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EMI Sues Beatles Usurper Off the Net

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the psycho-acoustic-whatever dept.

Music 358

blackest_k sends along a Wired piece on EMI's successful suit to get Beatles music off the Net. Here is the judge's ruling (PDF). "A federal judge on Thursday ordered a Santa Cruz company to immediately quit selling Beatles and other music on its online site, setting aside a preposterous argument that it had copyrights on songs via a process called 'psycho-acoustic simulation.' A Los Angeles federal judge set aside arguments from Hank Risan, owner of BlueBeat and other companies named as defendants in the lawsuit EMI filed on Tuesday. His novel defense to allegations he was unlawfully selling the entire stereo Beatles catalog without permission was that he — and not EMI or the Beatles' Apple Corp — owns these sound recordings, because he re-recorded new versions of the songs using what he termed 'psycho-acoustic simulation.' Risan faces perhaps millions of dollars in damages under the Copyright Act. And copyright attorneys said his defense was laughable and carries no weight."

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Santa Cruz, California (4, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006070)

also known as the World's Largest Open Air Mental Institution.

P.S. Sorry, but you'll probably only get this if you've actually visited the place.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (4, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006188)

You've obviously never been to Sedona, AZ.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (1, Redundant)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006224)

Or Berkeley, California. Or Glastonbury Somerset (festival or no.) Or Blackrock.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (5, Insightful)

Homburg (213427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006444)

The crazy people in Berkeley wander around pushing shopping carts; the crazy people in Glastonbury sit in fields smoking pot. What is distinctive about Santa Cruz is its peculiarly high-functioning crazy people, like this guy, who are entirely divorced from reality, yet somehow manage to, for instance, run a record label.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (1, Insightful)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006506)

Yes. I suppose you are right. I have spent too much time in all of these places. What Glastonbury lacks is a University, or it would take some of the California tinge.

I like your nick. I wore a Homburg for years, when I was too young to carry it of, really. Now I am ageing, I suppose I could go for it, again - but the wife would not approve...

Do you know the minor-hit by Procol Harum? Or is that too Glastonbury/Berkeley :-)

Re:Santa Cruz, California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006450)

..yup, another vote for Glastonbury here - having wandered into the town for some peace from "The Festival", can only confirm most of the inhabitants appear to have been laying on the laylines a little too long.. now I think about it, was also "emotionally involved" with an ex-inhabitant, one who was a walking, breathing cliche of all that is New Age Loopiness. Its probably something in the water..

Re:Santa Cruz, California (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006562)

Yes. The water. Flowing from the springs which feed the Chalice Well, where Joseph of Aramithea conceal'd the Holy Grail. Where, still submerged, lies the Lady of the Lake, holding aloft a shining, scabbardless sword, her arm clad in pure white Samite.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (2, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006578)

I live in Newark, NJ. I got you all beat on crazies.

I actually had a guy attempt to attack me with a canteen. A frickin' canteen!

Re:Santa Cruz, California (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006232)

... or Washington, DC.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (4, Funny)

Byzantine (85549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006310)

No, no. The Capitol is enclosed.

Crackpots (Re:Santa Cruz, California) (1)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006468)

> Santa Cruz, California
>
> also known as the World's Largest Open Air Mental Institution.
> P.S. Sorry, but you'll probably only get this if you've actually visited the place.

Except that Santa Cruz is synonymous with crackpot on slashdot due to people with silly names working for SCO.

Re:Santa Cruz, California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006554)

Visited?!? Hell, I've lived there... and that is pretty much an accurate description. And let's not forget that Santa Cruz is where SCO started!

Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTunes? (1)

orta (786013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006076)

Psycho-acoustic simulation sounds like a real good pseudo-science. Maybe they can create an agreement in exchange for some platinum covered cables!

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006112)

Psycho-acoustic simulation sounds like a real good pseudo-science.

It's what most of us call mp3 or m4a.

