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Ministry of Sound Suing Spotify Over User Playlists

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,18 days | from the you-may-not-listen-in-that-order dept.

Music 201

AmiMoJo writes "The Ministry of Sound, a UK dance music brand, is suing Spotify because it has not removed users' playlists that mirror their compilation albums. The case will hinge on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in putting them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation structure — the order of the songs — can be copyrighted."

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Don't they have something better to do? (4, Insightful)

markkezner (1209776) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755709)

Why do these assholes care so much?

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755785)

This is a company that makes money by taking other people's songs and releasing "compilation albums" of things that someone thought went well together.

So, yes, they could actually go out and get real jobs.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (3, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756597)

Compilation albums of EDM can go two ways, mixed and unmixed tracks. If the tracks are continuously mixed by a DJ for MoS (very common), there could be a claim that they have some rights to that compilation. If its just a series of unmixed tracks (the original songs just thrown into a playlist) than there shouldn't be an issue.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

NIX365 (2708889) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755811)

Because the entire music industry is just that: assholes.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755815)

Because they make and sell compilation CDs. They're mad someone is eating their lunch. I don't make any judgement if this is right or wrong, but I can at the very least understand why.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755931)

If they think they're going to sell CDs in this day and age, they're idiots who should not be allowed to handle money. No, this is one middleman trying to squeeze every last penny they can from the next middleman.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756711)

I can make a judgement. If this is a derivative work that stands as a work of art separately from the tracks contained, then they needed permission from the original copyright holder to make this compilation. If they are paying royalties solely for putting the tracks themselves on a CD and not to make a derivative work, then I think we have an answer to whether this is protected. It's not.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755821)

No, they are artists.

Use this instead:

http://thepiratebay.sx/search/The%20Ministry%20of%20Sound/0/99/0

Just make sure NOT to pay money for anything they have done.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755911)

mod parent up

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756113)

Use this instead: [pirate bay link]

THIS, and I'll raise you that Spotify should ban their music. There are lots of other equally-or-more-talented musicians who would kill for a chance at exposure.

I'm sure Ministry of Sound would be happy getting their stuff played exclusively on ClearChannel FM and/or sold at [insert failing big-box 'electronics' store here]. Meanwhile, artists with business knowledge will be out promoting the shit out of their music and making a killing.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756143)

To be honest you're better off not even listening to it.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755839)

Yea shame on them for trying to defend their business model, which is their feudatory duty to their share holders. Don't get me wrong, their business model sucks, but if they don't defend it they aren't doing their jobs.

Bläurg (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755987)

Yea shame on them for trying to defend their business model, which is their feudatory duty to their share holders. Don't get me wrong, their business model sucks, but if they don't defend it they aren't doing their jobs.

Such bullshit always comes up on these stories. "Sure, the company pumped toxic waste into the ground water, but they have a duty to their share holders to maximize profits!" Bull. Shat.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (5, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755993)

Having a fiscal duty to make their shareholders money doesn't change the ethics or ridiculousness of the situation. It simply explains what their goals are. They should still be shamed. You only point out that their shareholders should ALSO be shamed. Their "buisiness model" isn't under attack here anyway. The order songs play in isn't their business model.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756645)

Have you been to party where the DJ plays songs in the wrong order? The order matters. If the dj is bad = the party is going to be bad.
BTW who are "they"? Spotify or Ministry of Sound?

If you where forced to play Spotifys songs in a perticular order, would you use the service? The order of the songs are a part of the business model.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (2)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756037)

Fiduciary makes more sense than "feudatory"

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756137)

But this is a feud, which involves money.

So both seem apropos.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756333)

No, they think they're still living in a feudal society.

All music royalties to the king^H^H^H^HMinistry of Sound!

