Sex Offender Violated New Hampshire Law In Registering For MySpace

New Hampshire v. White, 2012 ILRC 3223, 2012 WL 6062701, 2012 BL 321269 (N.H. Dec. 7, 2012).

Not the typical posting to this blog, but interesting in light of MySpace's historical reputation as a social media platform for bands and musicians.  A New Hampshire criminal court dismissed an indictment against the defendant for violating a state statute (RSA 651-B:4-a) that requires registered sex offenders to report to law enforcement the creation of an “online identifier.”  The Supreme Court of New Hampshire reversed and remanded, holding that a MySpace account includes “user profile information,” which, therefore, is an “online identifier” subject to the reporting requirement of the statute (RSA 651-B:4-a).

Well, That's ONE Way to Get Publicity

The woman at the center of the Elliot Spitzer, aka Client 9, scandal has a Myspace page. The page is embedded with her own recording of an original composition, "What We Want".

Remarkably, but not surprisingly, the song has been played over two million (2,000,000) times and counting! [Stats as of 3/13/08 at 11:10AM] How many of those "plays" occurred in the past couple days -- since her identity was revealed?

Anyway, you CAN'T BUY PUBLICITY LIKE THAT! I wonder if she has representation?

Assuming, arguendo, that media outlets exploit/copy the sound recording, as they have the woman's pictures posted on Myspace, is this fair use?

Multiply Inc. Sued by Major Label

Capitol Records, and a host of other entities owned and/or controlled by label giant EMI Music, sued the company Multiply Inc. in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs allege copyright infringement arising from unauthorized use and exploitation of original sound and video recordings by encouraging and enabling users of Multiply to upload and share performances of well-known musical groups.

What gives? This sounds like EMI is suing YouTube type service. But, after casually visiting Multiply's website, which boasts "Multiply makes it easy to create, share and discuss your blog, photos, videos and music with more of the people you know, and less of the people you don't"; it looks like this is more of an online storage site, giving users their own "homepage" to share with the world. But, is this any different than MySpace? Is EMI just going after the little-guy, hoping for precedential effect against the behemoths in the future?

[Capitol Records Inc.; Caroline Records Inc.; EMI Christian Music Group Inc.; Virgin Records America Inc.; Colgems EMI Music Inc.; EMI April Music Inc.; EMI Blackwood Music; EMI Full Keel Music; EMI Grove Park Music Inc.; EMI Longitude Music; EMI Robbins Catalog Inc.; EMI U Catalog Inc.; EMI Virgin Music Inc.; EMI Virgin Song Inc.; EMI Waterford Music Inc. v. Multiply Inc.; filed 12/18/2007; case CV-11357]

Universal Joins Forces With Social Networking Site

The Wall Street Journal reports that Universal Music has joined forces with social networking service Imeem, Inc. The licensing agreement will allow Imeem's 19 million users to listen to, and embed, Universal music & videos for free on their personal pages. On Universal's end, it will receive a penny-rate payment each time a user listens to one of its songs in addition to sharing advertising revenue associate with a given song. The deal thus promises to provide labels "a revenue stream they've never seen before".

With this deal, Universal joins the other major label groups and marks the first of its kind to cover all four majors. Notably, Universal has a rough-history in such deals - it sued MySpace.com last year for copyright infringement, alleging that the site didn't do enough to prevent users from posting copyrighted materials without authorization.

SonyBMG-MySpace Licensing Deal

SonyBMG is licensing its artists materials to MySpace for a cut of the sponsorship & ad-revenue generated from the music videos and profile pages.

What does this mean to you, the consumer? Nothing really. OTCS suspects that a very small % of bands on MySpace are signed to a SonyBMG label, and those that are, OTCS suspects were already putting their music/video online anyway.

But mazel to SonyBMG for figuring out a way to monetize this avenue of communication. Of course, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed...so whether or not it is successful, only time will tell.