18 Stories

US Cuts Off Funding to UNESCO Over Palestine

Political workaround unlikely to go anywhere

(Newser) - The US has officially cut off all funding to the UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization over its acceptance of Palestine as a full member. The impact will be felt immediately, because the US had a $60 million dues payment due in November, the AP reports. The Obama administration’... More »

2 Live Crew Didn't Make Kagan 'So Horny'

Supreme Court nominee argued against banning 'Nasty' rap album

(Newser) - The search through Elena Kagan's work history has yielded an amusing nugget: She went to bat for notoriously sexual rap group 2 Live Crew. In a 1990 brief for the RIAA when she was an associate at a DC law firm, Kagan argued As Nasty as They Wanna Be "... More »

Tech Losers of the '00s

From AOL to Motorola to Circuit City, these companies couldn't keep up

(Newser) - It’s been an amazing decade for technology, but not everyone came out ahead. CrunchGear considers the big losers of the '00s, starting with the biggest: Brick and mortar retailers. Once consumers learned to trust online merchants, lots of stores—we’re looking at you Circuit City and CompUSA—went... More »

To Save the Music Industry, Ban Music—and Whistling

The copyright arguments aren't going to stop until the day music dies

(Newser) - The music industry wants royalties for the 30-second previews on iTunes—which is "bullshit," writes Nicholas DeLeon for TechGear. It's yet another foolish move in the battle to save the music industry, complains DeLeon. Luckily, he has a "foolproof" way to do just that: Ban music, "... More »

Minnesota Mom Fined $1.9M for Illegal Music Downloads

Guilty verdict given in do-over of country's first file-sharing trial

(Newser) - A Minnesota woman has been fined $80,000 per song for each of 24 music files she illegally downloaded, CNN reports. The court ordered Jammie Thomas to pay $1.92 million to the Recording Industry of America. Her original trial—America's first for music file-sharing—granted the RIAA just $220,... More »

Fading Radio, Recording Outfits Clash Over Royalties

(Newser) - The recording industry and radio-station owners are clashing in Washington over the issue of royalties, Bloomberg reports. Both sides have spent tens of millions on lobbying, and contributed to the campaigns of legislators of both parties. At present, radio stations pay royalties to songwriters and publishers, not artists. “This... More »

95% of Music Downloads Illegal: Industry

40B tracks shared illegally, group claims

(Newser) - Nearly all—95%—of music downloads globally are illegal, at least according to the industry, Techdirt reports. The numbers come from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and indicate that even a 25% increase in online music purchases last year couldn’t overcome the effects of piracy. According to... More »

Music Industry to Dump Download Lawsuits

RIAA takes new tack in battling online file sharing

(Newser) - After five years of suing everyone from single mothers to teenage girls for illegally sharing music files, the recording industry is dropping the legal campaign that has ensnared 35,000 individuals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, an industry group is making deals with Internet-service providers to warn those sharing... More »

Woman May Get New Trial in File-Sharing Conviction

Judge says he gave faulty instructions

(Newser) - The judge who presided over America's first music file-sharing trial might call for a do-over, the AP reports. A Minnesota mom was penalized $222,000 for illegal dowloads last fall, but the judge has since discovered that he may have issued faulty jury instructions. That's because a 1993 ruling said... More »

RIAA Boss Clarifies Lawsuit

Says industry has never prosecuted anyone for ripping CDs for personal use

(Newser) - RIAA chief Cary Sherman says the recording industry has never prosecuted anyone for  ripping or copying CDs for personal use, Engadget reports. Sherman appeared on NPR and characterized media reports about a recent high-profile suit as inaccurate. The legal action, he said, is against a man who ripped CDs not... More »

U Wash Won't Cite Students on Swapping

Second school defies RIAA request to pass along warning letters

(Newser) - The University of Washington has become the second Pacific Northwest school to refuse to pass along warning letters from the RIAA to students whose IP addresses were used for illegal downloading. The RIAA considers students liable for any swapping connected with their IP addresses, but the UW, along with the... More »

Record Industry Changes Tune on Copying CDs

Industry argues CD ripping for personal use is illegal

(Newser) - The recording industry has argued in a court brief that individuals who copy music from CDs for personal use are breaking the law, the Washington Post reports. The claim by the Recording Industry Association of America is a dramatic rejection of what had long been considered a Fair Use right... More »

Oregon AG Raises Pitch of Music Piracy Battle

Slams music industry's subpoenas for privacy abuses

(Newser) - The Oregon AG is playing hardball with the Recording Industry of America in a battle that could set a precedent for how the RIAA conducts its crusade against music sharing, ComputerWorld reports. Pitting alleged piracy against privacy, the AG is investigating the data mining RIAA used to subpoena the IDs... More »

Why Is Harvard Escaping the RIAA’s Wrath?

Industry group may be wary of angry law professors

(Newser) - The RIAA has sent out 4,157 prelitigation settlement letters to a total of 160 schools this year, but Harvard’s mailboxes have remained noticeably empty. And it’s not for a lack of potentially illegal music downloading. More likely, Ars Technica speculates, the recording industry is afraid of two... More »

P2P Pirate Mom Seeks New Trial

Wants $220,000 jury judgment thrown out

(Newser) - A single mom recently hit with a $220,000 penalty for P2P file-sharing of copyrighted music online is asking for a new trial, or a reduction of damages to between$0 and $150. News.com reports that attorneys for Jammie Thomas, the first person ever brought to trial for file-sharing, plan... More »

Woman Fights Music-Sharing Verdict

Plans to appeal $222K fine for putting 24 songs on Kazaa P2P service

(Newser) - Ordered to pay $9,250 for each of 24 illegally shared songs, a 30-year-old Native American single mother has decided to appeal the judgment against her in a copyright infringement case, her lawyer announced in a CNN interview. A jury determined last week that she owed a total of $222,... More »

Woman Guilty of File-Sharing, Fined $222K

Recording industry scores victory in music download battle

(Newser) - A Minnesota woman was found guilty of copyright infringement today in the first file-sharing case to go before a US jury, Wired reports. Jammie Thomas, a single mother, was ordered to pay $222,000 in fines, or $9,250 for each of the 24 shared songs that were the subject... More »

Radio Should Pay to Play, Artists Argue

Music industry wants to start collecting AM, FM royalties

(Newser) - It's time AM and FM radio broadcasters started paying for the music they play, a group of music industry types has decided. They're lobbying Congress to amend the federal law that has exempted terrestrial radio from paying artists' royalties for nearly a century, Business Week reports.   More »

18 Stories