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (5, Informative)

millennial (830897) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006480)

Parent deserves to be modded up for pointing out what most people will likely miss. Psycho-acoustic simulation is the process by which audio compression techniques remove bits of audio recordings in ways that the human brain is likely not to notice. It's part of the reason MP3 files can be compressed at all.

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006168)

Considering the old copyright case where you had "Achy Breaky Heart" and "Achy Breakin Heart" many, many years ago...

If you added backmasking, or subliminal messages to an audio recording, does that count as altering the work significantly enough to make it your own? If that's what psycho-acoustic stimulation is, he might have more of a case than we thought.

Or that could be what the Abby Road album told me when I played it backwards...

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006332)

If we had sane copyright laws (like the original 1790 act with a 28 year limit), the Beatles catalog would be in public domain for the enrichment of all 6,000,000,000 humans, rather than just the 2(?) remaining band members.

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (5, Informative)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006430)

Why, why, why must people who might otherwise help argue the case that today's copyright is broken spoil their credibility with exageration and mis-statement of facts?

1 - Not every person on Earth benefits from public domain music. Some are too damned busy trying to remain alive.

2 - The Beatle's copyrights do not funnel every penny made off of sale of their music to the surviving band members.

Yes, their music should be out of copyright by now. You'd be a greater help to the cause of copyright reform that would make that happen by sticking to reality and sounding like you've thought the issue through, than by spouting off feel-good numbers that make it sound like you're wearing blinders so you can reach the conclusion you want.

Re:Maybes its a good time for them to get on iTune (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006272)

Actually sounds Psycho-acoustic simulation like a really good indie band.

Heh Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006086)

Maybe now they'll 'beat it'

Re:Heh Heh (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006124)

It's pretty yellow of EMI to submarine this guy out of the blue like that. It's going to be a hard days night for this guy in the future. Ask me why! Because! He told EMI to come and get it.

Re:Heh Heh (1)

mrdoogee (1179081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006520)

It would have been better if EMI had said we can work it out. I'm sure he wouldn't mind being a day tripper or working 8 days a week. But now since that ruling yesterday, he may be thinking that happiness is a warm gun. Personally I know that money can't buy me love, but he may still need some help!

Re:Heh Heh (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006522)

Bad boy.

Perhaps they'll take the long and winding road (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006204)

down to Penny Lane and see Elanor Rigby.

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006096)

First!

I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006102)

The copyright lawyers are laughing at this guy's defense, but these are the same lawyers who think that file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads.

I wouldn't put too much weight on what they think.

As for this guy in the article, it's pretty clear he was just trying to make a buck by ripping off the Beatles' music. I'm surprised that the judge didn't hand down a larger fine, actually. His "psycho-acoustic simulation" argument was laughable at best. Facepalm worthy, at least.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006114)

The copyright lawyers are laughing at this guy's defense, but these are the same lawyers who think that file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads.

Generalize much?

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006126)

Generalize much?

never.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006464)

The $2 million dollar fines that RIAA has imposed upon several college students == a life sentence. That's how long it would take to earn the money to pay it off. So no, the previous poster was neither generalizing or exaggerating.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006576)

Isn't that what bankruptcy is for? Yes, you reset to zero, which is not good. But you get out of a life sentence.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006120)

The copyright lawyers are laughing at this guy's defense, but these are the same lawyers who think that file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads.

I wouldn't put too much weight on what they think.

As for this guy in the article, it's pretty clear he was just trying to make a buck by ripping off the Beatles' music. I'm surprised that the judge didn't hand down a larger fine, actually. His "psycho-acoustic simulation" argument was laughable at best. Facepalm worthy, at least.

So, in your expert opinion, everyone involved is wrong?

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (5, Insightful)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006370)

So, in your expert opinion, everyone involved is wrong?

Why not? I know the dumbing-down of the modern media urges us to think in terms of black and white concepts, but there should be room for this. EMI are obviously evil copyright trolls, and this Hank Risan is equally obviously selling copyrighted material. Shakespeare (as always) has a good line for this:

"A plague on both your houses."