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756501)

And it does try to enforce a feudal relationship between the company (lord) and its minions (Spotify users)

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

xaxa (988988) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756179)

I don't think they have shareholders. It's a private limited company, number 3299668 if anyone wants to see for themselves on http://companieshouse.gov.uk/ [companieshouse.gov.uk]

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

namgge (777284) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756561)

Private limited companies have shareholders.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (2)

jythie (914043) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756755)

They also have a duty to their shareholders to not waste money on lawsuits that are both unlikely to succeed and likely to generate ill will from other industry members.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (3, Insightful)

dywolf (2673597) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755843)

yes. they need to be suiig google/youtube for not removing video playlists that match their albums.
assuming their dumb enough to poke the sleeping bear.

Re:Don't they have something better to do? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755851)

Because if you're the dying industry responsible for making creative works as uncreative as possible, wouldn't you also be greedy, litigious, and irrational?

Music over money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755713)

Music over money!

Fuck both the parties.

Re:Music over money! (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755923)

wait, there are only two?

Does the order matter? (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755739)

I went to the associated nightclub (Ministry of Sound in Elephant and Castle, London). I'm not sure the order of the tracks matters -- they all sound the same anyway!

(And I like some genres of electronic music...)

Re:Does the order matter? (5, Insightful)

pegr (46683) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755917)

Well, the recent Google/Oracle case pretty much decided that "Structure, sequence, and organization" is not a copyrightable element of Java. Why would it be copyrightable in this case?

Re:Does the order matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756101)

Because this is England we're talking about and not the US. Different courts, different conclusions.

Just look at the case of Apple Records vs. Apple Computers simply over the inclusion of a Roland emulator in the early Macs as to how the English legal system works.

Re:Does the order matter? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756123)

Different countries, different jurisdictions, different rules, different case altogether.

The Oracle case has no precedent allowable in this case.

Re:Does the order matter? (2)

dkf (304284) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756157)

The Oracle case has no precedent allowable in this case.

The court is not formally bound to follow the precedent set in the other case, but perhaps ought to be aware of the legal scholarship involved; that can carry over between jurisdictions, though only with persuasive power and only as one of the many aspects that ought to be considered.

Re:Does the order matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756191)

This is going to be a terrible case, though... it'll be like one of those "this many bits are required to make something patentable" kind of things. I'm allowed to play notes. If I happen to play them in a particular structure, though, then it's copyrighted. No matter how this case gets decided, I'm sure someone out there will come up with something that's closer to the line. Are MIDI files allowed?

Re:Does the order matter? (3)

Inda (580031) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755985)

I went there before it was popular. Twice! And I regret it. Twice!

It was all about owning the most expensive shirt when, at the time, everyone in the scene was wearing jeans, t-shirts and trainers.

When MoS champion themselves as music heros, I wince.

Re:Does the order matter? (2)

epSos-de (2741969) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756683)

Ministry of Sound is officially evil. The electronic music was supposed to be like open source, where Djs and producers do allow creative use of their music, because Djing and remixing is not possible without sharing.

Re:Does the order matter? (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756823)

Ministry of Sound [wikipedia.org] not to be confused with Ministry [wikipedia.org] , of course.

Induction (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755749)

Strings of ones and zeroes can be copyrighted. A a total ordering can be encoded in a string of ones and zeroes. Therefore ordering is copyrightable. Boom! Fool proof.

Arrangements and order eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755761)

Two, Zero, One, Four, Zero, One, Zero, One. Tada! Now make sure you give me money at the start of next year please!

Re:Arrangements and order eh? (1)

geoskd (321194) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755933)

I'm sorry, but i'm going to use Zero, One, Zero, One, Two, Zero, One, Four instead.

Oh, and you owe me $1.06USD for the use of the character strings "One" and "Four" in the preceding post.

More Tax Money Wasted (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755769)

I for one am disappointed that the UK government is continuing to waste my taxes on such nonsensical legal debates!

Re:More Tax Money Wasted (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756387)

You think that Ministry of Sound is part of the UK government?

Meybe the Ministry of Truth should spend some tax money on basic education.

Re:More Tax Money Wasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756525)

spotify and MoS are both private entities, and will be going through the civil courts, represented by their own legal teams, this is not the CpS pushing a case through using state money

List Copywrites (5, Funny)

x6060 (672364) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755771)

I can now copywrite my grocery list? Sweet!

