MP3Tunes Ruling Also Opens Door For Online Video Storage Services?

MP3Tunes Ruling Also Opens Door For Online Video Storage Services?

A judge has ruled that MP3tunes was not in violation of copyright law, as they were not responsible for the uploading of the files that users were listening to and therefore not responsible for any pirated music that might have been uploaded. To me, this means that now any digital copy of a movie I own can be uploaded to an online locker for my streaming pleasure, anywhere, anytime. It is a fantastic ruling and interpretation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in my mind.

The MP3Tunes Ruling

Now I know the ruling was all about music, but shouldn't it automatically be applied to digital copies of any kind of entertainment content? Especially, video?  After all, it's all zeros and ones.

Here's how I see it, the judge has deemed that the online locker is simply that, storage. A stream of the content up in the locker, is not a "public performance" and therefore does not violate copyright, nor require licensing fees and royalties to be paid to the studios.

Notice, in that paragraph, I never used the word music, and those exact sentences should apply to pretty much anything that we own which can be stored online and then streamed for consumption.

MP3Tunes Ruling Also Opens Door For Online Video Storage Services?

Another major point in the ruling is that the online lockers need not maintain multiple copies of each of the files, deduplication, therefore, one copy of a piece of content is enough for everyone that owns it to stream it without having to upload another copy. That massively cuts down on the storage necessary to maintain such a service.

Again, that works perfectly for digital copies of films, no? So basically, any online storage service should be able to allow online storage and streaming of any copyrighted material provided that the users who are streaming the content have already proven that they own a copy of the content.

That's fantastic news for people, like me, who hate fat stacks of discs lying about cluttering up the living space, not to mention the instant streaming access to my full library of content wherever I am in the world in a much better fashion than running my own server at home to do it. Now I should be able to use a streaming service with some other technology, like the Intel second generation I-series processors, Adobe Pass, UltraViolet, etc, to verify that I own a physical copy of a piece of media, or the rights to a digital copy, and without having to upload anything, simply add it to my online storage and watch at my leisure. It should also help us all unify our entire media catalog into one or two services.

Another great thing, since no one needs to maintain multiple copies of the media, there should be far less restrictions on storage and the pricing for it all should be of a reasonable rate by those online locker services.

Is Online Video Storage Next?

Now it's not all popping of champagne bottles and partying. After all, the movie studios will probably have to be dragged into this kicking and screaming, and will have their days in court as well. But it sets a very strong precedent that a judge could simply point to in a digital movie or TV episode lawsuit with a similar service and say "see that ruling and get out of my courtroom."

So, perhaps, instead of preparing lengthy legal battles, they [movie studios] should simply work all that much harder with the technology partners [Intel, AMD, Adobe] and the potential services [Amazon, Google, Apple] to make sure they build in ample ways to determine if the content that the user is trying to add to their locker is fraudulent and ways to prevent it from being added to lockers.

I have a few ideas on how you could do that but am sure there are far smarter people out there who have even better ideas. Though, if you want to hear mine, I'm happy to come to some brainstorming and consulting sessions, for a fee. Trust me, I'm far cheaper than the worst of lawyers and probably more friendly. Then you can use those lawyers for other stuff, like sending threatening letters to grandmothers who unknowingly try to add that content to their online lockers because their grandkids added it to their computer, oh wait, the record labels beat you to that one already as well.

Here's a link to that full ruling if you are interested in reading it yourself. I welcome thoughts from consumers all the way through studio execs, copyright lawyers and online services as I find it a very interesting issue that could really help us all move into a fully digital, online, movie/TV owning/viewing experience.

One major issue that will need to be addressed, can I stream a show from an online storage locker, if I have a copy of it on my DVR? In that sense, isn't the online locker, just a really big hard drive for my DVR? That will definitely be a contentious point that will need to be hammered out.


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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • JOHN LONGENECKER

    Hello. US Copyright Law originates as the one specific right provided for in the US Constitution. 

    As Author if you create an original work of authorship, I recommend that you send it to the Library of Congress / the US Copyright Office and apply for US Copyright Registration / Copyright.gov - 

    Some folks with law degrees and a team of secretaries and a full support staff of researchers, law clerks and paralegals as well as a valet to bring their car up from their own strategically located office complex parking space will say silly stuff like "you own the copyright the moment you create a work." 

    That brilliant legal mind is right / you own the copyright but it's useless. Copyright Registration / a date and a registration number / is what has use and value with respect to your creative work / your ineffectual property.

    As I see it, the threat of some folks making copies of a work is no big deal. US Copyright Law provides that only the Copyright owner can make or authorize a derivative work / a new version. There you have it. That to me is what it's all about. I write a story. It is considered a literary work / a work expressed in words. I send it to the US Copyright Office for registration. I have a date of registration and a registration number pending. Now I can go to work / story / ebook / a print on demand book / a major publisher book / a treatment / screenplay / shooting script / a movie version / a sequel / a prequel / a remake / Internet websites / digital games / a TV Special / a TV Program Series (lead actor: Charlie Sheen if he is willing) / webisodes / an iTunes app / audio podcasts / video podcasts / a stage production / the musical version / ringtones / a talking lunch box / a theme park / and other derivative works I think up with my now by my side entourage.

