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Wednesday Watercooler


Hi, y’all.

Tonight’s musical selection is “Dazed and Confused” from a 1968 performance by the Yardbirds.

This is the sort of recording which might disappear from widespread availability on the Internet if a recent New York state appeals court ruling stands, according to Spin:

The 1996 U.S. law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act includes a ‘safe harbor’ protecting companies like Grooveshark from copyright infringement liability, so long as they abide by certain requirements. When it comes to music, that basically means you can’t be held liable for copyright infringement provided that you take infringing content down when asked.

Universal, a subsidiary of European conglomerate Vivendi and the parent of Interscope and other labels, argued that recordings before 1972 are not eligible for this safe-harbor protection. The lower court disagreed with Universal, citing precedent; the appeals court found in Universal’s favor, citing the DMCA’s lack of explicit language extending the safe-harbor protection to pre-1972 recordings.

In its ruling, the panel wrote that when ‘the Copyright Act was amended in 1971 to include sound recordings, Congress expressly extended federal copyright protection only to recordings “fixed” on February 15, 1972 or after.’ Grooveshark plans to appeal, its lawyer said in a statement quoted by Billboard.

But the article ends on a note of doubt, with Grooveshark’s CEO lamenting his finances.


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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and