Ultra Records sues YouTube star Michelle Phan
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / August 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music   Sony-affiliated EDM label Ultra Records, home to deadmau5 and Calvin Harris, is suing YouTube star Michelle Phan for using tracks in her videos without permission although the producer of one of those tracks, Kaskade, however, has distanced himself from the legal action. According to Reuters, Ultra’s recordings and publishing divisions are jointly suing Phan, whose make up tips videos have clocked up over 150 million views. In the lawsuit, Ultra says that Phan had been warned that she was infringing copyright “and yet continues to wilfully infringe in blatant disregard of plaintiff’s rights of ownership”. The lawsuit identifies multiple alleged instances of copyright infringement, and seeks an injunction to force Phan to stop, and the maximum statutory damages for each infringement of $150,000.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28418449

ReDigi chief speaks to Congress
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels   The founder of the sometimes controversial MP3 resale platform ReDigi has given evidence to a congressional committee on intellectual property and the internet: the House of Representatives’ sub-committee on Courts, Intellectual Property And The Internet has been examining the USA’s ‘First Sale Doctrine’ and  ReDigi’s John Ossenmacher argued that the right t re-sell a legally purchased MP3 is just as valid as re-selling a CD – But that the content industries have been doing their best to water down the First Sale Doctrine for some time, most recently by exploiting terms and conditions nobody reads to claim that when a customer clicks a ‘buy’ button on a digital content platform, they aren’t actually ‘buying’ anything. Says Ossenmacher: “Consumers are given the option to ‘buy’ music, movies, and books on their screen and the ‘buy’ button looks identical for digital and physical items alike, but in the largely unintelligible legalese (that no one reads) the rights of ownership are watered down or worse, dissolved all-together for these digital purchases. Content holders are attempting to take away a fundamental consumer choice by styling what they call a long-term lease/license into their less-than forthright marketing strategies”. The content…

ISPs and content industries tease out voluntary three strike scheme in the UK
Copyright , Internet / June 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   Four of the UK’s leading internet service providers are in talks with the content industries about establishing a “Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme”, which would introduce stage one of a three strikes (graduated response) system to combat online piracy. These schemes usually start with a warning – followed by second warning to stop infringing activities  – and then finally a sanction such as the suspension or ‘throttling’ of the alleged infringer’s broadband connection. The 2010 Digital Economy Act put in place a framework for a three strikes system in the UK but this has yet to be activated (and the ‘third strike’ was never defined) – in part because of resistance from ISPs and the technology sector, and a perceived reluctance of politicians to grasp this thorny ‘consumer facing’ issue. In the US, the ISPs have voluntarily introduced an voluntary ‘six strikes’ scheme called the Copyright Alert System. What is now being discussed between the recorded music and and film industries in the UK and Virgin Media, BT, Sky and TalkTalk is seemingly more similar to the US system  – one or more warnings or ‘educational’ communication(s) – but no actual punitive sanctions will be applied. In a…

Pandora face pre-1972 copyright action from major record labels
Copyright , Internet / May 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Sound recordings, internet, broadcasting   The major record labels are now suing Pandora for exploiting sound recordings made prior to Feb. 15, 1972. Last September, a similar lawsuit was filed against Sirius XM. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) explains that the claim arises as sound recordings didn’t begin falling under federal copyright protection until 1972 and therefore the streaming service might not be able to rely upon blanket licences from SoundExchange, the performance rights organization that collects digital and satellite royalties on the behalf of sound recording copyright owners. The record labels are testing this belief, now asserting New York state misappropriation claims over older music being streaming on Pandora saying “Pandora’s refusal to pay Plaintiffs for its use of [Pre-72] recordings is fundamentally unfair” and the companies say in their complaint “Pandora’s conduct also is unfair to the recording artists and musicians whose performances are embodied in Pre-72 Recordings, but who do not get paid for Pandora’s exploitation of Pre-72 Recordings.” http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/04/18/record_labels_sue_pandora_over_vintage_song_royalties/

Manolito is not the next Spanish summer hit
Spain

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music, music publishing   The Court of Appeal of Madrid published its judgment in the controversial Pablo Soto case. In Spain, music is one of the creative industries that has been most affected by piracy, suffering not only from illegal downloads but also from the unfair competition of P2P platforms, which are not generally liable for the unlawful activities of their users. This case started in 2008 when Promusicae (the collecting society representing the music producers in Spain) together with Universal Music Spain SL, Warner Music Spain SL, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Spain SA and EMI Music Spain SA brought an action before the Court of First Instance of Madrid against Mr Pablo Soto Bravo and the two companies solely directed by him, namely OPTISOFT SL and PIOLET NETWORKS SL plus the company M PUNTO 2 PUNTO TECHNOLOGIES SA. The plaintiffs sought removal of Blubster, Piolet and Manolito both in their free-of-charge and pay-for versions. These sites consisted of an advanced development of the P2P protocol, whereby the search and the sharing of contents are decentralized, meaning that they can be run on the internet within the users’ computers, once those applications are downloaded or bought from…

Lessig triumphs in fair use battle
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing, broadcasting, internet   Back in August 2013 Lawrence Lessig filed a federal complaint after YouTube forced the Harvard University law professor and Creative Commons co-founder to take down a video of a lecture that featured people dancing to a copyrighted sound recording. Supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Lessig said: “The rise of extremist enforcement tactics makes it increasingly difficult for creators to use the freedoms copyright law gives them. I have the opportunity, with the help of EFF, to challenge this particular attack. I am hopeful the precedent this case will set will help others avoid such a need to fight.” The complaint stems from a 2010 lecture Lessig delivered in South Korea on cultural and technological innovation. He presented clips of user-generated videos showing people dancing to Phoenix’s single “Lisztomania” which was a popular meme at the time started by user “Avoidant Consumer,” who combined scenes of people dancing from several movies with the song playing in the background. The video went live last June but complaints from Viacom and Australian-based music publisher Liberation Music via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prompted YouTube to remove Lessig’s lecture twice. Lessig filed a complaint…