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006466)

So, in your expert opinion, everyone involved is wrong?

Wouldn't be the first time in a court room.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006174)

So, you say you wouldn't put too much weight on what they think and then repeat exactly what they think - that the defense is laughable. Uh, ok.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (0)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006228)

BadAnalogyGuy isn't too worried about making sense... hence the name.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006422)

The copyright lawyers are laughing at this guy's defense, but these are the same lawyers who think that file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads.

Ray Beckerman (/.'s NYCL) is a copyright lawyer, and he doesn't think file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads. In fact he fights them tooth and nail.

But I would bet he would agree that this guy's defense is laughable.

Re:I wouldn't listen to the naysayers (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006434)

The copyright lawyers are laughing at this guy's defense, but these are the same lawyers who think that file sharing is immoral and that record companies should have the right to sue people into poverty because of a few kilobytes of uploads.

I wouldn't put too much weight on what they think.

What is legal or not, and what is right or not are often completely different. These lawyers may have some rather screwy ideas about the latter, but it's their job to have a very good understanding of the former. So when the former is what's under discussion, what they think probably should carry a bit of weight.

I don't pirate software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006106)

...I just make trans-electronic digital impressions of the originals.

I got an answer (1)

Moblaster (521614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006110)

Soon they will patent greed.

Re:I got an answer (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006364)

Soon they will patent greed.

What !!!! It's not patented yet !??!

Off I go...

Worst headline EVAR (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006116)

The blame falls on the lurid headline over at Wired, which completely mischaracterizes the actual article. But it's Slashdot's fault for repeating it both in the headline here and in the summary.

For shame.

Re:Worst headline EVAR (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006314)

Yeah call it "worst evar", "lurid", and "mischaracterizing", but do not try to explain *why* it is wrong, it's much more dramatic that way.

What kind of idiotic title is that anyway? (5, Insightful)

Briareos (21163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006130)

Is it just me, or is EMI not suing the Beatles (half of which aren't even going to show up in court), but really some fuckwad that sold illegal copies of their songs?

np: Burial - Distant Lights (Various - 5 Years Of Hyperdub (Disc 2))

Re:What kind of idiotic title is that anyway? (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006210)

The story is tagged badtitle when in fact it should be wrongtitle, or even better toostupidtomakeagoodtitle.

Re:What kind of idiotic title is that anyway? (5, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006484)

that wasn't my title, actually its been completely rewritten by K Dawson, editors do a lot more than people think on here.

The site is still up and offers 160kb streaming of a good quantity of music for free and you can buy tracks at 25 cents each I believe and some remarkably high quality original recordings of some familiar tracks.

  http://www.bluebeat.com/ [bluebeat.com]

Re:What kind of idiotic title is that anyway? (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006492)

Don't look at me like that - I already tagged it "stupidtitle" when it still was "in the mysterious future"...

np: Kode9 - 9 Samurai (Quarta330 Remix) (Various - 5 Years Of Hyperdub (Disc 2))

Re:What kind of idiotic title is that anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006330)

Would you read an article titled, "EMI Sues Copyright Infringer"

I'm sure in Santa Cruz, Ca it makes perfect sense (3, Informative)

killdozer3k (779295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006134)

If you've ever been to Santa Cruz then what the rest of the country would laugh at as ridiculous makes perfect sense there. I think its the magnetic waves from the Mystery Spot

Re:I'm sure in Santa Cruz, Ca it makes perfect sen (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006446)

The Mystery Spot is one of the most hilariously lame points-of-interest I've ever been to. Basically, some guy's old mountain cabin collapsed and he said, "Ma, I've got a great idea to make some money." The rest is history.

All you need is Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006140)

'nuff said.

Re:All you need is Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006180)

more like muff.

Re:All you need is Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006388)

Can I breathe love?
Can I drink love?
Can I eat love?
Can I make a shelter out of love?

GTFO, hippie.

Piracy (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006144)

THIS is the sort of piracy that the RIAA (and member companies) should fight against. THIS is the sort of piracy that I think any intelligent human being opposes. THIS is the sort of copyright violation that the laws were written to combat.

