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Copyright case with a difference
By Jon Newton, p2pnet.net
(more articles from this author)
2002-04-11
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Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: MusicDish/Mi2N - April 7, 2002

Lately, when you see a headline with the phrase 'copyright infringement', you're pretty safe in assuming that it has something to do with online piracy and CD's. However, a suit involving music industry print and video publisher ArtistPro and, IndieBiz.com, MusicBizBooks.com and Kathode Ray Music, has a different focus.

ArtistPro claims to have discovered in January 2002 that the legal library contents of The Complete Music Business Office's CD-ROM had been repackaged and sold as an e-book titled KR Music Business Contract Library on Hooper's MusicBizBooks.com website after purchasing the title from the site.

ArtistPro Publisher and President Mike Lawson alleges Hooper, owner and operator of IndieBiz, MusicBizBooks and Kathode Ray Music, "illegally copied, re-packaged, claimed a new copyright to and distributed a music business contract library as his own original work that was originally published and copyrighted by ArtistPro in book and software form as The Complete Music Business Office."

But, says Hooper, "I was not aware that The Complete Music Business Office existed before Mike Lawson contacted me."

ArtistPro also says other violations of the work's "hundreds of pages of copyrighted materials" came to light on IndieBiz.com, "after the book's author Greg Forest purchased a one-month subscription to the site, then reviewed and printed each page containing the allegedly infringed documents."

Moreover, says ArtistPro on its web page, .".. ArtistPro alleges that Hooper made each of the files in the contract library individually available for paying subscribers to his other website, IndieBiz.com, and as of April 2, 2002 still used the same advertisement within the IndieBiz.com website detailing the contract library access as a feature and benefit of joining the subscription-based website."

Hooper, however, says, "The contracts contained in the KR Music Business Contract Library have been around the Net as text files, posted on Web sites, distributed via Usenet newsgroups, and available via transfer methods such as Archie for years. They are still being distributed online.

"Contracts included in KR Music Business Contract Library that were not gathered online were given to me while studying commercial music and entertainment law at the University of Memphis, during the dozens of music business conferences and CLE workshops I have attended, via work done with booking agents, via publishing companies, and at various other times during my music business career. At no time was notice of copyright ever contained within the contracts that we used."

He says attorneys and others who draft contracts don't reinvent the wheel, continuing, "In the music industry, as with every industry which uses contracts, it is common industry practice to pick and borrow from previously existing contracts. Contracts are simply 'boilerplate' documents made up of clauses from other 'boilerplate' documents. American Heritage Dictionary defines 'boilerplate' as 'Inconsequential, formulaic, or stereotypical language'."

"We have done everything possible to resolve this issue," Hooper adds. "Assuming there was copyright infringement going on, it is not happening now. We even agreed to sign the agreement at www.indiebiz.com/lawsuit/settlement.html.

"Why are we being sued? Only ArtistPro knows."

Related News from Mi2N:
» ArtistPro.com V. Kathode Ray Music - KRM Response
» ArtistPro Alleges Copyright Infringement In Lawsuit Filed In US Federal Court Against David Hooper, IndieBiz.com And MusicBizBooks.com


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