Re:List Copywrites (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755817)

I guess I'll have to buy my milk after my eggs or I might get sued

Re:List Copywrites (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755857)

Sorry, I hold a patent on the dairy-after-eggs business process.

Re:List Copywrites (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756399)

business process.

Those words in that order look very familiar to me... Are you fully in compliance with my licensing terms?

Re:List Copywrites (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756239)

Ahh, no, don't worry... that last item on your shopping list says "get suet" not "get sued".

In Europe yes, in US no (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755959)

Europe created a 'database right', where an assembly of non-copyrighted items is itself copyrightable as an assembly. USA wasn't that dumb.

It's one of the dumbest IP rights ever invented and simply caused monopolies in stuff like telephone directories, TV listings etc. It was to encourage the assembly of databases, but actually had a major impact on it (because no giant database could be constructed because smaller fragments existed in other databases, so overall far fewer databases of each type exist).

Oh, and fuck off NSA. Not related to the article, but I just skipped a flight booking because the airline used 'Sabre' and I don't see why NSA should have that data for their giant illegal mass surveillance database. Hello Sabre, you sided with the Stasi and I decided to boycott every airline that uses your system to book flights.

Re: In Europe yes, in US no (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756043)

I used to work for Sabre they are ibdeed evil dumb fucksticks except for one guy I know there

(c) grocery list (2)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755965)

Assuming there was an iota of human creativity involved, Americans who bother to put their grocery lists into a tangible form have been given copyrights on them since the late 1980s, if not longer.

An interesting thing about copyrights: While it rarely has any legal meaning, two people who independently create the same work can hold copyright to the same item. It's rare that this has any legal impact for truly creative works because if the second person to create the work did so after the first work was published, registered, or otherwise put in a place where the second person might have been exposed to it, he won't be able to claim "independent" creation. However, it does have practical value when it comes to very short things like short sentences, short poems, and probably short grocery lists.

It also comes into play with "functional" items like relatively short blocks of computer code where there may be very little "flexibility" in how you code something. For example, if I come up with a 5-line sorting algorithm and describe it in text (not code) form, two readers may independently implement the algorithm in the same language, call the function "sort," and use "a, b, c, etc" or even "i, j, k, etc." as variable names, not do any comments, etc. and result in exactly the same implementation. Both have a copyright on the implementation, just as much as if they had named the variables after their children's pets and called the function "newsortireadinabooksomewhere()".

Re:(c) grocery list (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756227)

It also comes into play with "functional" items like relatively short blocks of computer code where there may be very little "flexibility" in how you code something. For example, if I come up with a 5-line sorting algorithm and describe it in text (not code) form, two readers may independently implement the algorithm in the same language, call the function "sort," and use "a, b, c, etc" or even "i, j, k, etc." as variable names, not do any comments, etc. and result in exactly the same implementation. Both have a copyright on the implementation, just as much as if they had named the variables after their children's pets and called the function "newsortireadinabooksomewhere()".

Assuming, that is, that it is copyrightable at all. This is the filtration step of the abstraction-filtration-comparison test from the Altai case. Copyrights don't protection functionality; only creative aspects of software. Actual usefulness has to go under patents instead. Thus, the algorithm used isn't copyrightable. If there are a limited number of ways to implement that algorithm, particularly if external constraints like efficiency are involved, the implementation merges with the noncopyrightable functionality, and both are uncopyrightable. Further, commonplace bits of code, especially if they're functionally necessary in order to make it work on a particular machine, fall under the scenes a faire doctrine, which allows the free use of stock elements (e.g. in a horror story, the wolves howling at the moon, the remote and spooky castle in Transylvania, the superstitious peasants who know what's going on, etc.).

Creativity for copyright purposes requires the ability to make creative choices. Strip away the ability to choose, and you lose the creativity required for a copyright to subsist.

Only once we've determined what is copyrightable in the first place, and whether the allegedly infringing work is substantively similar, can we then proceed to the question of copying or independent creation.

Re:(c) grocery list (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756613)

Assuming there was an iota of human creativity involved, Americans who bother to put their grocery lists into a tangible form have been given copyrights on them since the late 1980s, if not longer.