MP3tunes creator found liable for copyright infringement
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music   The original MP3.com creator Robertson has lost the action brought against him by EMI who sued the new company and Robertson himself in 2007, claiming that the MP3tunes.com operation infringed its copyrights. The former chief executive was found liable for infringing copyrights for sound recordings, compositions and cover art owned by record companies and music publishers once part of EMI Group Ltd. A federal jury in Manhattan found Michael Robertson, the former MP3tunes chief executive, and the defunct San Diego-based company liable on various claims that they infringed on copyrights associated with artists including The Beatles, Coldplay and David Bowie – both for direct involvement in distributing unlicensed files and for being “wilfully blind” to other copyright infringement on his site. The court now needs to decide what damages Robertson should pay EMI for all that infringement   http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/19/us-mp3tunes-infringement-idUSBREA2I29J20140319

MoS v Spotify ceasefire leaves some questions unanswered
Copyright , Internet / April 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   By Leeza Panayiotou LLB(Hons)   Late in February 2014 a cease-fire was called on the copyright infringement claim between Ministry of Sound (MoS) and Spotify. To remind readers, in September 2013, MoS issued proceedings against Spotify, alleging that Spotify had infringed MoS’s copyright in their compilation album listings. MoS maintained that their compilation albums constitute an ‘original database’ as they are arranged by a MoS expert team in a systematic and methodical way; affording them protection under section 3A Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). In light of this, MoS submitted that Spotify had infringed their copyrighted work by copying and/or communicating to the public their compilation albums via their online music streaming service, as per sections 17 and 20 CDPA. Spotify, who licence songs from copyright owners to stream to its users – either for free with adverts played intermittently or for a subscription fee without adverts – did have several playlists available that either sited MoS in the title or mirrored the MoS compilations; hence the copying ground. Further, the ‘browse’ section which groups playlists made by other users or Spotify themselves by category or type of music, allows users to easily…

CJEU allows blocking orders
Copyright , Internet / April 2014
Austria
EU

COPYRIGHT Internet   he Court of Justice of the European Union gave judgment this morning in Case C-314/12 UPC Telekabel Wien GmbH v Constantin Film Verleih GmbH and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft mbH, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Oberster Gerichtshof (the Austrian Supreme Court).   Curia’s own media release says this : An internet service provider may be ordered to block its customers’ access to a copyright-infringing website Such an injunction and its enforcement must, however, ensure a fair balance between the fundamental rights concerned Two Austrian film companies – Constantin Film Verleih and Wega Filmproduktionsgesellschaft – claimed that website kino.to illegally streams their copyrighted films to Internet provider UPC Telekabel Wien’s users. While UPC has no direct connection to the website, the film companies sought a court order forcing the ISP to block its users from the website. A trial court granted the injunction, and an appeals court affirmed, but neither specified how UPC should carry out the block. The Austrian Supreme Court asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to advise whether the injunction against UPC conflicted with EU copyright law, and whether the Internet provider can be considered an intermediary to the infringement. In the new judgment,…

Get harbour safe: Telecinco’s appeal v YouTube dismissed
Copyright , Internet / March 2014
France
Italy
Spain

COPYRIGHT Internet, all areas A new decision by the Madrid Court of Appeal in YouTube v Telecinco [Madrid Court of Appeal decision No 11/2014 is another leading case in the European Internet Service Providers (ISPs) liability saga, and this report comes from the IPKat. YouTube is the one of the most famous video-sharing platform that hosts user-generated contents (UGCs), namely videos, from all around the world.  It’s now owned by Google. Telecinco is a Spanish broadcaster owned by the Italian Mediaset. Some users uploaded on to YouTube video fragments apparently taken from Telecinco’s TV programmes. Telecinco did not appreciate this and in 2008 brought an action against YouTube Llc, alleging copyright infringement by the hosting provider. In its decision in 2010, the District Court of Madrid dismissed Telecinco’s claims, considering YouTube shielded from liability for UGCs on the basis of the Spanish Law 34/2002, which implemented the E-Commerce Directive 2000/31. Then, Telecinco appealed the first instance decision to the Madrid Court of Appeal on the basis of the three arguments that follow. First, Telecinco alleged that YouTube could not benefit from the safe harbour provided by the E-Commerce Directive because of its non-neutral approach towards UGCs. Among other things, Telecinco maintained that…

Research says that French “three strikes” law has no deterrent effect
Copyright , Internet / February 2014
France
New Zealand
South Korea
Taiwan
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   The effectiveness of graduated-response anti-piracy systems that have now been implemented in France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA has always been debated, and new research from American and French researchers, based on a survey of 2,000 internet users in France, has found that the so called 2009 ‘three strikes’ system in France (the ‘Hadopi’ law) has not deterred individuals from engaging in digital piracy and the system does not reduce the intensity of illegal activity of those who did engage in piracy. The researchers from the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and the Université de Rennes I – Center for Research in Economics and Management also noted that for those internet users with closer links to the piracy community – a classification based on the piracy chat in said users’ social networks – the introduction of three-strikes in France, which targeted exclusively P2P file-sharing, pushed file-sharers down other routes to accessing unlicensed content.  More than a third sampled —37.6 percent—admitted to illegal downloading, with 22 percent using P2P networks and 30 percent using “alternative channels.” About 16.4 percent of those who had engaged in the downloads received a warning from Hadopi, the government agency with the…

FCC blow to net neutrality
Internet , Regulation / February 2014
USA

COMMUNICATION REGULATION Broadcasting, internet   In what could be a major blow to the concept of net neutrality, a federal appeals court on Tuesday overturned a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule essentially aimed at keeping Internet service providers from being able to charge content companies to speed the rate of their downloads. The court ruled the FCC doesn’t have the authority to prevent the practice of “discrimination” because it hasn’t classified broadband Internet as a “common-carrier” service, like traditional phone service. The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has now suggested that he has no immediate plans to formally reinstate his agency’s net-neutrality regulations. Instead, Wheeler touted the benefits of waiting for abuses to occur and then cracking down on a case-by-case basis. The FCC chief said he favours addressing problems “in a dynamic rather than a static way.”   http://www.nationaljournal.com/technology/fcc-chief-outlines-case-by-case-net-neutrality-enforcement-20140128

