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RIAA Court Filing In Stairway To Heaven Case Warns Against *OVERPROTECTION* By Copyright

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RIAA Court Filing In Stairway To Heaven Case Warns Against *OVERPROTECTION* By Copyright

Postby MrFredPFL » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:57 am

Story : https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181110/02054741013/riaa-court-filing-stairwa





Here's one you don't see everyday. The RIAA is telling a court that it needs to be careful about too much copyright protection. Really. This is in the lawsuit over "Stairway to Heaven" that we've been covering for a while now. As we noted, the 9th Circuit brought the case back to life after what had appeared to be a good result, saying that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway" did not infringe on the copyright in the Spirit song "Taurus." While we were a bit nervous about the case being reopened after a good result, as copyright lawyer Rick Sanders explained in a pair of excellent guest posts, there were good reasons to revisit the case -- in part to fix the 9th Circuit's weird framework for determining if a song has infringed, and in part to fix some bad jury instructions.

As with the Blurred Lines case, I've been curious how the RIAA and various musicians would come down on these cases. After all, I can imagine how they could easily end up on either side of such a case. Lots of musicians take inspiration from other musicians (it's actually kind of an important way for most musicians to develop), and if that's seen as infringing, that seems like it should be a huge problem. But, of course, to make that argument would require the RIAA to actually admit that copyright can go too far.

And... that's actually what it's done. The RIAA and the NMPA (National Music Publisher's Association, which historically is just as bad as the RIAA on many of these issues) actually had famed law professor Eugene Volokh write an interesting amicus curiae brief in support of the 9th Circuit rehearing the case en banc (with a full panel of 11 judges, rather than just the usual 3). Hat tip to Law360's Bill Donahue, who first spotted this.

Anyway, who among you ever expected the following in an RIAA brief:







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