Really? I'll believe you, but I've never heard of this.

Unless you do your grocery list like a poem or something, what about a grocery list is subject to copyright? It's a list of nouns, and possibly quantities -- there's not a whole lot of 'human creativity' involved in any grocery list I've ever seen.

eggs milk and butter
off to the store will i go
beets out of season

Re:List Copywrites (4, Funny)

PerlPunk (548551) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756017)

I can now copywrite my grocery list? Sweet!

You can copyedit it, too.

Re:List Copywrites (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756265)

My hat is off to you, good sir.

Re:List Copywrites (1)

gsslay (807818) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756441)

Bad spelling is original creative input. Therefore copyrightable. Q.E.D.

Re:List Copywrites (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756219)

But which is first? chicken or eggs?

Re: List Copywrites (1)

xero314 (722674) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756811)

The word you are looking for is copyright and it's not something you do, it's something you have.

Oh for pete's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755795)

This is essentially the phone book argument all over again. Just because you put the names in the phone book in a specific order, does not give you ownership over the data. They would essentially be saying that the individual artists couldn't collectively create a CD in the same order, because Ministry of Sound has a partial copyright over how they can display their own works. A list is just that, a collection of things. Unless the Ministry of Sound is mixing these songs together then they have no right to claim song orders are copyrighted, and even then they would only retain a copyright over the specific mix, not the arrangement of the mix. To put this succinctly, if this were able to go through Barnes and Nobles could sue Waldenbooks for an alphabetized organization of books.

Re:Oh for pete's sake (2)

nbert (785663) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756035)

By that logic Ministry of Sound should sue Amazon for publishing track lists for almost every MOS compilation

Re:Oh for pete's sake (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756149)

That may be their next step. But the case against Amazon will be stronger if they first establish a precedent against a defendant with shallower pockets.

Re:Oh for pete's sake (1)

nbert (785663) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756327)

I don't think they would sue a company that actually helps them sell their stuff. However, I think it is quite difficult for MOS to argue that Spotify is infringing copyright while Amazon isn't.

Feist v. Rural (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756041)

You're thinking of Feist v. Rural [wikipedia.org] , in which the courts held that collections *might* be copyrightable, if there were originality in the selection, order or presentation of the list. (and well, everyone in a given area, in alphabetical order, as a standard phone book didn't qualify).

So, if this is just a '20 best songs', by some well known metric, it's not an original selection. They *might* have done some work to deal with the ordering ... many DJs will consider the tempo of the outro / intro of songs so that they flow well from one to another. (but in that case, they also sync them up and overlap them).

Oh ... and most bookstores use BISAC [bisg.org] , not alphabetical order. They might use alpha within give sections.

Re:Oh for pete's sake (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756357)

No, in the US they have a good argument. The issue is whether there was sufficient creativity in the selection of which tracks to include, and which order to arrange them in, as to justify a copyright.

The white pages in a phone book could be copyrightable. But so long as the selection of information is merely the name of the telephone subscriber, their address, and their number, and the order is merely alphabetical, in last name order, it's not creative; all the white pages are like that, and the reason is to make them useful.

A phone book that only included certain people arbitrarily chosen by the compiler, and which arranged them in an arbitrary, creative way, could be protected. (The individual names, numbers, and addresses could still be copied; they're unprotectable facts, but they'd have to be rearranged, and ideally mixed with the information of people who were not included). But a phone book like this would be useless as a general purpose directory. A specialty directory, sure -- e.g. a phone book of places a tourist should see in a foreign city -- but this isn't usually what people want.

Here, unless the authorized compilation albums include everything (or everything that could be included subject to some non-creative constraint, such as all the recordings to which the issuer of the compilation has rights), and unless they're arranged in some uncreative order, such as chronological order, or alphabetical order, it sounds worthy of a copyright to me.

Re:Oh for pete's sake (1)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756761)

However, if they did not procure a license to make a "derivative work" and only to release the tracks on a CD, then how can you consider the arrangement of tracks to be a separate work that can be copyrighted? They would have to get permission from the copyright holder and probably pay additional royalties.

