The darling briefs of May

MAY WAS a funny old month in the world of copyright law. There was the unsurprising suggestion that Iraq was getting a copyright law on the US model - rather than French-style Authors' Rights - and that the Recording Industries' Association of America was on the case. But mostly companies were suing each other over music.

Michael Jackson - who is said to face 1000 lawsuits himself - was suing Motown Records (prop. Universal Vivendi) claiming that they hadn't in fact acquired the Jackson 5 œuvre. Vivendi, swaying under a mountain of debt, was suing German publishing giant Bertelsmann (ditto) over its alleged support for the late file-sharing service Napster. EMI was making noises about joining in.

Meanwhile, yet another file-sharing service launched in Spain - this one, called Puretunes, promising to pay creators. But not mentioning labels or other distributors. And so the International Federation of the Recording Industry was lining up to sue it.

And Kylie's bottom turned into a copyright story, when EMI threatened the Royal Academy and got it to withdraw an artwork featuring said fundamental principle from the Summer Show. Details online.

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