Friday, October 8, 2010

British ISP gets small win against mass IP lawsuits

BBC technology reporter Jonathan Fildes tells us that British ISP BT sought - and received - a temporary halt on new and existing requests for the identities of it's customers by law firms representing the record label Ministry of Sound. Apparently the decision to fight was made in part because of a data breach at the British law firm ACS:Law in which thousands of customers from various IP's had their personal information compromised.

It's great to see a court that listens to reason. BT did not ask for a permanent injunction, they asked for a temporary stay until a test case could be heard. That is one of the first sensible things I've heard said by someone in a position to try to do something about the rogue recording and video industries. BT also said the second sensible thing:

"We want to ensure broadband subscribers are adequately protected so that rights holders can pursue their claims for copyright infringement without causing unnecessary worry to innocent people.

We have not simply consented to these orders in the past, we have asked for stricter terms as public concern has risen. The data leak with ACS:Law prompted us to take further action today."


There is no argument that the sharing certain music is illegal. Or copying and sharing some DVD's. But is it bad for business? I've seen evidence that indicates filesharing can be good for business, but the claims I've seen that it hurts business often seem to assume that there is no other possible cause for decreased sales.

The record companies have their (failing) old business model, and they would rather defend it than learn how the new paradigm that embraces the internet works. But there are people embracing the new paradigm, and doing well in it. Here are some places to download free music legally. Some of it's really good. You may not see many, or any, names you know, but you will find a whole new world of music. Check 'em out:

Jamendo - free and legal music downloads. Most if not all of the artists even permit sampling and modifying their music.

Magnatune - We are not evil. Magnatune has very liberal licensing, with much of it's music being free for personal and student use. If you want to include it in a commercial project there is a one time fee - which the artist gets 50% of - and no royalties. Even if your project goes on to gross $10,000,000,000 you never have to pay anything beyond the initial licensing fee.

Do you know any good, legal sources of free music or videos? Put 'em in the comments and share with the rest of us. But please don't include torrent sites and trackers unless they police their content to keep out illegal files.