Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Goodbye, Thanks, a Fun Case, and Music Requests
Time for me to rotate out and start grading. Thanks to all the Prawfsblawggers folks for having me, and especially to Dan for helping me navigate this newfangled technology. I’ve really enjoyed it. If anyone reading this will be at the Law & Society Conference or the meeting of the Labor Law Group, feel free to give me a holler.
As a parting gift, here’s a fun torts case, Doe v. Moe, (Mass. App. No. 02-P-381, May 2005) refusing to find a cause of action for negligent sexual intercourse. There are some theoretical reads of this case that arguably could be rewarding, or you can just take it as a cautionary tale. Hat tip to my colleague Geoff Rapp.
Finally, along with figuring out all this blog stuff, I’ve also been playing with my new toy: an I-Pod Nano. It raises some interesting legal issues. For example, I-Tunes won’t read songs I’ve downloaded from other pay services, but will read songs previously downloaded from ... um ... free sharing services; plus, if you take the songs you paid for from another service, burn them on a CD, then I-Tunes will read it. So is that violating anything?
Actually, I’m more interested in suggestions for music, especially modern alternative rock stuff. Keep in mind: I'm a guy who (to name better-known groups) in the 1970s made the transition from Jethro Tull to Elvis Costello and Pere Ubu; in the 1980s was into new wave bands from the punkier Gang of Four to the more mainstream R.E.M. and Talking Heads; in the 1990s got into the criminally under-rated James McMurtry and the criminally under-appreciated (in the U.S.) the Beautiful South; and in recent years had a kid but found time to listen to the White Strips and the New Pornographers. So, young hip law profs, what should I be (legally) downloading?
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Modern Alternative Rock Artists/Bands to check out:
My Morning Jacket - America's Southern rock counterpart to Radiohead in the UK
Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Karen O is a fierce lead singer and Maps is one the best songs written in the last 10 years
KT Tunstall - bluesy Chinese/Scottish rock chick
Rilo Kiley - poppy in a way similar to the New Pornographers but with stronger lyrics
The Raconteurs - Jack White's side project
The Postal Service - great beats and great lyrics
Spoon - Austin-based band, really hard to describe - sort of a cross between Prince and the Rolling Stones
Posted by: Lindsay | May 2, 2006 11:59:06 AM
From the New Pornographers prompt (as opposed to White Stripes):
Elf Power - beautiful indie folk rock that's gotten me through finals. The further back through their catalog you go, the more it veers from "folk" to "rock."
Immaculate Machine - Kathryn Calder, who sings on the New Pornographers' last record and fills in for Neko Case when she can't tour, has her own band, and they have some awesome tunes.
The Essex Green - breezy, melodic, offbeat, vaguely 60's-style powerpop.
Saturday Looks Good to Me: Detroit supergroup with a varied style and lots of depth. Their last two albums are brilliant
Posted by: EN | May 2, 2006 12:30:54 PM
From north of the border, the good places to start would be Broken Social Scene, Stars and Feist.
From south, Sufjan Stevens and the Shins.
Posted by: keith talent | May 2, 2006 12:46:38 PM
plus, if you take the songs you paid for from another service, burn them on a CD, then I-Tunes will read it. So is that violating anything?
There's an interesting issue lurking here, which is the extent to which technological content protection rules will spill over to determine what's an infringement under copyright law. Oddly, I think both copyright owners and anti-copyright-owners are wary of that outcome.
But anyway, there's two questions, whether what you are doing is infringing and whether it somehow violates anti-circumvention law. On the former, assuming you're just shifting media for your personal use, that may actually be permitted by the license of the service you're using, and/or it might be fair use. Opinions on the latter vary widely. (On the former, is the mere fact you can burn a copy evidence of an implied license? That's the issue I noted above.)
The second question is more interesting, but I think you're probably safe. It depends on whether you're "circumventing a technological measure" by plopping a CD-R in the tray, burning it using the service you paid for, then taking that unencrypted CD and loading the tracks into your other player. It's the act of burning the CD that's important, since once the music is in the clear you're not circumventing anything any more. The only thing that distinguishes your example from illegal circumvention is that the service presumably has licensed the music it's distributing, and the terms of decryption have been worked out with the copyright owner, and therefore your decryption is "with[ ] the authority of the copyright owner." But if you're talking about any well known service (iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody) it would be all over the news if there was a licensing problem.
