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Old 4th May 2012, 04:58 PM   #1
Puppycow
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Feds Seized Hip-Hop Site for a Year, Waiting for Proof of Infringement

Feds Seized Hip-Hop Site for a Year, Waiting for Proof of Infringement

Quote:
Federal authorities who seized a popular hip-hop music site based on assertions from the Recording Industry Association of America that it was linking to four “pre-release” music tracks gave it back more than a year later without filing civil or criminal charges because of apparent recording industry delays in confirming infringement, according to court records obtained by Wired.

The Los Angeles federal court records, which were unsealed Wednesday at the joint request of Wired, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the First Amendment Coalition, highlight a secret government process in which a judge granted the government repeated time extensions to build a civil or criminal case against Dajaz1.com, one of about 750 domains the government has seized in the last two years in a program known as Operation in Our Sites.

Apparently, however, the RIAA and music labels’ evidence against Dajaz1, a music blog, never came. Or, if it did, it was not enough to build a case and the authorities returned the site nearly 13 months later without explanation or apology.

Cindy Cohn, the EFF’s legal director, said the site’s 13-month seizure by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau highlights the RIAA’s influence over the government. President Barack Obama has tapped at least five former RIAA attorneys for senior positions in the Justice Department.

“Here you have ICE making a seizure, based on the say-so of the record company guys, and getting secret extensions as they wait for their masters, the record companies, for evidence to prosecute,” Cohn said in a telephone interview. “This is the RIAA controlling a government investigation and holding it up for a year.”
Starting to see a pattern here. How about if they have to show proof to a judge before seizing a website?
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Old 4th May 2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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I don't know what's more discouraging- that alleged copyright infringements can be the basis of property seizure and forfeiture of that the federal DOJ is apparently the hired gun of a lobbying group.
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Old 4th May 2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Don't know why shutting down the entire website is even considered a good solution. I think having the copy written material removed and fining the owner would be a more reasonable course of action. Having the federal Gov't involve themselves at all and being in the business of shutting down websites in the interest of the record business comes off to me as needlessly draconian and intrusive.


I can appreciate that the Gov't is in the business of protecting businesses and protecting the interest of record companies that lose billions to piracy is a fairly recent development that needs remedying, but they seem to be feeling their way in the dark. The methods many are attempting to apply are far too crippling (SOPA for example) and compromising to internet freedom. It seems some middle ground needs to be discovered.
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Old 4th May 2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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In tribute to the recently deceased MCA of the Beastie Boys, the EFF posted an article about how today's stringent copyright laws (or at least the very real threat of financial ruin from lawsuits) would make a masterpiece like Paul's Boutique impossible to produce today.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/0...music-sampling
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Old 4th May 2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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That's what happened to the Men at Work Land Down Under song. The flute sequence was said to be a rip off of the 1935 "Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree" song.

There is no resemblance between the two pieces of music whatsoever but that didn't stop the tone deaf judges from siding 100% with the recording industry.
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Old 5th May 2012, 08:29 AM   #6
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Feds Seized Hip-Hop Site for a Year, Waiting for Proof of Infringement



Starting to see a pattern here. How about if they have to show proof to a judge before seizing a website?
That would be nothing new. SJGames won a $300,000 decision over a raid over a RPG book in 1990.
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