BRAIN FOOD: Webspace rules - The ring-tone blacklist

BRAIN FOOD: Webspace rules - The ring-tone blacklist - Those 'musical' mobile phone ring tones: from James Bond to Jennifer Lopez, they're out there, ready to be downloaded and enjoyed every time someone needs to catch you on the move. Until now, the only

by MICHAEL BURD and JAMES DAVIES, Lewis Silkin solicitors, e-mail:employment@lewissilkin.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Those 'musical' mobile phone ring tones: from James Bond to Jennifer Lopez, they're out there, ready to be downloaded and enjoyed every time someone needs to catch you on the move. Until now, the only crime committed by personalising your handset in this way was a mild case of noise pollution.

But music publishers have raised the stakes. A blacklist has been circulated to companies selling ring tones, placing about 300 tunes out of bounds.

Anyone selling ring-tone versions of such works risks being found guilty of infringing copyright in the original compositions. Injunctions, damages and other nasty legal moves could follow.

What about end users and those responsible for company phone banks? They too could be in breach of copyright. A timely warning to employees with company phones might not go amiss - and could have the benefit of bringing tranquility to the coffee room

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