Prince has launched a $22 million lawsuit against bootleg sharers.
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / February 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, artists, sound recordings    Pop idol Prince caused some controversy at the end of January when he initiated a copyright action against twenty two fans who had shared bootleg videos and albums. The defendants in question had created fan websites dedicated to the musician through the use of platforms like Facebook and Blogger. Prince alleges that the defendants used these websites to post links to torrent sites where recordings of Princes’ concerts could be downloaded for free.  He is seeking $1 million in damages from each defendant, only two of which are identified by name (the others remaining as John Doe defendants). The lawsuit notes that the file-sharers in question have all used Google’s Blogger platform and/or Facebook to share bootlegs of his performances, one in particular providing links to 393 recordings on various different file-sharing services. It also notes that Prince has not been able to identify the real names of any of the file-sharers, hence they are being sued under their online usernames. The suit notes that the defendants often speak to each other to exchange bootlegs directly; according to the claim, the sharing of these recordings has “caused and will continue to cause substantial, immediate and irreparable injury…

Pirate Bay domain sets sail again, and again, and again, and again!
Copyright , Internet / January 2014
Iceland
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   Those pesky Peruvian authorities have now interfered with the Pirate Bay’s Peruvian URL- thepiratebay.pe – meaning yet another move for the embattled Bucaneers. Peru’s snappily named National Institute For The Defense Of Competition And The Protection Of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) ordered the country’s biggest ISP, Red Cientifica Peruana, to suspend the domain or face a fine of up to 666,000 soles (£145,000). The Bay then briefly went to a new home, this time in Guyana, thepiratebay.gy, the fourth time the Pirates had to up anchor and sail to new waters in a week. In recent history the Pirates were in Sint Maarten – but BRIEN forced the registry to seize the .sx domain names as Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Pirate Bay then moved to the Acension Islands to a new .ac domain, perhaps foolishly, as the Isle is under direct control of the UK as a British overseas territory, and it was only a matter of days before that domain was seized as well. After the original Swedish .se domain was seized, and having tried Iceland and Greenland, Guyana, Peru, Sint Maarten and the Acension Isles, it now…

PIPCU ‘goes global’ in pursuit of illegal websites
Copyright , Internet / January 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas, internet   A press release from the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) tells us that the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit “goes global in its pursuit of illegal websites” with the missive highlighting: ·         A pilot collaboration between PIPCU, the advertising sector and the creative industries ·         40 national and international websites suspended by domain name registrars ·         Pirate sites exposing consumers to malware and fraudulent scams targeted   The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is based at the City of London Police and has been set up to protect UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content. The operationally independent unit is initially being funded by the Intellectual Property Office, which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. PIPCU have also released details of their “innovative three month pilot, in collaboration with the creative and advertising industries” designed to disrupt advertising revenues on infringing websites has seen a clear and positive trend, with a reduction in advertising from major household brands. A detailed report looking at 61 websites over the course of the pilot, evidenced as profiting from advertising and operating without licenses…

Sirius XM Will Have to Defend Multiple Lawsuits Over Pre-1972 Music
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / January 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   Sirius XM have failed in an attempt to move a $100 million class action lawsuit in California for distributing and performing pre-1972 sound recordings to New York, where the broadcaster is facing another action. The satcaster is also facing two more actions brought by major record labels and a fifth lawsuit from SoundExchange, the digital performance rights organization that collects royalties on behalf of sound recording copyright owners. The California lawsuit is being led by members of The Turtles who say that Sirius cannot rely on section 114 of the US Copyright Act for protection – as pre 1972 recordings are subject to state law – which may arguably mean that Sirius plays songs recorded before that date without permission. Sirius argued that the plaintiffs were playing “lawsuit lottery” alongside the actions in New York and the third in Florida and sought to have the case transferred to New York and perhaps consolidated. But U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez denied Sirius’ motion saying “it seems at this point that although the three suits share a common factual core, they are legally distinct and will turn on the separate interpretations of California, New York, and Florida…

Italian comms regulator gets web-blocking powers
Copyright , Internet / January 2014
Italy

COPYRIGHT Internet   Italian regulator AGCOM, which loosely translates as the Electronic Communications Authority, has announced that it will assume the power to instigate web-blocks against copyright infringing websites from next April, meaning that rights owners won’t have to pursue civil litigation to gain online blockades. More on the 1709 Blog here http://www.the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/italian-communication-authority-issues.html

Court decision a setback for Pandora
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / January 2014
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing   A court ruling in the US yesterday will potentially cause problems for leading American streaming service Pandora, after it was ruled that some key music publishers can withdraw their catalogues from the licence provided to the digital firm by collecting society BMI. As previously reported, Pandora is wholly licensed in the US via the collective licensing system. On the recordings side, in America the record companies are obliged by law to license Pandora-style set-ups collectively, and do so via SoundExchange. The publishers initially voluntarily opted to license Pandora et al via their collecting societies ASCAP and BMI. But in the last year or so some of the big publishers have started to look to licence more digital services directly, believing they can negotiate more favourable terms that way, and remove the restrictions that come with collective licensing deals. In a similar squabble with BMI the court has ruled in favour of the society, mainly because of the timing and wording of the most recent agreement between Pandora and the rights group, which – a judge confirmed this week – allowed for alterations in catalogue, foreseeing that the big publishers were moving toward direct licensing in…

Pirate Bay founder denied final appeal
Copyright , Internet / December 2013
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet   Sweden’s Supreme Court has refused to hear the final appeal by Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm over his hacking conviction. Svartholm, also jailed for a year for his part in establishing the copyright infringing Pirate Bay, was found guilty of various unrelated hacking charges in June and although an appeals court reduced his sentence for the hacking crimes last month (by deeming that some of the charges against him couldn’t actually be proven), he was still left with another year of custody. The Bay man had hoped to appeal the charges that still stood, but Sweden’s Supreme Court don’t believe there is justification for a further hearing. Separately Svartholm is also trying to fight off attempts to extradite him to Denmark to face other hacking charges that could result in a much longer jail sentence. Last year Sweden’s Supreme Court also refused to hear the final appeal from Svartholm’s fellow Pirate Bay founders over their copyright convictions, though Svartholm himself had lost the right to even approach the highest branch of the country’s judiciary regards that case, having failed to show up for his first appeal hearing after going AWOL.

