Post Tagged with: "sony"

Analog Beatles by Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Is the Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway Really About Some Cheap Beatles Records?

The government’s surprise decision to include copyright term extension for sound recordings and performances in this week’s budget is being painted by the music industry as important for Canadian artists. But sources suggest that the real reason for the change is the result of direct lobbying from foreign record labels such as Universal Music and Sony Music, who were increasingly concerned with the appearance of public domain records from artists such as the Beatles appearing on store shelves in Canada. As discussed in this post, Canadian copyright law protects the song for the life of the author plus 50 years. However, the sound recording lasts for 50 years. That still provides decades of protection for record companies to profit from the records, but that is apparently not long enough for them.

Earlier this year, a Canadian company called Stargrove Entertainment began selling two Beatles records featuring performances that are in the public domain in Canada. The records were far cheaper than those sold through Universal Music and were picked up by retail giant Walmart, who continues to list the records on their website (Can’t Buy Me Love, Love Me Do). There were additional titles featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys. Some of the titles are still available for sale through Walmart.

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April 23, 2015 21 comments News
Money by Keith Cooper (CC BY 2.0)

Copyright For Sale: How the Sony Documents Illustrate the Link Between the MPAA and Political Donations

The linkage between political funding and the major copyright lobby groups is not a new issue as for years there have been stories about how groups like the MPAA and RIAA fund politicians that advance their interests. Sites like OpenSecrets disclose the spending, though it gets complicated given how much money comes from individual companies or corporate executives. While those sites tell the story of how much, the recent leak of Sony emails reveal the how. They demonstrate the coordinated efforts by the MPAA to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for certain politicians with direct efforts from MPAA CEO Christopher Dodd to solicit donations from among the Hollywood studios. This will not be news to those who have been following Lawrence Lessig in recent years, but the matter-of-fact tone of these emails is still revealing.

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April 21, 2015 9 comments News
FAIL! by John Pasden (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nobody’s Perfect: Leaked Contract Reveals Sony Requires Netflix To Geo-Block But Acknowledges Technology Is Imperfect

The Wikileaks release of tens of thousands of Sony documents includes revelations about opposition to the copyright treaty for the blind, political fundraising, concerns about fair use in treaties, strategies to fund screening rooms in embassies to create a stronger will to protect studio interests, and personal calls to Prime Ministers (UK Prime Minister Cameron in this case) regarding the copyright law. The documents also show that Sony lobbied Netflix to stop Australian users from using VPNs to access the service. Yet it would appear that Sony’s own licence terms with Netflix opens the door to general VPN use.

The documents also include a stunning array of commercial documents, including licensing agreements with broadcasters and online video services around the world. A general search for Canadian documents immediately uncovered parts of the licensing agreement between Sony and Netflix, including the content protection requirements and obligations. Netflix is unsurprisingly requirement to encrypt all programs, use only pre-approved digital rights management systems, and meet various technical requirements.  Of great interest to many Netflix subscribers, particularly those that try to access U.S. Netflix, are the requirements related to geographic filtering. The provision states:

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April 17, 2015 8 comments News

Apple and Sony Privacy Woes Point to Legal Holes

Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 1, 2011 as Apple, Sony security slips show flaws in our laws Privacy officials have long warned about unseen consumer privacy risks, yet the issue has rarely generated significant political attention in Canada with potential reforms languishing for years without action. Recent high […]

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May 5, 2011 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Sony Security Breach Among the Biggest in History

Multiple reports focus on the massive Sony breach involving more than 75 million account holders with PlayStation Network. Account holders have received a warning that: For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony […]

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April 28, 2011 3 comments News