Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Court Finds Michael Robertson Liable for Copyright Infringement...Again

Robertson is up to his usual copyright infringement tricks. As per the New York Times...
"On Monday, Judge William H. Pauley III of United States District Court in Manhattan ruled that MP3tunes could be held liable for contributory infringement...and that Mr. Robertson was liable for infringing tracks he stored on his own account. The case will now go to a trial to determine damages, which could run to tens of millions of dollars." ~ New York Times, August 22, 2011
Of course, Robertson is spinning this as a victory. Really? I'm not sure in which universe being found liable for contributory infringement which could end up in tens of millions of dollars in damages is a victory, but ummm, ok. I guess having destroyed MP3.com with copyright infringement just wasn't enough for Robertson, he now will be destroying MP3tunes as well (not that anyone really uses that service =).



Paul said...

Up till now, Ive admired your blogs that exposed Michael Robertson. however, you have chosen to completely ignore the most significant part of the ruling that was a victory, not just for MP3Locker.com but for all unlicensed cloud music services and their potential users. THIS is the real public interest story here, not the fact that MR had some infringing works on his account! You didnt even mention the important part of the ruling at all!

You should have focussed on the public interest story, not your gloating of MR's forthcoming penalty. Dont get me wrong, its the least he deserves but its not the important thing in this story.

Kevin Carmony said...


No one follows my blog for those wider implications, but they do follow it in regards to Robertson's latest ethical violations, which this was. I wasn't commenting about the broader issue (cloud storage, etc.). I agree the DMCA has that all covered. My focus was on how Robertson has yet again been found liable for copyright infringement, which could end up in damages of tens of millions of dollars.

This is exactly why people like Robertson are poor champions of good causes.

I have worked with Robertson at both MP3.com and MP3tunes via Linspire. Robertson has little regard for any law that he thinks he can break and get away with. I've sat in meetings where he told me how he would do things so he doesn't get caught "this time," referring to having learned his lesson in the MP3.com's MASSIVE copyright infringement loss. Not that he learned how to follow the law, but how he learned to not get caught this time (which, apparently, he didn't learn =).

Robertson is the last spokesperson I'd want championing my cause. I'm not a fan of the Patriot Act, but I wouldn't want to have Osama bin Laden be my poster child to have it repealed.


Paul said...

Hi Kevin, thanks for the response. I take your point that your blog doesnt focus on the DMCA stuff but rather MR's lack of integrity.

I would say, however, that when i read MR's response, I had assumed the part he was referring to as a success was related to the DMCA ruling rather than that he could be facing yet another multimillion-dollar payout. Perhaps I missed something?!?

Kevin Carmony said...

Yes, of course that was the part he was referring to, since he certainly wasn't talking about the potential tens of millions of dollars he could be out. Looks like he may have to sell his minivan ;-)


Easy Cool said...

very nice...

Anonymous said...

My conclusion is this, based on my understanding of how a "mp3tunes music locker" works.

You search for music that is stored on another website, you could do this with Google.

mp3tunes lets you essentially bookmark links that you find. Do we sue Firefox, Opera, and Google for allowing users of their browsers to sync their bookmarks to a server controlled by them? After all, you may bookmark a link to "copyright infringing material".

My view is that is what "PROTECT IP", or what I call the, SHRED CONSTITUTION FOR SAKE OF OLD MEDIA is trying to do anyway.

But applying current law to the mp3tunes situation, they haven't done anything wrong. The judge is obviously making up the law as he goes because of rich and powerful old media cartels that bribe corrupt officials such as himself to do this.

Kevin Carmony said...


There is one big difference between MP3tunes and Google. Google does NOT MAKE A COPY OF THE FILE. Google search may point you to an illegal music site, but it does NOT make copies of that illegal music. MP3tunes does. It is making a copy of a song for which it has no authority to make that copy. That violates copyright law.

For example, say I put a song by The Beatles on my website. There is ONE copy of that song on MY server. Google may find that song and website, but it ends there. MP3tunes makes a copy of the song to their servers. Where there was one copy of the song, there are now TWO. Did MP3tunes have authority to make that copy? If they didn't, they just broke the law.

Copyright = the "right" to make a "copy." MP3tunes has no such right to be making copies of songs by the Beatles or many other artists. With Google the user is the one who is violating the law, as Google forces the user to make that copy. MP3tunes, however, is more than happy to make that copy to their servers. That's the difference.