Oh that the naysayer were a faceless monolith like Sony Music
Corporation. Alas, Oasis fans were alerted yesterday that it was indeed the
band itself, via Ignition management and their official web site Oasisnet, that
ordered a cease and desist email sent to all webmasters of Oasis Internet fan
Jack Martin, the 18 year old leader of Oasis Webmasters for Internet
Freedom, told ATN that he is only slightly disenchanted by Ignition's letter.
"Managers will be managers," he sighed.
Last week's directive gave
webmasters 30 days to remove copyrighted text, sounds, and images from their
sites or face legal action. On Monday, Ignition and Oasisnet issued a second
statement claiming responsibility for the original missive. "We are aware that
Sony do not condone the use of sound or visual files of their artists without
their approval (after all, why should they?)," the message read. "However, they
did not ask us to write to the fan pages."
After citing fan pages as "a fun
and interesting contribution to Oasis on the net," the letter notes that "there
are a number of sites out there who to be frank we feel have taken advantage"
of the band's support by copying the content of the official page, and in
particular by using unauthorized sound and video clips without permission.
Martin takes heart from the statement's emphasis on sound and video files.
"That was encouraging," he said by telephone yesterday from his Kansas home.
"As long as they keep it on a narrow scale like that, and don't try and go
after every sort of copyrighted item, I think there'd be a possibility of
reaching some sort of agreement with them." The OWIF has proposed a compromise
deal in which fan pages are granted permission to use the images, lyrics, and
press releases in exchange for removing sound and video files.
Frederiksen, author of the original letter from Oasisnet, responded to an ATN
inquiry by email, but would not comment on the affair.
toward fan pages has been the most severe...
Oasis' reaction toward fan pages has been the most severe
and public gesture yet taken by band protecting its copyright on the Net. Shari
Steele, an attorney for the web freedom advocacy group the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, told ATN that she does not see a trend per se toward cracking down
on fan pages.
"Because more and more bands and others are getting online,
they're starting to assert some of their copyright rights online," said Steele.
"I think it's more because they're getting online more, and they're starting to
understand what it means to be online more. I don't think it's because there's
necessarily any other reason." Steele cited Walt Disney and Playboy as
corporate entities that have recently sought to prevent copyright infringement
While the OWIF continues to fight for the existence of fan pages,
it simultaneously garners an ever increasing amount of attention for its cause.
Since forming on May 6 (the day after webmasters received what the OWIF terms
"The Email Heard Round The World"), the organization has been featured in the
music press world wide. This morning Martin appeared on the morning program of
Los Angeles' influential KROQ radio station.
But as hopeful as Martin
remains, he's not letting his guard down. In the OWIF's daily email briefings,
the organization still refers to its circumstance as a "crisis," while its home
page continues to count down the "Days Till Deadline" (now 19). Meanwhile,
Martin noted in a recent briefing that "Stan Martin, an attorney with the firm
of Martin & Sexton, P.A. is being consulted regarding our current situation."
What with Stan being the father of Jack, the OWIF could probably retain
him for a modest sum.