Bragg blasts labels for low streaming payments
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / December 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, artistes, recorded music   Billy Bragg has sent out a message to his fellow artists via Facebook saying that the low royalties being paid to artistes for streaming  is really the fault of the record labels – not of Spotify. Bragg was responding to the various artists who have recently hit out at Spotify and the streaming service business model  such as Nigel Godrich, Thom Yorke and David Byrne – who have said that the royalties paid out by these services are just too small, and if streaming is to ultimately replace both CD sales and iTunes-style downloading, then that’s a problem. But, Bragg notes, all but a handful of indie labels (most notably Ministry Of Sound) remain supportive of Spotify et al, which suggests that, in the main, they are doing very well from the growth in streaming music. CMY Daily reports that the issue for artists receiving tiny royalties  is that labels are not sharing enough of the loot with their acts, by applying royalty splits from the CD age, even though record companies do not have the costs or risks that were involved in manufacturing and distributing physical product in the digital domain. As this…

Lyric Site Takedown
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / December 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing, internet   The US National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has recently sent takedown notices to fifty websites displaying copyrighted song lyrics. Among the fifty recipients is Rap Genius, a high-flying New York start up that last year received a $15 million investment from Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowtiz. Rap Genius has quickly grown in popularity due to its interactive display of lyrics. The site does not simply reproduce the copyrighted text, but also enables users to annotate the text and interpret its meaning. When one searches for a song, the website returns that song’s lyrics. Clicking on lines in the lyrics opens a pop-up box with an interpretation of the wording. The site relies on user-generated content through a Wikipedia-like format of contribution, where contributors earn “IQ” points for contributing lyrics and providing interesting interpretations. According to Ilan Zechory, Rap Genius Co-Founder, this interaction between the song and the fans transforms “a static, flat lyric page into an interactive, vibrant art experience created by a community of volunteer scholars”. The Chief Executive of the NMPA, David Israel, has made it clear that their intention is not to harm fan-based websites. Instead they wish simply to prevent others…

Isohunt shuts after 10 year run
Copyright , Internet / November 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   The operator of the popular file-sharing service isoHunt, is shutting down to settle a long-running lawsuit from the Motion Picture Association of America, according to court records. Gary Fung, the site’s Canadian operator, also agreed to pay $110 million in damages as part of the deal to end the long-running legal battle – although quite where he will get that sort of sum remains unclear. Programmer Bram Cohen released the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol in 2001, and its efficient way of transferring files has become the method of choice for illicit, peer-to-peer sharing of copyright.  The isoHunt litigation began in a Los Angeles federal court in 2006. In March of this year, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the DCMA would not apply to Fung  because Fung’s business model, the court said, was designed for the primary purpose of copyright infringement. Speaking to TorrentFreak Fung said: “It’s sad to see my baby go. But I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 10.5 years of isoHunt has been a long journey by any business definition, and forever in internet start-up time. I think one worry I…

CCI costs unearthed
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, recording industry   TorrentFreak has managed to unearth some financial details for The Center for Copyright Information (CCI), the not for profit organisation set up to administer the US’s ‘six strikes’ regime. When the scheme stated  the founding content owner members (primarily the MPAA and the RIAA) agreed to share the costs with ISPs. The company’s first eight month tax filing shows that  ISPs and copyright holders paid a total of $1,377,633 in membership dues, putting the yearly budget around $2 million per year. So where is all the money going? Well here’s a breakdown, via TorrentFreak: (i) – The CCI pays Executive Director Jill Lesser – the only key employee working there – a modest $43,750 during the first eight months of 2012 BUT (ii) Lesser indirectly earns a bit more from CCI from her consulting firm JAL, which the CCI paid $193,750 during the same eight-month period. (iii) – Around $144,093 was paid to PR firm Glover Park Group and (iv)- Resource Global was paid $125,691 for its consulting services, as well as $102,928 in legal fees. The costs do not cover the cost of copyright actions by copyright holders and the costs ISPs incur when tracking down infringers and processing the notices…

Vimeo open to liability claims from record labels
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / October 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music, internet   A federal judge in New York has said that there is a ‘triable issue’ at the heart of the claim brought by the major record labels against user-generated video website Vimeo, owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, over claims that Vimeo  had knowledge or awareness of copyrighted music in some of the videos being shared. Vimeo, which is now one of the top 130 most trafficked websites, responded by asserting that it was free of liability thanks to the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The claim centres on whether the company took enough preventative actions to avoid liability.  Judge Ronnie Abrams denied safe harbour defence for 55 of the 199 videos brought up in the suit, in particular the now very popular ‘lip synch’ videos. Reportedly, these 55 presented situations where Vimeo employee either knowingly uploaded videos that used copyrighted music themselves, or had documented interactions with users that did (comments, likes, etc.) and still failed to take the video down. In the 56-page ruling Judge Abrams released, he called the site’s alleged knowledge of these incidents a “triable issue.”  Noting that the site had12.3 million registered users uploading 43,000…

Australian High Court decides simulcast dispute
Copyright , Internet / September 2013
Australia

COPYRIGHT Broadcasting, internet   The International Federation of The Phonographic Industry has welcomed a recent ruling that brings to an end a long legal battle between the record and radio industries in Australia. The dispute centred on whether existing music licenses held by commercial radio stations in Australia covered simulcasts on the internet and the High Court Of Australia has backed lower court rulings that radio stations do need new licences to webcast sound recordings. Welcoming last week’s ruling yesterday, IFPI boss Frances Moore said: “This welcome ruling confirms that Australian broadcasters should pay rights holders when they stream their music online. It is a well established principle in most countries that broadcasters should pay a fair rate for the recorded music they use to attract audiences and drive advertising revenues. This principle should hold true when they use simulcasting technology to reach an audience online”. And I suppose that’s right – IF it’s a new audience.

