No payment for artists yet from RIAA download actions?
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Artists A Daily Texan article shares some startling numbers about the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) litigation campaign: The RIAA has settled 8,423 suits with an average settlement of $3,000. The Daily Texan works out that this is a total of $25,269,000.00 (twenty five million two hundred and sixty nine thousand dollars) and the newspaper claims that not a penny of which goes to the artists that the RIAA claims to speak for. The United Kingdom’s Times newspaper also ran a front page article (6 March 2005) saying that the British Phonographic Industry had settled a total of 23 civil claims against 23 file downloaders with a total compensation payment of 000.00. Peter Jamieson, chairman of the BPI, commented that unauthorised downloading “effectively steals the livelihood of musicians and record companies. We will not hesitate to protect the rights of our members and the artists they represent”. The BPI has said it will now target file sharers with collections of unauthorized downloaded tracks ranging from a few hundred to “high four figures” although no detail was yet given as to the division of receipts between recording artists and BPI member labels. See: www.eff.org/cgi/tiny?urlID=402 and www.bpi.co.uk COMMENT :The Daily Texan article does…

Cypriot event organisers pay up for music use
Cyprus

COPYRIGHT Live Event Industry, Music Publishing The Nicosia District Court has awarded the Performing Right Society (PRS) 40 in compensation after event organisers arranged four dinner balls with live music without acquiring the requisite licence for publicly performing copyrighted music either mechanically or live. Judge Alecos Panayiotou found in favour of the applicants, awarding them 12 per cent of the revenue raised from ticket sales for the dinner balls. The PRS noted that the organisers could have got away with paying half that amount using a special discount price if they had acquired the licence from PRS before the public performances. The judge noted in his conclusions that the plaintiffs could have sued for more since the defendants had been warned early on about the need to acquire a licence. Source: Cyprus Mail – www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=18546&cat_id=1

Debate on the protection of software by patents vs copyright
Copyright , Patents / April 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT & PATENTS Technology “Once upon a time, we intellectual property lawyers got to live peacefully in our ivory towers. Now it seems that intellectual property policy issues have become fraught with partisan rhetoric. Most open-source promoters are against software patents. Most corporate spokesmen side with patents, period, whether they cover software or not. But it is worth looking beyond the rhetoric” Microsoft are busy patenting their software and for a very interesting discussion of the relative merits of protecting software by the monopoly protection of patent law or by the more ‘flexible’ protection of copyright see the very useful article “the Fuzzy Software Patent Debate Rages On” by US Attorney Heather J Meeker at :www.technewsworld.com/story/40676.html

Nigeria enforces copyright laws
Nigeria

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers OVER 100 People are now standing trial before various courts in Nigeria for allegedly engaging in piracy and other unlawful acts that violate the Copyright (Amendment) Decree No. 42 of 1999, the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Professor Adebambo Adewopo announced. Speaking during a meeting with stakeholders in the Music Industry in Enugu, Adewopo also said that the commission had intensified its battle against piracy in the country, adding that prosecution of offenders had been strengthened as part of efforts to sanction perpetrators under the new anti-piracy programmes. Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200503180883.html

Malaysian authorities crack down on copyright infringement
Malaysia

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers Enforcement officers in Malaysia have raided an entertainment outlet for playing music in public without the consent of Music Authors Copyright Protection Association (MACP) on Thursday. The 43-year-old operator was arrested and would be charged under Section 45 of the Copyright Act which carries a RM50,000 fine or five years’ jail, or both, upon conviction. Authorities also seized two VCD players, an electronic stereo system, an equaliser, an amplifier, a television set, a speaker, a VCD and a catalogue of songs. There were between 40 and 60 people at the outlet during the 3am raid by six ministry enforcement personnel and MACP representatives. The operator had been previously visited and had been issued warning letters last year in a bid to educate him to comply with the copyright law before playing music in public. Usually a venue operator must pay a RM2,500 fee annually to obtain a licence from MACP before playing music in public. Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/3/12/nation/10397723&sec=nation

The UK’s Security Industry Authority warns of low levels of applications by door supervisors but also admits to its own delays
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Industry The Security Industry Authority has warned that inaction by door supervisors in the South East and London may force pubs and clubs to close if licensees cannot employ enough licensed door staff. Insufficient numbers of the South East’s door staff have applied for their new door supervisor licence. However pubs, clubs and venues have countered the SIA’s press announcement saying that numerous staff have applied for badges but the SIA’s own examiners are far too slow in coming back with results for applicants, slowing the whole process down. From 28 February in the South East region and from 11 April in Greater London it will be a legal requirement for all door staff to hold a new Security Industry Authority (SIA) door supervisor licence. All local authority registration schemes will cease. There has been widespread publicity of the new licensing scheme, and door staff in the South East of England have been able to apply for their new licences since 25 October 2004. The SIA commented that “The South East and London benefit from a vibrant night-time economy and the public deserve a high level of service from door staff when they go out to…

EU Council of Ministers recognises withholding tax problems
Artists , Live Events , Taxation / April 2005
EU