    A copy of a copyrighted work is no big deal. There were folks who made copies of the Mickey Mouse drawing created by author/artist Walt Disney. Big deal. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse. He owned the copyright to Mickey Mouse. Thus, he had the exclusive right under US Copyright Law to make or authorize derivative works / the Mickey Mouse Club / The Mouseketeers (Annette, Johnny Crawford) / Disney's Wonderful World Of Color TV Program / Spin And Marty / Davie Crockett / Disneyland / Disneyworld / The Walt Disney Studios / Hollywood Pictures / and more. All derivative works / new versions of the Walt Disney drawing of Mickey Mouse. 
    So, do not worry much about some guy making a copy of your work. Register your original work of authorship with the US Copyright Office and then work on new versions / derivative works. Ask J.K. Rawling about it / see Pottermore.com - see StoryRights.org / JOHN LONGENECKER, DGA / Director/Cinematographer / Academy Award Winner.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/author/christophor-rick/ Christophor Rick

    Thanks for the info but that wasn't really the sort of comments I was looking for, rather, I was talking specifically in regard to an online storage locker for video streaming and the...

    oh wait, it's sort of spam since it showed up on Facebook as well. Interesting spam nonetheless.

  • Ruth Hussey

    Hello. US Copyright Law originates as the one specific right provided for in the US Constitution.

    As Author if you create an original work of authorship, I recommend that you send it to the Library of Congress / the US Copyright Office and apply for US Copyright Registration / Copyright.gov -

    Some folks with law degrees and a team of secretaries and a full support staff of researchers, law clerks and paralegals as well as a valet to bring their car up from their own strategically located office complex parking space will say silly stuff like "you own the copyright the moment you create a work."

    That brilliant legal mind is right / you own the copyright but it's useless. Copyright Registration / a date and a registration number / is what has use and value with respect to your creative work / your ineffectual property.

    As I see it, the threat of some folks making copies of a work is no big deal. US Copyright Law provides that only the Copyright owner can make or authorize a derivative work / a new version. There you have it. That to me is what it's all about. I write a story. It is considered a literary work / a work expressed in words. I send it to the US Copyright Office for registration. I have a date of registration and a registration number pending. Now I can go to work / story / ebook / a print on demand book / a major publisher book / a treatment / screenplay / shooting script / a movie version / a sequel / a prequel / a remake / Internet websites / digital games / a TV Special / a TV Program Series (lead actor: Charlie Sheen if he is willing) / webisodes / an iTunes app / audio podcasts / video podcasts / a stage production / the musical version / ringtones / a talking lunch box / a theme park / and other derivative works I think up with my now by my side entourage.

    A copy of a copyrighted work is no big deal. There were folks who made copies of the Mickey Mouse drawing created by author/artist Walt Disney. Big deal. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse. He owned the copyright to Mickey Mouse. Thus, he had the exclusive right under US Copyright Law to make or authorize derivative works / the Mickey Mouse Club / The Mouseketeers (Annette, Johnny Crawford) / Disney's Wonderful World Of Color TV Program / Spin And Marty / Davie Crockett / Disneyland / Disneyworld / The Walt Disney Studios / Hollywood Pictures / and more. All derivative works / new versions of the Walt Disney drawing of Mickey Mouse.
    So, do not worry much about some guy making a copy of your work. Register your original work of authorship with the US Copyright Office and then work on new versions / derivative works. Ask J.K. Rawling about it / see Pottermore.com - see StoryRights.org / JOHN LONGENECKER, DGA / Director/Cinematographer / Academy Award Winner.

  • JOHN LONGENECKER

    Hello. Ooops. I am new to Facebook stuff and there was a Facebook button on this ReelSEO comment page for me to click so I clicked it. You are correct, it may actually be Spam as I have researched Copyright a lot. Your article prompted to write up my thoughts as "an online storage locker" keeps a copy of a work. But as see it a copy is not where the fun is. The fun is in the Copyright Owner's exclusive right to make or authorize new versions / derivative works. Important topic in your article. JOHN LONGENECKER

  • http://www.reelseo.com/author/christophor-rick/ Christophor Rick

    But see there's where you're wrong. The judge just ruled that it is not the case. Any consumer who has purchased a piece of media can make copies for personal usage. This has always been the case. We're not talking about making copies for resale, we're talking about personal viewing, listening, etc. If what you were saying were true in this case, then there would have been no cassette players, CD or DVD burners.

    In regards to the online storage locker, since access to the content isn't being sold and the consumers have to prove they already own a copy of it, it's simply a media transformation, much like making a mix tape on a cassette of your favorite songs from radio or LP or even a CD to be more modern about it. I have numerous copies of all of my media here in the house, how is that any different than if it were, as is popular to say these days, in the cloud...? It's not, this judge saw that and realized that there's no reason to shut down such services. The consumers are the ones that are responsible for obtaining pirated copies of the media, not the website where the content was later uploaded and stored because if that's the case, then any business that has a computer where an employee downloaded some illegal, pirated content, would be liable and could be penalized. See the illogical thought process there?

    I think you copied a lot of that text from somewhere because there's a massive typo in it where you call the work in question "ineffectual property" when it should clearly be intellectual property...however, it's quite the humorous typo so I let it slide the first time.