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Apple, others sued for music copyrights

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed October 4, 2006

The Knack sues Apple

The Knack -- the rock band that created "My Sharona" -- is suing Apple and several other online music distributors including Amazon and Yahoo for copyright infringement. The band claims those sites distributed copies of Run DMC's 1986 hit song "It's Tricky," which allegedly contains an unauthorized sample of The Knack's "My Sharona." While the statute of limitations for copyright infringement is set at three years, band front man Doug Fieger and lead guitarist Berton Averre claim that they had never heard of Run DMC's song -- which is one of the most famous rap songs of all time -- until August of 2005, according to eWeek.com. Amazon, Apple, and Yahoo are targeted in the lawsuit for distributing "It's Tricky" via their websites, along with other online music retailers such as Napster and RealNetworks. Band members are targeting $150,000 for each infringement of their work. Brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart, however, were not named in the complaint.

"This is a good example of how copyright law is outdated for the internet," said Jason Schultz, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Schultz believes offline retailers were likely not targeted because they don't make copies of infringing work, while online distributors make a new copy each time a song or album is sold. "But distribution has never been addressed clearly online. Apple and Amazon and Yahoo had no idea anything was wrong -- if anything was wrong -- with what they were selling."

Schultz sees no clear reason for The Knack members to wait 20 years before filing a lawsuit, but suspects that an increase in potentially vulnerable companies coupled with the fact that those companies are operating in an area of copyright law not yet clearly defined may have been a factor. Schultz said The Knack's lawsuit won't likely prove successful, but said companies like Apple and Yahoo will find themselves in a bind if the suit is judged to have merit.

"There are no protections for Apple or any of these companies," Schultz added.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    LOL

    Bankrupt musicians going for a lawsuit HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA!! Get a life you 2 cent losers.

  1. FastAMX79

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    oh boy...

    "Schultz sees no clear reason for The Knack members to wait 20 years before filing a lawsuit...."

    i do. The Knack needs money. lawsuits are 'easy' money.

    mystery solved.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Why not Run DMC?

    Wouldn't Run DMC be the primary party guilty of copyright infringement?

  1. gambit23

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    legacy:

    Because, silly, Apple is in the news now for digital music. So, they're the most public figures with the most popularity. Popularity equals publicity. Pfft! You didn't expect them to sue the music industry or any of the thousands of brick and mortors stores, did you? Naahhhh! That would be too obvious! Let's sue Apple!!!

    I f-ing hate people, especially these stupid free-loaders who want nothing but money from other people's successes. 

  1. MPMoriarty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: why not run dmc

    That would be too logical.

  1. ccsccs7

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Copyright

    Shouldn't they be suing the studios? I mean, after all, they are the ones allowing this music to be sold online. Breach of contract at the least.

  1. SubPop

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ..copyright?

    The Knack shouldn't be suing anyone - they do not own the copyright to "My Sharona".. it is owned by Capitol Records who may have actually licensed the sample of the song to Run DMC.

  1. markalan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Copyright

    Google Feiger and see who his brother is. He is a well known lawyer in metro Detroit. He is was DR Kavorkian lawyer and loves to file lawsuits. I don't think he is an intellectual property lawyer, but I bet he is counselling his brother.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The future...

    They won't win, it won't even get to court, but imagine if they did:

    - Apple is required to verify that every song they sell is 100% owned by the studio they got it from and/or properly licensed. Songs now sell for $5 each to cover the cost of implementing that. - Border's and Barnes and Noble are required to guarantee that every book and magazine they sell does not contain a single line of copyright infringing text. - Run DMC continues to use samples of other people's music because legal precedent has established that it's the retailer who is responsible for their infringement. - Statute of limitations are now calculated based on when it is *discovered* that the law was broken, not when the actual crime occurred. - Everyone still has no idea who The Knack are.

  1. darkrail

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Creepy Lawyer

    Good catch, markalan!

    I had no idea Doug Fieger was the brother of that creepy lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. That guy's a real opportunist. I've always thought Kevorkian wouldn't be rotting in jail right now if it wasn't for Fieger's influence on his case and publicity.

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