Re:Piracy (1, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006244)

Nope. Culture, information, we should never approve of shackles on these things. We should reject claims of ownership of ideas or data.

Re:Piracy (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006320)

So you won't mind if your SSN, bank account number, or secret 'sheep sex' photos are taken?

Re:Piracy (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006442)

The first two - password type information, are not effectively culture - they occupy none of the same mental space that culture has traditionally been in society.

As for the last, if I shared it with one person, it would just be a breach of trust if they shared it further - I don't think I should be able to demand such things be stopped once they get out, any more than I could stop a rumour/gossip.

Re:Piracy (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006564)

Well, false rumors are called "libel" or "slander", and in the USA you are able to sue the perpetrators of these acts. Regardless, ideas need to be protected for a limited time just because saying that ideas can't be owned places manual labor on a higher level than thinking. On a web site that's supposedly for "nerds", I find the popularity of this opinion puzzling.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006340)

See, I never got into that sort of "culture" much anyway. Classical music FTW.

Re:Piracy (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006406)

Nope. Culture, information, we should never approve of shackles on these things. We should reject claims of ownership of ideas or data.

Overgeneralization maybe. Your words got carried away I presume. But I guess we can't hold you responsible for it since you should reject claim of ownership on your own words.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006414)

Nope. Culture, information, we should never approve of shackles on these things. We should reject claims of ownership of ideas or data.

So presumably you wouldn't mind if I copied your whole website and didn't credit you in any way? Or alternatively, credited you, but made sure that the copied version was really crap?

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006432)

You have obviously never had to work for a living...

Re:Piracy (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006526)

I really can't tell if this is sarcasm, ironic flamebait or a serious post. I also don't know how the mods are interpreting it. I really hope it was intended and interpreted as sarcasm but other responses are certainly considering it a serious argument. Please tell me that the /. population in general, a community composed mainly of individuals who make a living by producing intellectual property, chooses to interpret this as sarcasm.

Re:Piracy (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006606)

It's not sarcasm. Copyright abolitionists are not that rare in our community.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006588)

It's not "DATA", it's a "PERFORMANCE", by a specific artist.

The notes and beat of the national anthem is data, Jimi Hendrix playing it at Woodstock and making it into a political statement is another thing.

I think slashdotters confuse computer code, which probably should be open, and a performance, by an artist.

And I'm probably not making the point well, and it probably doesn't matter, because dissent on this issue is not well tolerated here.

Hey, it's true what they say about hitting your head against a wall....

Re:Piracy (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006258)

Shouldn't he have to face the same insane damages that file sharers face? Only a million in fines? If I shared Sgt. Pepper, I'd be looking at several times that and this guy was selling the whole catalog.

Re:Piracy (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006270)

THIS is the sort of piracy that the RIAA (and member companies) should fight against. THIS is the sort of piracy that I think any intelligent human being opposes. THIS is the sort of copyright violation that the laws were written to combat.

Also the sort of situation where having an ISP /hosting provider cut off someone's connection probably is appropriate. Assuming that there is a mechanism such as a court injunctiion involved.

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006280)

No, they really weren't.

The sort of piracy that the laws were written to combat is the file sharing noobs who don't think they'r doing anything wrong.

This guy you could deal with in other ways.

Re:Piracy (1)

mishehu (712452) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006294)

I completely agree, but would like to add that a) I have no mod points for you right now unfortunately, and b) the term of copyright needs to be severely limited to a reasonable time period. I'd suggest 14 years with one 14 year extension (hefty fee involved)...

Re:Piracy (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006312)

THIS is the sort of piracy that the RIAA (and member companies) should fight against. THIS is the sort of piracy that I think any intelligent human being opposes. THIS is the sort of copyright violation that the laws were written to combat.

Ironically, those Bluebeat guys are the ones arguing for mandatory DRM [arstechnica.com] and suing all the music stores for using "inadequate DRM". A judge finds a company trying to promote their "unbreakable" DRM for copyright infringement.