PRS for Music and YouTube sign licensing deal
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / September 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing   UK Publisher and songwriter collection society PRS for Music and YouTube have  signed a multi-year licence covers over 130 territories The licence covers the use of the “significant repertoire” represented by PRS for Music in videos streamed on the video platform e.g. official music videos and content, live footage, soundtracks and user generated content (UGC). The licence also includes the rights to a growing range of independent repertoire available through PRS for Music’s IMPEL initiative such as David Bowie (Bucks Music), Justin Timberlake (Imagem), Lou Reed (Spirit) and Goldie (Westbury) covering more than 130 territories in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive PRS for Music, said, “Streaming is a key growth area for PRS for Music, helping drive our online revenues to over £50M in 2012. YouTube’s vast reach around the world offers our publishers and songwriters a unique stage and music lovers access to millions of songs. I am delighted we have reached such an important multi-territory agreement. The issue of remuneration from streaming services remains a key one for our members and the further evolution of our licensing relationship with YouTube will help ensure continued growth in royalties for…

Google says Gmail users have no right to privacy
Internet , Privacy / September 2013
EU
UK
USA

PRIVACY Internet   CNET reports that “Google has made it clear that people who send or receive e-mail via Gmail should not expect their messages to remain private.” In a 39-page motion filed in June to have a class-action data-mining lawsuit dismissed, the Web giant cites Smith v. Maryland, a 1979 Supreme Court decision that upheld the collection of electronic communications without a warrant. The filing states “Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [e-mail provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’” CNET reports that the Plaintiffs in the case contend that Google’s automated scanning of e-mail represents an illegal interception of their electronic communications without their consent. However, Google, which uses automated scanning to filter spam and deliver targeted advertising to its users, noted that plaintiffs consented to the practice in exchange for the e-mail services. Google goes on to say that courts have held that all e-mail users “necessarily give…

Thom says its time to pay: Spotify in the spotlight as acts complain of low royalty rates
Artists , Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / August 2013
EU
Netherlands
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, artistes, record labels   One of the most important posts I have ever read about how the music industry might function in the future has been published on the CMU Daily website – I say ‘one’ – its actually two posts looking at the Spotify business model – and why its good for tech start ups and their record label partners – and very bad indeed for artists who are currently receiving a (usually) tiny share of revenues from their labels for digital uses – and in the case of two of the three majors, Sony and Universal, the very same labels who co-own Spotify Now Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and producer Nigel Godrich have taken to the net to formally express displeasure in the all-you-can-eat streaming business model. To prove their point they announced that their respective solo albums, and the long-player from their collaborative venture Atoms For Peace, had all been removed from Europe’s highest profile streaming service. Announcing what he dubbed as a “small meaningless rebellion”, producer Godrich said via a string of tweets: “We’re off of Spotify. Can’t do that no more man. Someone gotta say something. It’s bad for new music. The reason…

EPIC calls foul over Jay-Z download
Artists , Internet , Privacy / August 2013
USA

PRIVACY Artistes, internet, technology   The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC for short) has called on the US government’s Federal Trade Commission to investigate the app through which Jay-Z made his new album, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, available to over one million Samsung mobile phone users ahead of its official release with EPIC saying “Samsung failed to disclose material information about the privacy practices of the app, collected data unnecessary to the functioning of the ‘Magna Carta’ app, deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimisation procedures”. Responding to this, Samsung said in a statement: “Any information obtained through the application download process was purely for customer verification purposes, app functionality purposes, and for marketing communications, but only if the customer requests to receive those marketing communications. Samsung is in no way inappropriately using or selling any information obtained from users through the download process”. Despite the give away, Jay-Z still managed to sell 527,000 copies of the new record in the US during its first week on sale – the second biggest one-week sales of the year in the American market – sending it straight…

Pandora – BMI spat goes legal
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, Internet   Pandora, the US based digital innovator which has spearheaded the development of online radio services stateside and led the ‘interactive radio’ side of the expanding streaming music market, has bought a good old fashioned FM radio station in South Dakota. The acquisition of KXMZ-FM in Rapid City gives Pandora a seat at the table of the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) and seemingly would enable it to reduce the royalties it pays to the American music publishers via the music collecting societies, in particular ASCAP, in an escalating row over the ‘favourable’ treatment given to the major US terrestrial broadcasters such as Clear Channel. And in the wake of this news, and as expected, the other main US music collection society, BMI, has launched legal action against Pandora, asking for a ruling on the rates the streaming music service should reasonably be expected to pay on a blanket license for songs represented by the American royalty collection agency. Pandora has been pushing for a while to reduce its royalty payments to both the record companies and the music publishers, in the former case by lobbying in Washington to reform the statutory licensing system through which…

Gottfrid Svartholm jailed on hacking charges
Criminal Law , Internet / July 2013
Sweden

CRIMINAL LAW Internet   Gottfrid Svartholm , The Pirate Bay co-founder charged in Sweden earlier this year over various alleged hacking offences was last week sentenced to two years in jail. Svartholm fled to Cambodia when originally sentenced on copyright infringement charges alongside the  three other co-founders,  for their role in creating and running the controversial file-sharing website.  Last year he was extradited back to his home country after various hacking allegations were made against him. He was jailed, seemingly serving his Pirate Bay sentence while awaiting a court session to hear the hacking charges which centred on alleged attacks on the servers of the Nordea banking group and services firm Logica, during which the personal data of about some thousand Swedish citizens was taken and subsequently published online.  CMU Daily reported that Svartholm and his co-defendant Mathias Gustafsson claimed that while their computers had been used in the hack attacks, the hacking had been done by other parties. But experts testifying for the prosecution claimed data found on the PCs in question suggested the defendants had done the hacking, and neither men could, or were willing to, name who the alleged third party hackers might have been. Svartholm was…

