Thursday, August 08, 2002

WHEN TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR: Fight! Fight! Fight! EMI is taking on AOL Time Warner over EMI's belief that - oh, irony of ironies - AOL has been stealing music from them. Oh, yes, turns out the home of Warners has been happily playing EMI tunes over a range of their media outlets without actually paying for it, or even asking first. The BBC is handy for the fine detail, but it basically boils down to AOL assuming that a deal cut between Turner and MGM/UA years ago would allow Turner's new owners to use songs from MGM UA films - rights in which now live with EMI - with no further need to license. You'd have thought the company responsible for onestoptrax, a music rights clearing project, might have checked its own house was in order, wouldn't you?
Let's remember the words of Richard Parsons, co-COO of AOL Time Warner before the Senate Commitee on the Judicary in April 2001: "In the end, I think, anyone who wants to be part of a business involving copyrighted material must respect the copyrights of others, not merely out of respect for the law, but out of the simple requirement of survival." We're assuming you're not going to have perjurered yourself, Richard, so we'll expect to hear your resignation landing on a desk soon, shall we?

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