Universal Music Group has just sued MySpace.com for infringing upon its music videos and songs. This appears to be an attempt by Universal to pierce the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that would otherwise protect MySpace from liability if it promptly removed the infringing material upon notification of infringement.
At what point does the entertainment industry cross the bounds with shakedown suits and get slapped by Congress notwithstanding the lobbying efforts and campaign contributions? I’m not condoning infringement.
However, the DMCA is a draconion law whose safe harbor provisions is the one thing that protects legitimate businesses from being greenmailed into submission by RIAA, the MPAA, etc.
Universal, owned by Vivendi, forced YouTube into a settlement prior to acquisition by Google. Let’s hope that News Corp., the parent of MySpace, doesn’t capitulate and the judicial system upholds the safe harbor provisions.
There’s an old saying: pigs get fat while hogs get slaughtered. Universal should be content to be the former.
Hat tip to Alex Veiga at the Associated Press.