Tenenbaum damages upheld on appeal
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / July 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet The First Circuit Court Of Appeals has rejected the appeal by file sharer Joel Tenenbaum and has upheld the original damages awarded to the Recording Industry  Association of America (RIAA) against the post graduate students of $675,000, rejecting the argument that being ordered to pay $22,500 in damages for each of the 31 songs that were illegally uploaded was excessive. The US Supreme Court had refused to consider the case. The court said: “Tenenbaum carried on his activities for years in spite of numerous warnings, he made thousands of songs available illegally, and he denied responsibility during discovery. Much of this behaviour was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act”. http://dailyfreepress.com/2013/06/26/tenenbaum-appeal-rejected-at-u-s-court-of-appeals/

SABAM launch pre-emptive strike against ISPs
Belgium

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, internet   SABAM, the Belgian collection society for authors, composers and music publishers, has launched a legal action against the country’s three biggest ISPs, arguing that they should be paying copyright levies for offering access to their members’ copyrights. No stranger to the courts, SABAM wants the court to rule that Internet access providers Belgacom, Telenet and Voo should pay 3.4 percent of their turnover in copyright fees for the use of music, because they make substantial profits from offering high speed Internet connections that give users easy access to copyright protected materials – legally and illegally – whilst hiding behind their status as intermediary “without taking responsibility for the information transmitted over their networks” In a press release, SABAM noted that since 2000, revenues generated from music featured in the physical media (primarily CD sales) have declined by 54 percent, adding that this “huge loss” has not been compensated by collections from online services like iTunes, YouTube and Spotify. SABAM have been asking for voluntary levies from ISPs since November 2011 and have now launched their claim in the  Brussels Court of First Instance.   http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036961/belgian-isps-sued-for-providing-internet-access-without-paying-copyright-levies.html

Class action against YouTube fails
Copyright , Internet / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   A U.S. federal court has denied class-action status to copyright owners suing Google Inc. over the usage of material posted on YouTube. U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a motion to approve a worldwide class of copyright owners in a long-running lawsuit over videos and music uploaded on the popular website. In denying class certification Judge Stanton said that that copyright claims have only superficial similarities ruling. “The suggestion that a class action of these dimensions can be managed with judicial resourcefulness is flattering, but unrealistic” The proposed class action lawsuit was filed in 2007 and included as named plaintiffs the English Premier League, the French Tennis Federation, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and individual music publishers. The NMPA settled with Google in 2011. In April this year Judge Stanton had dismissed the 2007  copyright infringement complaint by Viacom International and others against YouTube over the Google company’s alleged unauthorized hosting on YouTube of clips uploaded by users from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “”South Park” stating that YouTube was protected under the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium…

RIAA calls for DCMA ‘safe harbor’ and takedown review
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   Back in November 2011 the 1709 blog mentioned that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) wanted “DCMA clarity” from Congress  – and now the recording industry’s trade organization has urged Congress to overhaul the safe harbor provision of copyright law that shield websites from infringement actions provided they remove infringing material after being notified, saying the law is too burdensome for copyright holders. Congress is planning a comprehensive review of copyright law in the digital era, and RIAA Executive Vice President for Anti-Piracy Brad Buckles said in a post on the organization’s website that “the balance is off” in the current system and  “it’s time to rethink the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA” , going   on to outline the various ways that the DMCA isn’t working. In The blog, titled “One Year, 20 Million Links To Illegal Songs Sent To Google: This Is How It’s Supposed To Work?” Buckles says “We are using a bucket to deal with an ocean of illegal downloading” in a post to mark the 20 millionth takedown notice the trade body has issued against Google, requesting that it remove from its search engine a link to unlicensed…

Digital re-seller loses round one
Copyright , Internet / May 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   In a case brought by Capitol Records against digital re-seller ReDigi, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in Manhattan has ruled that the  ‘first sale’ doctrine does not apply to digital goods, in a decision which might also come as a blow to comes to other online retailers such as Amazon and Apple who have been developing platforms to re-sell used digital goods such as books, music, videos and apps. Judge Sullivan said “The novel question presented in this action is whether a digital music file, lawfully made and purchased, may be resold by its owner through ReDigi under the first sale doctrine. The court determines that it cannot”.  The reason, the judge ruled, is because copying, or an illegal “reproduction” of a music file, must take place, despite ReDigi’s claims to the contrary. Judge Sullivan added “Because the reproduction right is necessarily implicated when a copyrighted work is embodied in a new material object, and because digital music files must be embodied in a new material object following their transfer over the internet, the court determines that the embodiment of a digital music file on a new hard disk is a reproduction within the meaning of the Copyright Act….

PRS 2012 collections up overall, but live music slips
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, live events, internet   UK collection society PRS for Music have announced a record £641.8m collected for songwriter, composer and music publisher members in 2012, equating to a 1.7% rise on 2011. A focus on efficiency resulted in a £3.6m reduction in overall costs, equivalent to 4.6%, meaning a total of £571.9m was paid to members (up 2.6% on 2011). Royalties from online and digital services topped £51m for the first time, up 32.2% on 2011. Royalties from online services now provide a larger income stream for music creators than radio, live or the pub sector, but perhaps unsurprisingly, royalties collected from live music fell by 14.2% to £19.3m as fewer live events occurred in 2012. Collections from CD sales were also down, but overall PRS’s ‘recorded media’ income was slightly up. International revenue, which has seen considerable growth in the last decade, was down 4% in 2012, a result, in part, of exchange rate losses. However, this income stream is still the biggest single revenue generator for PRS members, bringing in £180.1 million. http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1555902/prs-for-music-uk-collection-society-reports-17-rise-in 2011 figures here: http://www.prsformusic.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PressPacks/March%202012%20-%20Financial%20results%20briefing%20paper.pdf

Over 2,000 premium SoundCloud users demand copyright policy change
Copyright , Internet / May 2013
France