Fuck off, MOS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755809)

You're only pissed because you didn't create a decent streaming service first. Now go back and sulk in your corner, you petulant bitch.

Interesting question (2)

davidwr (791652) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755813)

In the USA, this would likely boil down to how much creativity went into the list and whether its use is causes any economic harm to the copyright owner.

From a non-legal perspective, I think the music company is being foolish. They may win this battle in court but they are alienating their customers in the process. This is not the way to win friends and influence money-spending people.

Re:Interesting question (2)

Matt Steelblade (1458189) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756075)

They're not looking to make friends.

Glorified mixtapes (4, Interesting)

TheP4st (1164315) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755829)

FTA:

"What we do is a lot more than putting playlists together: a lot of research goes into creating our compilation albums"

Ouch! My sides are hurting from laughing after reading that.

Seriously, how much research does selecting a a number of Top 100 chart songs that aren't too dissimilar really involve that make it so vastly different from the mixtapes many of us made back in the days?

Re:Glorified mixtapes (2)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755897)

Duh: an absurd retail markup.

Re:Glorified mixtapes (1)

stealth_finger (1809752) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755899)

I put a lot of thought in to my mixtapes too. Does that make me a curator, can I claim if I see them mirrored on spotify.

Re:Glorified mixtapes (2)

N1AK (864906) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755903)

Apparently enough that people are just copying MOS rather than making their own. I'm not sure I like the precedent it sets so I can't say I'm for it, however if I knew this would be restricted to stopping people lazily ripping off playlists instead of creating their own I wouldn't have any issue with it.

Re:Glorified mixtapes (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756231)

To be fair people are naming their playlists after the albums they re-created, so it appears that there is some small value in the ordering otherwise why bother to mention where you copied it from?

It's still stupid of course.

Re:Glorified mixtapes (3, Informative)

Bob9113 (14996) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756277)

Seriously, how much research does selecting a number of Top 100 chart songs that aren't too dissimilar really involve that make it so vastly different from the mixtapes many of us made back in the days?

I take it you're not a DJ. I don't know if Ministry of Sound UK is building solid sets or not (I actually have a few of their compilations, but haven't listened to them for structure), but the difference between a professional set and a mix tape is like the difference between a well designed database and the chaotic crap-fest data-dump that front-end programmers hack together when they're prototyping. A good set can take many hours to build and gets refined over months, or even years.

If I was spotify (2)

stealth_finger (1809752) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755873)

I'd ban the name Ministry of Sound in titles. You can't claim copyright on a playlist of songs that aren't yours and they have the legal rights to play. You can protect your name but that's it.

It's a 'Copy' right (2)

Ibhuk (2747977) | 1 year,18 days | (#44755901)

Theoretically, a playlist/mix should be eligible for protection under copyright law. It's just that a copyright only protects a work from being copied. It's different from patents. If two independent people come to the same idea, there is no cause of action between them under copyright law. Someone needs to be able to show by a preponderance of the evidence someone copied someone else. It would be hard to prove someone 'copied' a playlist. It works with easier with recordings or specific songs, but I'm sure multiple people would create a playlist with both "Harder Better Faster" and "Get Lucky"

Typographical settings (3, Insightful)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756055)

UK copyright law has a specific category for "typographical arrangements" that is a right to a particular anthologisation. The classic example would be the church hymn book. I am allowed to compile as many different hymn books with different selections of hymns, and different selections of verses for each hymn, but I couldn't just copy someone's selection hymn for hymn, verse for verse. This recognises the time and effort expended on making the selection, and guarantees that the person who takes that time and effort isn't going to get undercut by some low-rent publishing outfit who immediately clones his product. (The fact that many of these hymnal publishers also engage in the morally dubious practice of "copyright pollution" by making minor alterations to the hymns themselves is by-the-bye.)

One of the bestbits about this particular provision is that it implicitly recognises that a typographical arrangement is intrinsically less valuable than an original work -- they are protected for 25 years from the year of publication.

