Are “Take Down Notices” the Only Defense?

Earlier this week, a Northern California court ruled that websites hosting copyright infringing material are not liable for copyright infringment so long as the do not encourage the uploading and sharing of material that infringes upon the intellectual property rights of others and the sites “take the content down” when asked to do so.  This grammatically incorrect, huge run on sentence is just AudioMicro’s interpretation of the situation.

There are a few additional precautions the video sharing sites must take, like employing software to detect protected material, but nothing too difficult to administer.  The point of all this is that this ruling could have a huge impact on YouTube and other contest hosting, sharing, and storage applications like .  It is interesting to see the copyright infringement and online piracy laws take shape right before our eyes.  This particular ruling was s big blow to the studios and in effect, we draw the conclusion that the “Take Down Notice is the Only Defense”.

This is ruling is clearly NOT in favor of the artists, and “Take Down Notices” are just not enough to prevent sites from infringing upon the rights of copyright owners.  What is the point of copyright ownership?  The sole purpose is to protect IP and if the only protection we have is telling people not to use our IP after they have already used it, then copyright registration itself has become an arguably meaningless process.   In light of the repercussions of this decision, purchasing royalty free music and appropriately securing synchronization licenses for use in your video project does mean that you will not be subject to any take down notices.

Despite the short term impact of the ruling, this is definitely not the last time we will see IP and music copyright holders in the courtroom with video sharing, streaming, and storage platforms.   More to come as the story oy copyright holders vs. the web continues to unfold over time.

The Records labels are mad and trying to get back…Too little too late?

AudioMicro read about how the record labels are trying to bring to market an advertising based streaming music service .   It seems that the advertising based content model just won’t die.  What a total racket the ad based model music model it.  Here’s how it works – your content is listened to and becomes a part of the user experience on someone’s website, and ads are slapped all over the site by sponsors using affiliate ad net works.  Of the monies delivered to the website for running the ads in front of their audience, you get just a little portion of the pie – likely less than 5%.  That’s right, a measly 5%.  The website keeps a portion, the affiliate marketing / ad network keeps a portion of it, the record label keeps a portion and you get suck with a nickel on ever dollar instead of 50 cents on the dollar with micro stock music and royalty free music sites like AudioMicro.

What’s an ever bigger killer to the independent musician is that it takes the muscle of these major labels to get you into the proposed, highly speculative, music maffia advertising network, as only artists signed to the majors will make their way into syndication.  It sounds pretty much like it would head straight down the path of the broadcast radio industry (if it ever even makes it’s way to market) – closed doors, payola, and under attack by other digital content delivery networks (in this case, Pandora, Slacker,, imeem, iLike and the rest).  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, if the idea has been in development for 4 years already, as these sources suggest, we predict it will never see the light of day; however, it would be nice to see at least one web 2.0 record label sponsored idea make it to market, regardless of its impact.