COPYRIGHT Internet   SoundCloud’s copyright policy has been met with complaints as almost 2,500 premium registered teir displeasure that their activities are being limited by StormCloud policies on mashups, mixes and more. A petition is requesting the streaming site reverts to “a real promotion tool” and “not a website just to have fancy audio players.” The campaign is being headed up by French DJ/producer Stephan Hedfors, who said: “Soundcloud was a great promotion tool for musicians. Unfortunately, with their new copyright policy, even original content can be flagged as copyrighted content, removed from their website and account from the artists can be closed” adding “Bootlegs, mashups are not allowed anymore, despite the facts that people who make them don’t earn money from them and that some of the biggest artists support them.” Soundcloud have responded saying that they are “striving to resolve any conflicts that have arisen from legitimate rights holders getting caught up in any takedown requests.” Acknowledging some user’s frustration, a spokesperson told Music Week: “At SoundCloud we use a well-established and market leading third party content ID system to help identify and block known copyright works from appearing on our platform. Unfortunately, this sometimes has the unwanted…

Safe harbor defence does not apply to pre-1972 recordings
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   In a case involving the controversial website Grooveshark, a New York state appeals court has held that the safe harbor defence found in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act does not apply to pre-1972 recordings. a panel of five judges in the New York State Supreme Court of Appeals found in favor of Universal Music Group (UMG) in its copyright suit against Grooveshark, reversing a lower state court decision favoring Escape Media Group Inc., the operators of Grooveshark. UMG Recording, Inc. had sued Grooveshark, an internet-based music streaming service, for copyright infringement, accusing it of uploading around 100,000 recordings without authorisation. Grooveshark conceded that it could not ensure that each work uploaded to its servers was a non-infringing work however, it claimed that it operated on the basis that it was shielded from infringement claims by the safe harbor provisions of the DCMA. Many of the recordings uploaded by Grooveshark were made before 15 February 1972 which is significant as, when the US Copyright Act was amended in 1971 to include sound recordings, Congress expressly extended federal copyright protection only to recordings “fixed” on 15 February 15 1972 or after. UMG claimed that by permitting the pre-1972 recordings…

Pirate bay founder charged over hacking
Criminal Law , Internet / May 2013
Sweden

CRIMINAL Internet   One of The Pirate Bay founders, Gottfrid Svartholmn Warg has been charged with aggravated fraud, attempted aggravated fraud, and being an accomplice to attempted aggravated fraud, over allegations he was involved in the hacking of computer systems of various Swedish state agencies, as well as making an illegal online money transfer. Svartholm, was extradited from Cambodia last year and incarcerated on return to his home country. He had previously failed to attend appeal hearings in relation to his Pirate Bay conviction, so that his one year prison sentence stemming from that charge stood.   http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tech/news/a473820/pirate-bay-founder-gottfrid-svartholm-warg-charged-with-hacking-fraud.html

OfCom asks pirates some questions
Copyright , Internet / April 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   Media regulator OfCom has published a report based on research into digital content consumption and piracy by Kantar Media, in which 5500 people were surveyed about how they consumed content online between the start of August and end of October last year. According to the poll, 5% of those surveyed admitted to exclusively accessing content via unlicensed platforms, while 16% admitted to accessing at least one piece of content from an illegal source. 10% of those surveyed admitted to accessing at least some music from non-legit platforms. Of the pirates surveyed, over a third said they were still using P2P networks to access unlicensed content, while 10% were raiding unlocked digital lockers to find free stuff. In terms of motivation, half admitted the fact illegal content was free was a key factor, while convenience and speed were also noted by nearly half, with 26% claiming they used illegal services as a ‘try before I buy’ facility. In terms of turning those pesky pirates into consumers of digital content, nearly a third said cheaper legal services might appeal, while a quarter cited confusion over what is legit and not legit, and a similar number claimed that some of…

Pirate Bay human rights appeal fails
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels, music publishing   Two of the founders of the Pirate Bay have failed in what I presume is their final appeal against their convictions for copyright infringement in the Swedish criminal courts, with the European Court of Human Rights finding that Sweden had rightly convicted the pair. Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde were sentenced to one year imprisonment by the Stockholm District Court in April 2009 for crimes against the Copyright Act. Together with two other defendants they were also found liable for damages of approximately K30 million (US$4.3 million). Their prison sentences were reduced in November 2010 by the Svea Court of Appeal, but the joint damages were increased by that court to K46 million (US6.8 million). The Swedish Supreme Court denied them an appeal hearing in February 2012. Neij and Sunde complained that their convictions infringed their freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention in Human Rights and that as their website facilitated the exchange of information, they could not be held liable for their user’s infringing acts. The ECHR had to balance Article 10 – the freedom of expression (even if such included material that infringed copyright) with the legitimate…

New research says that music piracy should not be a “concern for copyright holders”
Copyright , Internet / April 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   Along with the OfCom report on research into digital content consumption also referred to in this Month’s Updates, new research by two European Commission researchers finds that “digital music piracy should not be viewed as a growing concern for copyright holders in the digital era” and that the results “indicate that new music consumption channels such as online streaming positively affect copyrights owners.” The results fly in the face of a recent report that said  the closure of online platform MegaUpload almost certainly directly led to a decrease in online film piracy and an increase in legal digital sales of movies. Brett Danaher and Michael D. Smith, professors at Wellesley College and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) said that “the closing of a major online piracy site can increase digital media sales, and by extension we provide evidence that Internet movie piracy displaces digital film sales.” The two authors of the new report , Luis Aguiar and Bertin Martens, from the EU’s Information Society Unit, now say “Although there is trespassing of private property rights (copyrights), there is unlikely to be much harm done on digital music revenues” adding “This result, however, must be interpreted in the context…

Is Universal Publishing’s exit from collective licensing a step backwards for music industry ‘one stop’ aspirations?
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music sector, internet   The one question I always get asked by young entrepreneurs setting out to create legitimate digital offerings in the digital music space is where do they go to get licences to use music, and make payments? Well, there is no easy answer. In 2012 Daniel Ek, the creator of Spotify, pointed out that the European Union alone had 27 different  music collection societies for songs – and a similar number for sound recordings as well as the the four major labels dealing directly  for digital rights: Ek said the service’s U.S. debut was then still a few months off as Spotify worked through a maze of licensing issues with publishers, labels and collection societies, saying that to create a new above-board music platform in America under current copyright law required big reserves of money, lawyers and perseverance. And that’s just America! At the time Johanna Shelton, senior policy counsel for Google Inc said “The Internet is a simple distribution platform … [but] we’ve made things unnecessarily complex,” noting that calls for a music rights organisation, a one-stop shop to deal with all licensing issues, had gone unheeded. But we all now know…

