Copyright Lawsuit News

Some cynics claim Congress passes copyright laws mostly to protect Mickey Mouse. While that might be overstating things, there’s no question the trend over the past thirty years has been to expand the rights of copyright owners, Disney included.

A recent article in Wired talks about a new legal challenge (Kahle v. Ashcroft) to expansive copyright laws. While I don’t think the challenge will succeed, it does raise interesting questions prompted by changes in the way information is now distributed.
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In recent weeks, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports music companies like Warner Bros., Sony Music, BMG Music, Capital Re-cords, Elektra and Motown have “blitzed U.S. courthouses with lawsuits against people they accuse of online piracy. Cases have been filed against 744 users of Kazaa, eDonkey, Limewire, Grokster and other file-sharing platforms.”

The lawsuits now are against individuals who have downloaded music as opposed to the larger players who produce or host the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. It’s the latter group the music industry has battled for years.
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