Restaurant menus (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44755983)

Next step: Mc Donald's suing Burger King, and myself suing Gusetau's!

The menus have been clearly copied!

Definitely A Copyright Violation (-1, Troll)

PerlPunk (548551) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756005)

The order of songs in an album is indeed an artistic decision. It definitely deserves copyright protection.

Re:Definitely A Copyright Violation (2)

jeffclay (1077679) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756303)

Yes, when the original composers and artists of the songs themselves release an album your logic applies. If somebody else were to mix a bunch of 3rd party songs and try to sell them on a CD the "artistic decision" of the original artists and composers is absent.

Just to be the devils advocate here; would it be right for Spotify or its users to claim copyright over all their playlists? They're released publicly and required "artistic decision" to create.

Re:Definitely A Copyright Violation (1)

PerlPunk (548551) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756435)

There are two questions here: an ontological one (is authorial intent immanent in a playlist?), and a moral one (would it be right to claim copyright over all of one's publicly created playlists?). Of the two, the ontological one is fundamental to the moral one. If authorial intent is not reflected in the playlist, then there is no moral argument.

Re:Definitely A Copyright Violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756769)

Of course the users' playlists are copyrighted. Just because it's publicly shared doesn't mean there aren't copyright and licensing issues. Open source software is copyrighted, and usually has a specific license, even though it's publicly available.

Re:Definitely A Copyright Violation (1)

omnichad (1198475) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756781)

By the original artists? Sure. But on a compilation album, to consider it artistic would be to consider it a derivative work - which requires approval from the artist and different licensing than just releasing the songs on CD. And I'm pretty sure MoS only paid for the latter. And if so, then how can they claim copyright on the ordering?

Easy solution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756015)

Tell MoS to suck it. It's not Spotify's fault that its users are creating playlists that are "copies" of compilation albums and neither is it Spotify's job to prevent such a thing from happening. If they wanted to stay profitable, perhaps they should have taken the time to form a business around providing an actual product and/or service rather than stumbling around a 1 room "apartment" saying "Duuuuuude" oh, sorry, UK: "Maaaaate, that mixed tape is wizard. You should sell it and cut me in on the profits!"

Does it weight the same as a Database? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756071)

It was decided a while back that while you can't copyright an individual record of a database that contains public information. You can copyright the database in its entirety.

If a duplicated exactly every record of your million record database, its a good chance I just copied it instead of collected the data myself. If I copy your 10 record database exactly, or public information, can you really prove I copied your database?

The Solution (1)

Ignacio (1465) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756081)

Remove one song from each MoS album from the Spotify library, and go tell MoS to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Re:The Solution (1)

Bazman (4849) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756139)

Or just add one of those ridiculous copyright disclaimers you find all over YouTube whenever anyone uploads a whole album. People think using the phrase "For fair use", "Research only" or "I don't own this" is enough.

Re:The Solution (1)

Pope (17780) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756275)

Or the stupidest one, "No copyright infringement intended!" Yeah, sure, pal.

Fuck'em (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756121)

Does that mean they have to take down the listings of what on the CD from websites that sell the CD? There is where I got this list of tosh from.

Disc 1
Robin S - Show Me Love
Gat Décor - Passion (Naked Mix)
Sandy B - Make The World Go Round (Deep Dish Radio Edit)
Ken Doh - Nakasaki (I Need A Lover Tonight)
Rhythm On The Loose - Break of Dawn
Alex Party - Alex Party (Saturday Night Party)

and much more shite.

This lawsuit is nonsense. (1)

intermodal (534361) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756241)

They're essentially saying that if I have the right to listen to all the tracks, I cannot choose to listen to them in the same order they put them in unless they've been paid? pure nonsense.

They have tried this before (3, Interesting)

TAZ6416 (584004) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756339)

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101103/14362311708/ministry-of-sound-ditches-file-sharing-lawsuits-after-it-finds-out-that-bt-actually-protects-user-privacy.shtml [techdirt.com]

Turns out they didn't have standing to sue for the actual music as they were basically DJ mixtapes which they had licensed the music for, so they where suing over the copyright of the tracklistings..