An interesting hypothetical occurs to me, which is suppose a legitimate pay service gets licenses for most of its music, but somehow fails to get a license (or the license expires) for some of the music. I think it's the service itself that encrypts the music before sending it to you; then you decrypt it by burning it to a CD (or just listening to it). That decryption occurs with the authorization of the service, obviously, but not of the copyright owner. Circumvention? This is a scenario 1201 was not designed to handle, since the drafters had in mind "black boxes" that decrypt everything they handle without authorization, so any user of such a black box would be on at least inquiry notice of its suspect nature (e.g., DeCSS). One possibility is that in my hypothetical, the technological measure no longer "effectively controls access to a work," since in order to effectively control access, a technological measure "in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work." The technological measure being used by the service no longer, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information etc. with the authority of the copyright owner, since it's now possible to apply that information without the authority of the copyright owner. This argument faces a significant hurdle, however, which is that the defendants in the DeCSS case tried a variant of it (DeCSS didn't require the authority of the copyright owner either) and lost. The distinction would have to lie in the fact that the very same device was once blessed by the copyright owner (or is blessed by other copyright owners) but now is not.
Aren't you glad you asked?
Posted by: Bruce | May 2, 2006 1:44:49 PM
Opinions on the latter vary widely. (On the former, is the mere fact you can burn a copy evidence of an implied license?
Whoops, just to clarify, this "latter" and "former" were supposed to refer to the license/fair use question, not the copyright/circumvention question.
Posted by: Bruce | May 2, 2006 1:49:42 PM
I'm indeed glad I asked, although your answer sounds like an even more detailed answer than the one I got from my IP colleague, and I didn't really understand that one either. In both cases, I hasten to add, it's completely my fault. But if the gist is "I'm probably OK," then that's good.
Thanks to the folks that sent the music suggestions: lots of stuff I hadn't heard of that sounds great. Ideas for specific songs to download are also welcome. It will be just the ticket for breaks during grading.
Posted by: Joseph Slater | May 2, 2006 2:14:42 PM
Arcade Fire, absolutely, to add to the Canadian list. And although these may not be readily downloadable, a couple of great Rhino collections: Left of the Dial, which largely consists of more or less "underground" 80's music, and Children of Nuggets, which consists of 80's music inspired by the garage and psychedelic music of the 60's and 70's.
Posted by: Paul Horwitz | May 2, 2006 3:09:04 PM
Based on what you've listed:
1) Snow Patrol, "Final Straw"
3) Kaiser Chiefs, "Employment"
I'll throw Mountain Goats out there, too, but that depends on whether you prefer lyrics to music. I might as well mention Hard-Fi if you want to be really bleeding-edge. I presume you've already heard of the Arctic Monkeys.
Posted by: Ted | May 2, 2006 4:18:36 PM
Couldn't agree more about the Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist recs. The new Built to Spill and Flaming Lips albums are in my constant rotation along with Pinback's "Summer in Abaddon."
Posted by: Sarah | May 2, 2006 4:43:03 PM
Good call on Arcade Fire - also it's a nice cross-border success story as I believe at least one band member is from Texas.
Posted by: keith talent | May 2, 2006 5:42:16 PM
I commend 3hive.com to you, and well, anyone.
Posted by: David Zaring | May 3, 2006 12:53:14 AM
Specific comments below, however, the BEST advice I can offer is to go to www.pandora.com and punch in some stuff that you like. It will feed you more songs based on those picks and you can tell it whether you like them or not, refining, etc. It's awesome and totally free. As far as specifics:
I second The Postal Service and Spoon. Speaking of Austin, ...and you will know them by the trail of the dead (that's the band's name) rocks, if your taste can accomodate emo-y-hard rock. Sufjan Stevens is awesome too. Snow Patrol and Kaiser Chefs are both just OK in my opinion.
My personal recommendations are: Outkast, Phoenix, Air, Morcheeba. You really can't go wrong there. DJ Shadow is awesome, but not for everyone. And, I know they are played by this point, but Modest Mouse really is good.
Happy rocking out.
Posted by: Bart Motes | May 3, 2006 12:53:35 PM
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