Prison term for kiwi karoke copycat
New Zealand

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing, sound recordings   The owner of a New Zealand karaoke business has been jailed for four months for offering and selling substantial numbers of karaoke tracks – which had been created from scratch by the owners of Auckland-based Sundown Karaoke, which creates karaoke recordings, burns them to disks and sells them around the world, paying on royalties to the appropriate songwriters. Desmond Robert Adams, 40, also known as Heremia Adams, appeared in the Rotorua District Court  having already  pleaded guilty  to a charge under the Copyright Act 1994 of making for sale an object that was an infringing copy of a copyright work. He was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay reparation of $784. Adams was the owner/operator of 1st Choice Karaoke, which provides karaoke and DJ equipment and services throughout New Zealand. According to the police Summary of Facts, in March 2011 Adams advertised karaoke and DJ equipment, and access to 37,000 karaoke songs, on auction website Sella. The complainants contacted him, and Adams sent them a list of songs, telling them he had sold the library to more than 50 clients worldwide. The complainants made a $200 deposit and one…

Germany passes new ‘watered down’ copyright law
Copyright , Internet / March 2013
Germany

COPYRIGHT Internet   German lawmakers approved legislation on Friday that grants publishers the right to charge search engines and other online aggregators for reproducing their content but continues to allow the free use of text in links and brief summaries. In it’s original form, the law was seen as a clear attempt to force big Internet companies like Google to share some of the billions of euros they earn from the sale of advertising placed alongside the news that Google links to. But a last-minute change, proposed last week by the Free Democratic Party, the junior partner in the German government, allowed for the use of “individual words or the smallest excerpts of text” free, meaning that only those companies who reproduce full texts for commercial use will be required to compensate the news publishers. Google welcomed the fact that only a weakened version had passed but made clear its opposition to any form of legislation and the Financial Time headline perhaps says it all – ‘Google wins Germany copyright battle’. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/technology/german-copyright-law-targets-google-links.html?_r=0

UK blocks another three bit torrent sites
Copyright , Internet / March 2013
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   The BPI won three more web-block injunctions, this time against Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents. Mr Justice Arnold said that The UK’s six main internet service providers – Sky, BT, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media – will have to block their customers from accessing these file-sharing sites. BPI boss Geoff Taylor said “blocking illegal sites helps ensure that the legal digital market can grow and labels can continue to sign and develop new talent”, but the Open Rights Group said widespread web-blocking would “encourage new forms of distributed infringement” and that “the BPI should be mindful that their tactics may have the opposite effect to their intention, by legitimising and promoting resistance   http://www.the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/more-on-blocking-injunctions.html

Vimeo face fresh claim from EMI post Viacom v YouTube
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / February 2013
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels   Headed up by EMI, The US recorded music  industry has filed court papers asking for a summary judgement in their favour regarding a long-running copyright dispute with video website Vimeo. The action, which dates back to 2009, what put on hold pending the outcome of Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube, which tested the ‘safe harbour’ defence available to websites under the US’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Websites like Vimeo and YouTube, which allow users to directly upload content, argue that as they operate takedown systems, removing unlicensed content if made aware of infringement by copyright owners, they have the protection of the ‘safe harbour’ defence against infringement actions.  As ever, it’s a balancing act, and many content owners argue that safe harbour favours website operators and services such as YouTube, and that many websites don’t do enough – and could do a lot more – to remove infringing material from their sites – or even block it ever being loaded up in the first place – and that a system based on “ takedowns” is not enough in the developing digital age. At first instance US District Judge Louis L Stanton granted summary judgement to YouTube…

GEMA and YouTube reach German impasse
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / February 2013
Germany

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing   Germany’s music collection society GEMA has said that negotiations with YouTube have broken down, and that the society wants to haul the internet video platform before the arbitration board at the German Patent and Trademark Office. GEMA said that it is appealing to the Board over the alleged unlicensed use of 1,000 music tracks from it’s catalogue, and is calling on the Board to decide independently whether its demand for €1.6 million compensation is appropriate. In addition, GEMA is demanding that YouTube take down the on-screen notice blocking music videos in Germany which blames GEMA for the impasse . In November last year, Harald Heker, the head of GEMA,  accused YouTube of deliberately misleading German users of the web service with the notice. The last agreement between GEMA and Youtube expired in March 2009. In a statement GEMA said  “Up till January 2013, despite efforts on both sides, no agreement could be found on the question of the service’s copyright responsibility for the content put online, nor on the amount of remuneration,” adding that on behalf of its music publisher and songwriter members “Therefore GEMA is now taking the first measures to secure appropriate compensation for the copyright holders.”…

Sony hackers receive suspended prison sentences
Copyright , Internet / February 2013
EU

COPYRIGHT Internet   Two men accused of hacking into Sony Music’s servers and stealing unreleased music by a number of high profile artists, including Michael Jackson and Beyoncé, have been found guilty. They were each sentenced to a six month suspended prison sentence and 100 hours of community service according to a report in the Guardian. James Marks (27) and James McCormick (26) were arrested in March last year and initially denied the various copyright and computer misuse charges laid upon them, their lawyer saying at the time that they were just massive fans of Michael Jackson who had got carried away. When the case came to court, both pleaded guilty. Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has said that she wants to see more companies report when they have been a victim of a cyber attack  and that more transparency is needed to improve cyber security and enable co-operation to strengthen it, adding that many stay silent as it perceived bad PR to admit to an attack. The CEO of BT, Ian Livingston, ranked hscking as in the top three risks to any company.  New EU measures on cyber security are expected soon. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/jan/14/hackers-michael-jackson-songs-avoid-jail