No soup. (2)

Slartibartfast (3395) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756343)

At least stateside, "facts" aren't copyrightable. This applies (for example) to phone books -- but perhaps even more applicable is recipes. You can copyright the comments *about* a recipe, but the recipe, itself, is not copyrightable. It seems to me that it's a fairly small leap from an ordered list of ingredients to an ordered list of songs.

Re:No soup. (3, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756783)

You're thinking Feist v. Rural [wikipedia.org] . That US Supreme Court judgement held that simply collecting and unoriginally arranging mere information wasn't sufficiently creative to constitute a copyrightable work.

However, this is a UK suit. Feist isn't precedent. Also, it appears that the rest of the world (outside of the US) seems more friendly to the idea of copyrightable collections: the EU "database right" [wikipedia.org] (and more specifically implemented in the UK by the The Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 [legislation.gov.uk] ); the explicit language in the Berne Convention supporing the copyrightability of collections (Article 2, section 5); and the corresponding wording in the GATT Uruguay Round Treaty Agreement, specifically in the TRIPS Agreement [wikipedia.org] .

So, Feist appears to be an exception, not the rule.

Well, yes, copyrightable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756381)

Of course the order matters. If I order the 0s and 1s according to size on my hard disk, there is not seriously anything copyrightable left.

Compilations like the "Beatles Red" and "Beatles Blue" album are arguably more important regarding the order of pieces than the original media they have been compiled from: people expect to hear a certain order they have come to appreciate.

Typical "Best of Classics" compilations where individual most popular movements are ripped out of context and juxtaposed without rhyme nor reason are usually an abomination not worth hearing: they are just too incoherent and distracting.

So yes: definitely copyrightable. Whether that means that one wants to appear one stupid prissy ass over such matter is a different question.

Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756555)

Books are protected. What are they but letters combined to words and sentences?

Sue them (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756579)

For years the UK football leagues was pulling the same shit suing people who lists their match schedule on websites without paying them, until someone got tired of their bullshit and took them to court.

In 2012 a judge made a landmark decision and told the football leagues to fuck off. Re-shuffling data was no longer considered 'creative' and thus could no longer be copyrighted.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17218968

Song Order Matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756647)

The order in which the songs in an album is compiled is a creative work, and therefore is copyrighted (in the US anyway). Consider what the Queen album "News of the World" would be like if it didn't start with "We Will Rock You," immediately followed by "We Are the Champions?" It wouldn't be the same album, and it wouldn't flow as smoothly. There are many artists who spend a lot of time planning the order of songs on their albums; some of whom complain quite openly about their fans shuffling the songs on their devices.

As for expecting Spotify to remove user-created playlists which duplicate the contents and order of songs on an album, well, that's another matter entirely.

Re:Song Order Matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,18 days | (#44756697)

Self-Correction: That should be "arranged" not "compiled."

Different domain, different language.

Give them a break (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756663)

The order of songs in a compilation is the only original thing they can copyright as the songs are largely all vapid and derivative anyways.

I thought Pink Floyd already did that (1)

swschrad (312009) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756729)

and it fell flat in court. the copyright order of songs in an album pertains to that album.

Who made the playlist? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756731)

Who, exactly, is it who made the playlist?

Say I've bought their CD, but I also use Spotify. If I make a playlist of songs based on an album I own, WTF does this have to do with Spotify and MoS?

If Spotify themselves is making a playlist based on a compilation, well, then maybe I can see it because I think the specific compilation of tracks is copyright-able.

Granted, I'm still old school and actually still buy a lot of CDs, which I then rip and play on whatever device I choose; so I'm not exactly using Spotify or anything similar, so I don't know much about the mechanics of it.

Shame on MoS (1)

Seranova731 (3040233) | 1 year,18 days | (#44756735)

And to think that before, I used to love the compilations that MoS released, especially their Annual compilations. However, they have gone down the tubes in recent years and tech has also made sharing music much much easier now. That being said, I still think MoS getting worked up over playlists is frackin' stupid.
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