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Copyright News Round Up

Copyright News Round Up by Copyright Alliance

June 2, 2017

Stay informed about all things Copyright with our weekly Copyright News Round Up.

Friday’s Endnotes – 06/02/17
By Terry Hart | Spotify Settles Class Action Lawsuits Filed By David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick With $43.4 Million Fund — Rob Levine reports on the settlement between the songwriters and the popular music streaming service over allegations that it had not licensed mechanical rights for compositions. Says Levine, “Beyond past and future compensation, the settlement agreement outlines a process by which Spotify and the class counsel ‘will work collaboratively to improve the gathering and collecting of information about composition owners to help ensure those owners are paid their royalties in the future,’ according to the plaintiffs’ motion.” Read more.

Five Questions with Writer Billie Kowalewski
By Copyright Alliance | This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Writer Billie Kowalewski. “Growing up, I had a very active imagination that at times was wildly out of control. I also spent a lot of time reading, and searching for stories that were similar to what I was always cooking up in my head, but I could never find any that ever came close.” Read more.

#AskTheAlliance Series
By Copyright Alliance | Question: “I’m making a short film and want to add music, but how am I supposed to contact famous artists to get permission?” Answer: Whether you’re a filmmaker, YouTube star, or video game designer, at one time or another you’ve probably thought about adding music to enhance your audio-visual creations. Sometimes royalty free stock music just won’t cut it. Read more.

ReDigi Is Not About Consumer Rights
By David Newhoff | “ReDigi is a business venture whose revenue model is based on brokering online transactions between sellers and buyers of “used” music files. A prospective seller has a collection of legally-purchased digital files of songs purchased from iTunes that he will never access again, so he places these for sale via ReDigi, which connects him with a buyer. The buyer purchases the file(s) for less than the current retail price, and ReDigi takes a cut. According to their testimony, ReDigi’s software removes the file from the seller’s computer before copying it to the buyer’s computer.” Read more

Some Curiosities of the Copyright World
By Hugh Stephens | “In Lewis Carroll’s classic (1865) children’s story, Alice in Wonderland, Alice remarked that things got “curious and curiouser” as she entered her mysterious world. Curious and curiouser is certainly one way to describe some of the things that have been happening in the copyright world lately. Copyright ownership has been contested in fields of creative expression as disparate as tattoos of NBA players to artificial language, in this case the Klingon language of Star Wars.” Read more.

Increase in IP-based Extortion Reveals True Nature of Piracy
By Kevin Madigan | “Earlier this month, an unprecedented worldwide cyberattack nicknamed WannaCry debilitated computer systems in over 150 countries, with the virus’s architects demanding payments to reinstate victims’ access to their own computers and files. The same week, hackers claimed to have stolen a version of the soon-to-be-released summer blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and were reportedly blackmailing Disney under the threat of widespread online exposure. While the legitimacy of the Pirates of the Caribbean hack is now being questioned, it’s part of an alarming trend that recently saw hackers leak stolen Orange is the New Black episodes to piracy networks after Netflix refused to respond to coercive demands.” Read more.

The Creative Commons License: Brought to You By The Copyright Act!
by Stephen Carlisle | “One of the most pervasive, and silliest, myths that continues to get passed around the internet is that somehow copyright is this huge drag on free speech. It’s simply not the case. The basic reasons are: *The myth ignores the doctrine of independent creation; namely, if you didn’t copy it from someone else, it’s yours to do with as you wish. *The myth ignores a main tenet of copyright law that facts, scientific principles, history, methods, systems, individual words and short phrases all do not qualify for copyright protection. *Any author can choose the level of protection they desire, from complete restriction of rights to none at all, essentially dedicating the work to the public domain.” Read more.

YouTube must not be allowed to benefit from ‘legalised piracy on an unimaginable scale’
By Music Business Worldwide | “The following opinion-led blog comes from Vick Bain, CEO of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). Entirely made up of songwriter and composers, BASCA’s membership includes everyone from Sir Paul McCartney to Sir Elton John and Kate Bush. It’s more important than ever to fight to protect the rights of music creators. Or is it? There is a very loud voice emanating out of Silicon Valley, hailing a new paradigm where the technological world we find ourselves living in means now we are all creators.” Read more

Drake Beats Lawsuit Over Sampling With Winning “Fair Use” Argument
By Eriq Gardner | ” A federal judge decides the hip-hop artist transformed a statement about the primacy of jazz over all other forms of popular music. Drake, along with various associated record labels and music publishers, pulled off an impressive achievement on Tuesday by convincing a judge that his song “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2,” off the 2013 album Nothing Was the Same, fairly sampled a 1982 spoken-word recording, “Jimmy Smith Rap,” and that there is no liability for copyright infringement.” Read more.