Thursday, April 21, 2005

More promography and copy-wrong fun

In case you didn't think the other methods that labels use to lock down pre-release music were extreme (see previous post, Promography), there's this tasty little item from Billboard about the restrictions on hearing the upcoming Coldplay album: "Journalists are required to listen to the set on an iPod locked inside a clear case, with a security guard perched outside an open door." What, no cavity search?

But why bother if we can lock up everyone who might have an illegal file on their computer or MP3 player? CNET reports that a bill is about to be signed into law setting out stiff penalties for anyone who's got an illegal piece of entertainment on their computer, MP3 player or presumably anywhere in their possession. Before you flee the country, the article notes "Justice Department to date has typically reserved criminal charges for the most egregious cases" though technically you could get a six figure fine for having one naughty file "should have known the copyrighted work had not been commercially released."

So how would you know in all instances that you're following this law? Make sure you have a subscription to Billboard and all back issues to make sure that everything you have is legal. Oops but they don't typically list everything that's coming out or released so then what do you do? And what would happen if someone e-mail'ed a pre-release MP3 to the RIAA people- could you then turn them in to the Feds for being in possession of illegal material? I'm sure we could have an honest, frank discussion about this as we all serve our jail terms together with them.


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