy...

Local memory probably not, if only because it's hard for the industry to pursue a lot of small targets, but anything stored in any sort of cloud service could be affected by EMI's badgering of MP3Tunes, and that might well include anything sent to online backup and virtual storage services.

If the music and film industry had its way you'd be charged for remembering a song or film.

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"But a copy is a copy, and without a licence to make a copy (outside of a few special cases), courts don't have much choice other than to treat it as infringement."

One day we will look back and laugh, or despair if it all escalates out of control!

http://c4sif.org/2011/08/death-penalty-for-pirating-fabric-designs-in-france/

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Pirate

they got sued for sideload.com

A lot of people misinterpret what this case is about. This is most likely because Mr. Robertson wants to redirect your attention and get you cheering for the under dog (who he pretends to be). The fact is that this legal case is not about the legality of digital music lockers. It's about the fact that Michael Robertson set up a site that was used to infringe other people's copyrights (www.sideload.com). He also encouraged users to use the infringement tools he created to fill their locker. Not coincidentally, he also happens to sell upgrades to music lockers. You can pay to buy more storage space.

The sideload.com web site is what MP3tunes was sued over. It allowed anyone to find pirated music on the web and then save it to their locker. The judge made a ruling stating that digital lockers are legal. So, companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are free to build a digital music locker. The part that is still to be decided is how much damage did Mr. Robertson cause by creating this piracy tool and how much did he make by selling lockers? If you knowingly permit infringement or encourage it then you are not entitled to protection under the DMCA.

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Anonymous Coward

memory

if your talking about your mind then , haha. If you mean RAM then that's how Xbox modchips were banned. The rights holder argued that the mod chip created a copy of the game in RAM while it was bypassing the copy protection.

Previously it was unclear if defeating copy protection was illegal or not so they just with the "the game is in RAM for a few milliseconds so there.

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Agree on the sentiment but not the facts

Much as I agree with the sentiment here -- I have always viewed Robertson as someone who is obsessed with goading the music industry through copyright law boundary tests disguised as startup companies (see http://copyrightandtechnology.com/2011/08/23/mixed-verdict-for-emi-against-mp3tunes-com/) -- I have to say that unfortunately you're not correct on the facts regarding Google and Amazon.

The truth is that while both of them have licenses from the record companies to sell MP3s, neither have licenses tat support locker services, i.e. users syncing their files among multiple devices. (Apple does, which is one reason why they do "scan and match" in iTunes Match, the feature that lets users sync their music files without having to upload them.) This is Robertson's central innovation; he was the first to market with sync via downloading -- as opposed to upload-and-stream which is what the likes of MyPlay offered earlier.

The record companies have chosen not to go after Amazon or Google for download sync... so far.

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