'Works for Hire' on Firing Line
Music & MP3
10/24/2000; 12:49:46 PM
'MP3.com's legal challenge of the validity of music copyrights, which is forcing a U.S. district court to focus on ownership of music, could have serious implications for the music industry.
'On Nov. 2, lawyers representing MP3.com in the damages portion of its lawsuit will argue that the Universal Music Group incorrectly classified its 4,700 copyrights as "works for hire."
'If that argument is successful, it could negate U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff's $118 million judgement against MP3.com for willful infringement of copyright with the creation of the my.mp3.com database.
'And if the works-for-hire issue is found to be invalid, artists will eventually be able to get back the rights to their works.'
Cynical interpretation: MP3.com is playing for artist support in their lawsuit, which the music companies hypothetically represent. As a legal challenge, this is kinda out in left field.