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      Internet Archive’s legal woes mount as record labels sue for $400M

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 15 August, 2023 - 18:21

    Internet Archive’s legal woes mount as record labels sue for $400M

    Enlarge (credit: Kinga Krzeminska | Moment )

    Major record labels are suing the Internet Archive, accusing the nonprofit of "massive" and "blatant" copyright infringement "of works by some of the greatest artists of the Twentieth Century."

    The lawsuit was filed Friday in a US district court in New York by UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, Concord Bicycle Assets, CMGI, Sony Music Entertainment, and Arista Music. It targets the Internet Archive's "Great 78 Project," which was launched in 2006.

    For the Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive partners with recording engineer George Blood— who is also a defendant in the lawsuit—to digitize sound recordings on 78 revolutions-per-minute (RPM) records. These early sound recordings are typically of poor quality and were made between 1898 and the late 1950s by using very brittle materials. The goal of the Great 78 Project was to preserve these early recordings so they would not be lost as records break and could continue to be studied as originally recorded.

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      Google never agreed it wouldn’t copy Genius’ song lyrics, US official says

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May, 2023 - 20:19 · 1 minute

    Google never agreed it wouldn’t copy Genius’ song lyrics, US official says

    Enlarge (credit: maxshutter | iStock / Getty Images Plus )

    After song lyrics website Genius sued Google in 2019 for allegedly breaching its terms of service by copying its lyrics transcriptions in search results, the United States Supreme Court invited the US solicitor general, Elizabeth Prelogar, to weigh in on how the US viewed the case. The question before Prelogar was whether federal copyright law preempted Genius' terms of service, which prohibits any of its website visitors from copying lyrics for commercial uses.

    Yesterday, Prelogar responded, filing a brief that sided with Google. She denied that Genius' case was a good vehicle to test whether copyright law preempted state-law contract claims and recommended that the court deny Genius' petition to review the case.

    The key issue was that Genius' terms of service may not be a valid contract, because website visitors don't have to directly agree to the website's terms and may not even be aware they exist. Because of this, Prelogar said it was unclear whether any court would find that Google—or any visitor to Genius' site—ever agreed to not copy the lyrics. Reviewing Genius' arguments, Prelogar said that the Supreme Court should not review the case because "there is little indication that any other court of appeals would reach a different outcome in this case."

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      Book publishers with surging profits struggle to prove Internet Archive hurt sales

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 20 March, 2023 - 21:08 · 1 minute

    Book publishers with surging profits struggle to prove Internet Archive hurt sales

    Enlarge (credit: feellife | iStock / Getty Images Plus )

    Today, the Internet Archive (IA) defended its practice of digitizing books and lending those e-books for free to users of its Open Library . In 2020, four of the wealthiest book publishers sued IA, alleging this kind of digital lending was actually “willful digital piracy” causing them “massive harm.” But IA’s lawyer, Joseph Gratz, argued that the Open Library’s digitization of physical books is fair use, and publishers have yet to show they’ve been harmed by IA’s digital lending.

    “There’s no evidence that the publishers have lost a dime,” Gratz said during oral arguments at a New York district court.

    It’s up to a federal judge, John Koeltl, to decide if IA’s digital lending constitutes copyright infringement. During oral arguments, Koeltl’s tough questioning of both Gratz and the plaintiff’s attorney, Elizabeth McNamara, suggested that resolving this matter is a less straightforward task than either side has so far indicated. Koeltl pointed out that because publishers have a right to control the reproduction of their books, the “heart of the case,” was figuring out whether IA’s book scanning violates copyrights by reproducing an already licensed physical book and lending it without paying more licensing fees to publishers.

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