Re:Piracy (2, Interesting)

squidfood (149212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006384)

THIS is the sort of piracy that I think any intelligent human being opposes.

Except for those of us who think that songs over 30 years old have already been STOLEN from the public domain. Or are you talking about the post-'79 Beatles?

Re:Piracy (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006476)

>Except for those of us who think that songs over 30 years old have already been STOLEN from the public domain.

Including those that have been "stolen" by their *living* authors? That would be the most radical public domain position I've ever heard. I would support "Death + zero days" or "incentives to release to PD" or some such, but I can't imagine forcing things into the public domain for living authors.

Re:Piracy (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006574)

You do realize that a debate about the length of copyright is a different discussion from enforcement of copyright, right? Some of us think that the length of copyright should be dramatically shortened (to say the least...) AND also think that copyright holders should be encouraged to protect their copyrights when someone breaks copyright for the sole purpose of turning a profit. The two are completely different discussions. You are aware of that, right?

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006534)

I guess from your emphasis on THIS you are saying as opposed to fighting file sharers. From the point of view of the copyright holder, exactly what is the difference? Someone getting a copy of your song from someone other than you either effects you or it doesn't. It either results in lost sales, or it doesn't. You either retain control of your work, or you don't. The motive of the distributor does not have any impact on you at all (maybe emotionally, but not financially). Does one guy selling a few thousand copies of your song harm you any more than tens of thousands of people sharing your song?

Re:Piracy (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006602)

Uh, yes it does. This _IS_ a lost sale. No debate about it. People can debate whether or not an individual downloading a song to listen to it represents a lost sale (would they have bought it if they had to pay for it? Will they buy it after they try it out? etc. etc. etc.) but it cannot be debated, in any way, shape or form, that someone illegally selling copies of a song do not represent a lost sale. It _IS_ a lost sale. Period. There's a huge difference between a 14 year old kid downloading a song and someone setting up a website to sell the entire catalogue of The Beatles.

No, they didn't (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006176)

I actually RTFA, and Beatles music is still available in internet jukeboxes. What happened is some guy tried to twist copyright law in a foolish and illogical way, saying that resampled Beatles songs are his, and he actually registered copyrights of them. The judge PREDICTABLY and logically ruled against him. I'd have laughed him out of court.

EMI holds the real copyrights, sued, and won. The guy posting Beatles songs was clearly in the wrong. As is the summary.

The true evil here is that the Beatles' music should be in the public domain by now; they broke up in 1971, almost forty years ago. You should be able to reuse their art in your own art by now; that was, in fact, the whole purpose of giving Congress the power to write copyright law in the first place.

MRT's History (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006326)

The guy posting Beatles songs was clearly in the wrong.

I just wrote about this in my journal last night [slashdot.org] and would like to point out that Media Rights Technology (MRT, owners of BlueBeat.com) has a long history of neurosis when it comes to the legal system. Although not cross referenced above, you may recognize MRT as the very same people who sued everyone in 2007 for not implementing DRM [slashdot.org] . If you're Hank Risan, you've probably been asking yourself "How can I twist the law in a bizarre way to get rich quick?" And here we are.

Re:No, they didn't (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006472)

they broke up in 1971, almost forty years ago. You should be able to reuse their art in your own art by now; that was, in fact, the whole purpose of giving Congress the power to write copyright law in the first place.

Leaving aside the fact that the Beatles were a British band, and therefore not subject to Congress, EMI has apparently been recently doing its own resampling of their albums. So maybe they're infringing on their own copyright?

*ducks*

Re:No, they didn't (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006516)

100% agree - This music was created before I was born and it won't be till after I'm gone that the copyright will expire.

THIS SERIOUSLY HAMPERS CREATIVITY AND MUSIC IN GENERAL. That's why people disrespect the music industry so much - they are too greedy.

