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Sony BMG Accused of Music Piracy – Assets Seized

Sony BMG Accused of Music Piracy – Assets Seized

There’s some breaking news surfacing out of Mexico. Police have raided a property, seizing thousands of CDs which contain unauthorized music. Sounds like a pretty plain news story had it not been an operation related to Sony BMG.

For our regular viewers, the headline may give you a sense of de-ja-vu. Well, it’s more than just a weird feeling because, yes, last year, Sony BMG was sued for software piracy and had a property raided by French police. At the time, many people suggested that the raid in France was karma related given that even earlier, there was the Sony Rootkit fiasco where music CDs were released by Sony that destabilized people’s computers.

If it was bad karma, apparently, the company is still in the bad books. According to a report on Daily Tech, Sony BMG had a property raided by Mexican police over an unauthorized CD release.

The story goes that a pop artist by the name of Alejandro Fernández’s had a seven album contract with Sony. The artist had recorded other songs that never made it onto those seven albums. The contract he signed ended in 2008 and the artist got a new contract with Universal. Apparently, Sony found those songs and created an eighth album. Unsurprisingly, Universal was not too happy. Sony defended the creation of the album, saying that the discs were, like, “totally authorized”. They also said that Mexican courts would confirm their rights over the music.

“What Sony did that was wrong and illegal was to assume that they could take those tracks that weren’t part of the previous albums and release them as an eighth album as if it were new material over which they had rights,” says Jose Luis Caballero, Fernández’s attorney in Mexico. “And it’s perfectly clear that the company’s contract is limited to seven albums.”

A Slashdot commenter commented on how one could look at the case and follow the precedent set in the US for music piracy. The user calculated that the damages could be $1,151,460,000 if using the Tenenbaum precedent or $4,094,080,000 using the Thomas precedent.

It’s interesting that both the cases were brought up – particularly when Sony BMG is behind the Tenenbaum lawsuit. Either way, this seems to be the second time Sony shows a hypocritical side to their business when it comes to piracy.

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus
t0m5k1
t0m5k1

firstly i want to make it clear I am just a consumer/pirate/fan ok here is the link to the full story: http://www.renegaderhythms.com/home.html?main=http://www.renegaderhythms.com/articles/ur/sony_correspondence.html#121099 i have no doubt that this will continue in the future and regardless of who they do this to they will always try to force themselves onto any thing they think will make money BOYCOTT THE BIG BUSINESS ALL MUSICIANS NEED TO GO INDEPENDENT NEW TECHNOLOGY WILL NEVER DIE NOR WILL IT BOW DOWN TO CORPORATE PRESSURE FILE SHARERS ARE NOT THIEVES MIDDLE FINGER UP TO THEM ALL

malcolm hume
malcolm hume

It depends on the contract, but there are a lot of contracts in which the label owns everything you record until the contract is up - and they usually pay for it to be recorded anyway. Sony and Universal always have lawsuits against each other, all of them do. It's part of the cost of doing business. This is normal. Just wanted to point out about rootkits for those interested - this is a misnomer made to sound evil. There is no such thing as a 'rootkit' on a windows box. The term can only be applied to operating systems where certain users are denied access to the root, like Linux. What the software did was put its executable in the C: directory which hasn't been kosher since win DOS 5 but it's hardly a 'rootkit'.

D.AN
D.AN

"It depends on the contract, [...]" Since the contract states the limit as seven [studio] albums, logically an eigth [studio] album is unauthorized. "Just wanted to point out about rootkits for those interested – this is a misnomer made to sound evil." No, rootkit literally means a kit that has root privileges. "There is no such thing as a ‘rootkit’ on a windows box." Sony BMG's rootkit affected windows systems. "The term can only be applied to operating systems where certain users are denied access to the root, like Linux." Rootkits need to be executed with root privileges in the first place. "What the software did was put its executable in the C: directory which hasn’t been kosher since win DOS 5 but it’s hardly a ‘rootkit’." Not according to Mark Russinovich, the software engineer who discovered that rootkit: http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2005/10/31/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights-management-gone-too-far.aspx

JeviMetal
JeviMetal

This is just a rich brat's tantrum that thinks that because his daddy is famous (well, in Mexico he's close to a deity) he can do as he pleases...

Michael
Michael

I love the irony. But nonetheless I wouldn't rush in too fast on this one. Who paid for the recordings? Likely,it's Sony. So saying they can't release material that they paid for is not going to be easy in court. It would depend very much on the specific terms of the contract. Labels frequently release old recordings and previously unreleased material.

Mr. Briggs
Mr. Briggs

Well then, if Sony had been aware about the terms of the contract, they shouldn't have even agreed to record the stuff for the eighth album. Sony, as a corporation of many people, should be aware about these things.

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

It wasn't material for an 8th album, it was material excluded from the 7 previous albums that they are recorded and chose not to use at that time. Still, depending on the terms of the contract they may be sol.

Mr. Briggs
Mr. Briggs

You know what'll probably happen? Sony will pay double the price for an extra contract for that 8th album, and all this stuff'll be hush-hush.

D.AN
D.AN

This is precisely what real music piracy is.

mountain_rage
mountain_rage

"A Slashdot commenter commented on how one could look at the case and follow the precedent set in the US for music piracy. The user calculated that the damages could be $1,151,460,000 if using the Tenenbaum precedent or $4,094,080,000 using the Thomas precedent." HAHA! Love it, shows how ridiculous those rulings were, and how out of proportion the damages can be ruled.

Mr. Briggs
Mr. Briggs

Nope, you're not going to be charged per CD. Let's say 12 songs were released. Remember that no matter how many copies were made, you're still only being charged for one song. By the Tenenbaum precedent, this would result in a measly $270,000 fine for Sony, and even with Jammie Thomas, it would only be $960,000. With the maximum fine of $150,000, it would still only be $1.2 million.



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