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Beatles Catalog Is Temporarily Banned From Music Website BlueBeat

Publication Date: 
November 07, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Randy Lewis and Todd Martens

Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project, talked to the LA Times about a suit filed by Capitol Records against music website BlueBeat. The Times published this report:

A federal court in Los Angeles this week issued a temporary restraining order against a music website that recently had been offering the entire Beatles catalog for downloading at 25 cents per song. The Santa Cruz-based BlueBeat earlier in the week was hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by EMI's Capitol Records, the group's U.S. label.

The order set back a novel legal argument by BlueBeat that songs produced through digital regeneration are akin to songs performed by cover bands and therefore do not run afoul of copyright law. BlueBeat had argued in court filings that its downloads were legal because the company had created entirely new versions by computer through a process called "psychoacoustic simulations" that makes the re-created songs sound just like the original recordings.


Anthony Falzone, a lecturer at Stanford Law School, said it ultimately may come down to the exact method used to create the simulations, as Section 114(b) allows for some room to "imitate and simulate sound recordings."

He added, "In so far as BlueBeat is selling something that sounds exactly like the Beatles, they probably have a tough road ahead of them."