Re:No, they didn't (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006528)

>> The true evil here is that the Beatles' music should be in the public domain by now; they broke up in 1971, almost forty years ago. You should be able to reuse their art in your own art by now; that was, in fact, the whole purpose of giving Congress the power to write copyright law in the first place.

yes, the moral defense is better than the technical one.

is anyone currently using the moral defense for work where copyright should have expired by now?

Re:No, they didn't (2, Funny)

cb95amc (99589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006542)

Surely Paul McCartney needs the continued royalties from the Beatles music so he can continue to finance large divorce settlements!

What is PAS? (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006196)

Seriously, the article uses the term several times, the summary uses the term...googling "psycho acoustic simulation" just brings up various regurgitations of the same article.

I realize that it's just some term the guy made up. But if he's going to use it as a defense, and people are going to talk about it, it seems *someone* should define it. Neither of the documents in the linked article have the text "psycho" in them, either, so that's a no go.

I just wanted to find out exactly how crazy the guy is, that's all. :/

Re:What is PAS? (2, Insightful)

frooddude (148993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006250)

Since psychoacoustic is explicitly mentioned in regard to audio compression tech (like MP3) I think he just invented a term for "I ripped it to MP3"

Re:What is PAS? (4, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006396)

Since psychoacoustic is explicitly mentioned in regard to audio compression tech (like MP3) I think he just invented a term for "I ripped it to MP3"

Actually, the Bluebeat guys did something a bit more tricky. They compressed the music as MP3 (whch I guess is psychoacoustic simulation - after all, the MP3 was compressed by using psychoacoustic principles to reduce the data contained, producing a simulation of the original). But the trick they're using to get around copyright law was to embed images into it [arstechnica.com] , turning it into an "audio-visual" work. There is a separation, because AV works (think movies) are one entity - you cannot copyright the sound part of a movie separately from the moving images part.

Of course, that defense must fail, otherwise Hollywood would be using music with aplomb instead of having to get licenses to it when they incorporate it into a movie or TV show. Many older programs are tied up from home viewing because licenses don't allow home video distribution, and are often edited to replace licensed works.

Re:What is PAS? (2, Interesting)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006418)

I would guess that what was done was one of two things:

Mechanical production of a cover through some device that, on "hearing" a tune, would attempt to duplicate it in some analogue way, thus producing what would be, under some definitional frameworks, a cover rather than a reproduction.

Computer-driven replication of a file through means that are not exactly copying, e.g. churning over random generation of bits of data and comparison with the original (either direct or medium-specific, e.g. audio). Done with high enough granularity a file that's either identical or acoustically practically identical to the original is produced (akin to how re-encoding a song in a different format can leave it essentially sounding the same).

With either of these, one might claim that no true procedural copying took place, just something that is functionally copying.

I would guess this because I occasionally thought about such things myself when I was much younger (and of the over-logicy libertarian mental flavour).

Re:What is PAS? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006556)

Seriously, the article uses the term several times, the summary uses the term...googling "psycho acoustic simulation" just brings up various regurgitations of the same article.

I realize that it's just some term the guy made up.

Why do you think he was laughed out of court?

Re:What is PAS? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006582)

I don't know about the "simulation" part, but the "psycho-acoustic" thingy has been a useful device for peddling snake-oil about the requirement for "burning-in" of expensive cables in hi-fi systems. My own feeling about the latter is that the burn-in process definitely makes a difference for essentially mechanical components like speakers and turntable cartridges, but I just can't bring myself to believe much of the voodoo about cables.

For Profit? (1, Insightful)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006208)

Are we against this because he was selling the songs for profit? If there wasn't a price tag attached to his download page it'd be OK and we'd be railing against the lawyers and laws right? Just checking where our moral line falls today.

Re:For Profit? (1, Insightful)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006268)

Yes.

Copyright has nothing to do with any "moral line", its a big goddamn scam to help people with lots of money keep their lots of money.

Cheers.

