October 29, 2008

B(oot)log hits the big time! or how I got served

Posted in mumbling at 11:26 am by rgsc

Hey folks. Just popping my head up for a moment to let you know that I’ve hit the big time! I’ve been noticed by the folks at Web Sheriff who sent me a DCMA request to take down a file, specifically, a cover of a Bryan Adams song by Habitat which was featured here. This isn’t the first time I’ve been asked to take something down but it is the first time WS has issued a letter. After a little bit of internal debate we here at b(oot)log HQ decided to take the file down.

However, I did need to ask myself if they have the authority to assert rights over a live recording of a cover song. If it were a recording (live or otherwise) of Bryan Adams performing one of his own songs, then it would be more cut and dry. However, my understanding of Recordings of Independent Origin, such as appear here, are not illegal to create or distribute (assuming no money is made through the sale of the records…and trust me, this here site is a money losing venture – I don’t even accept advertisers). The email stated that I was infringing on Adams’ “COPYRIGHT, TRADEMARK, PERFORMERS & MORAL RIGHTS”. It seems to me that there are a number of rights at play. As the composer of the work, Adams’ rights were being infringed, which is ultimately why I took the file down, even if I don’t know about the rest.

I have a fairly good understanding of Canadian copyright law, but am not so sure about all the ins and outs of the US DCMA (my server is based in the US). Any legal experts out there who can shed some light on the ins and outs of ROIOs and the law? Please comment if you have any knowledge (or experience) in dealing with this stuff.

I have, I hope, appeased the sheriff and will return to our regularly scheduled b(oot)loggin’ next week after a well deserved and much enjoyed holiday.