Re:For Profit? (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006390)

Whether we agree with an action or not, like the enforcement of copyright, has everything to do with where we draw our moral lines as far as our ideas of ownership and stealing, hence the question ;)

Re:For Profit? (1, Insightful)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006448)

This guy obviously knew he was doing something wrong and was trying to circumvent copyright law by claiming he held the copyright on Beatles song.

That is completely different from sharin' some songs with your friends.

See the difference?

Debugging (2, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006214)

Is it safe to say this is an action of debugging for the whole internet? They did remove some Beatles after all.

Publicity stunt? (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006260)

I find it hard to believe that these guys actually thought they would get away with this in the long term. Claiming that their psycho-acoustic simulations are anything other than copies seems incredibly unlikely to fly. They may have thought it was sufficiently legally muddy that they could get away with it for long enough to make a bunch of cash before a judge stomped on them, but I'm thinking the whole thing might have been to generate publicity for the company. If so, they've certainly succeeded, made the national news here in the UK at least.

Procrastinating much? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006278)

I just wish EMI would hurry the fuck up and put the Beatles music online before everyone stops caring.

Of course... (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006352)

And copyright attorneys said his defense was laughable and carries no weight."

...music/movie industry copyright lawyers say this about *every* argument that interferes with their clients' business. Not saying they're wrong in this case, just sayin'...

Check this guys backyard.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006356)

Someone needs to check this guys backyard for hidden tents.

So RIAA can play nice! (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006358)

Before taking more agressive action, I wanted to reach out to you because it struck me as odd that you would be running a site without licenses. [...] What's going on?

This quote is from the personal email by the RIAA vice president, read more here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/22140609/Bluebeat-TRO-Opposition-Ex-A [scribd.com]
Read to the bottom of the conversation to find the nice way of kindly informing about the infringement without first sending the lawyer-hordes.

I would love to see him take such an open and inquiring attitude towards other pirates (a.k.a. normal consumers) and just listen to the community before unleashing his well known more agressive action.
And even if he let's his lawyers send the pages of ALL CAPS LEGALESE, it would be nice to include the "I hope you are doing well" from the top. :)

Giving Us a Bad Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006360)

These guys are giving those of us trying to sell legitimate copies of stolen music a real bad name. Shame on you BlueBeat!

Lucy in the Sky with Patents (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006372)

If Timothy Leary was born a few decades later, he'd patent psychedelic trips. Then we'd be stuck in the bland 50's forever singing doo-wap tunes.

New copyright... (1)

TheDarAve (513675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30006496)

Hey, I just added white noise to your song and copyrighted it as a derivative work! Next I'll add pink noise and call it the "Radio Remix" and copyright that.

How about this concept... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30006566)

The strange twists of what is and is not an original.

I don't know if this concept is technically possible but interesting either way.

Your band makes a cover of "Hard Day's Night". You have some software that compares your cover song to the original and creates a diff based on pitch changes, speed, attack, decay of the notes etc .. Once completed, this sound "diff" applied to your cover song generates an ouput that is something very close in sound to the original copy from the Beatles. What part of this process would the current laws for copyright enfringment apply to? The diff, the cover song (assume it was made legally), the software used to make the diff or the software used to apply the diff? How far away from the original recording is considered legally to close that it is no longer considered a cover but a copy of the original? What if you distribute a diff that makes it closer to the original but some completely unrelated third party provides yet another diff that makes it even closer if both are applied? Most importantly for the RIAA, who is in the wrong and who can be sued for the copyright infringement?

Another situation taking it a step further..
Someone uses the mp3 in binary form of the Metallica song "Master of Puppets" to hash other Metallica songs they own to generate a unique output and distributes those diffs. All you would need to generate your own Metallica collection of songs would be to buy the original "Master of Puppets" mp3 and download those hashes. The hashes distributed are not copyrighted and you are not distributing the songs, how would the RIAA handle this and what would be the illegal file? What instead of using "Master of Puppets" for the source, you used notepad.exe as the source? What if your hashes contained a disclaimer that those files were encrypted and any attempt to defeat any encryption would violate the DMCA?

The world of copyright is riddled with potholes.

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