TAXATION Artists, Live Industry The EU Council of Culture Ministers has decided to “solve the obstacles caused by the taxation of mobile artists”. They have included this item as Paragraph 5 of their Work Plan for 2005-2006. Dick Molennar, a Dutch tax advisor with All Arts Tax Advisors commented that “this is an important step forward, because the EU now recognizes officially the issue of taxation of international artists as a problem to be solved. The Dutch Ministry of Culture has been very active during the Dutch presidency of the European Union (July – December 2004) to push this decision through. We hope that the English presidency of the EU (July – December 2005) can develop this subject further.” German Tax expert Dr Harald Grams and Mr Molennar chaired a EU conference in Rotterdam in October 2004, that made the recommendation for the EU Council of Culture Ministers to progress in this manner and both are members of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) Tax Working Group.

UK Bollywood pirate jailed for 3 years R v Buhecha (2005)
Copyright / April 2005
UK

COPYRIGHT Film & Television Bollywood film distributors claimed a victory in their battle against bootleg DVDs yesterday but said the problem was approaching epidemic levels as millions of counterfeit films flooded into the United Kingdom from Asia. Jayanti Amarishi Buhecha was jailed for three years yesterday after being found guilty of two offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 at Harrow crown court, north-west London, last month. The British Phonographic Industry, the trade body which compiled much of the evidence that resulted in Buhecha being charged, welcomed the sentence as a sign the courts were taking DVD and CD piracy seriously. It estimated that at least four out of 10 Bollywood DVDs and CDs sold in the UK were counterfeit, well above the average for Hollywood movies and western CDs. Others in the industry put the figure at more than seven in 10. The DVDs imported into the UK by Buhecha were manufactured in Pakistan and Malaysia and sold wholesale to shops in London and the Midlands. He began as a legitimate distributor arranging film screenings in Cambridge and went on to become an authorised distributor for Yash Raj Films, an Asian film company. In 2002 he was suspended by…

Recording industry welcomes police investigation of Allofmp3.com but prosecution stalled
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
Russia

COPYRIGHT Record Labels The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) has welcomed action by the Russian authorities against a Russian website alleged to be offering digital copies of recorded music for sale illegally.Allofmp3.com and its principals are alleged to be involved in large-scale copyright infringement by offering music for sale without authorisation from rights holders in Russia and internationally. Russia is the worlds 12th largest music market with sales of US326.20 million in 2003 but has a piracy rate of 64%. The Computer Crimes unit of Moscow City Police formally passed the results of its criminal investigation to the Moscow City Prosecutor’s office on February 8. IFPI, on behalf of its members, also submitted a formal complaint to the prosecutor’s office in support of further action on the same date. The prosecutor has thirty days from the date of receiving evidence to decide whether to proceed. However it seems that Moscow prosecutors have declined to press criminal charges against the popular Internet site according to Russian news reports, citing “specifics of Russian copyright law”. Source: http://asia.cnet.com/news/personaltech/0,39037091,39220696,00.htm andhttp://www.ifpi.org

Ghana clamps down on hard copy piracy
Ghana

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Film & Television, Music Publishing A joint exercise undertaken by Ghana’s National Anti-Piracy Task Force of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service and the Police led to the arrest of 12 suspects included Nigerians and Ghanaians and the seizure of 7,632 pirated CDS. The operation was undertaken at the CEPS checkpoint at Dadala Junction in the Volta region. The CDs seized included foreign and local music and movies. The local artistes affected were Slim Busterr, Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba, Nana Acheampong, Esther Smith, Christina Love and Ama Boahemaa, among others. The suspects will be charged under copyright legislation and in addition those found to possess pornographic material will face additional charges under Section 280 of the Criminal Code of 1960. Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/artikel.php?ID=75757>

Swedish music sales plummet
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
Sweden

COPYRIGHT Recording Industry The sale of CDs and music in Sweden has slumped for the third year running. Last year sales declined by a massive 17%. Many industry insiders believe illegal downloads across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks over the internet are responsible. although this contrasts with certain territories and the position that world wide sales have actually begun to pick-up. Mårten Aglander, head of the Swedish division of Universal believes Americans have dealt more decisively with illegal downloading and that the US has the “lawful alternative [Apple’s iTunes] which is working well.” iTunes, which is available in the UK and other parts of Europe, is yet to open in Sweden. But the prevailing view is that it would help the industry if and when it does. Per Sundin, head of Sony BMG in Sweden says the sale of music over the internet in Sweden is improving but there remains much to be done. A new Swedish law which expressly forbids file-sharing of copyright material over the Net is expected to be in place by the summer. An article in Sweden’s The Local pointed out that there already seems to be a declining interest in the music business on the part the Swedish media….

EU to investigate download pricing in Europe
EU

COMPETITION Record Labels, Internet The European commission is to begin an investigation into the pricing of Apple Computer’s digital music service after consumers complained that downloading tracks was more expensive in the UK than other parts of Europe. Officials are investigating whether price differentials on iTunes between the UK and other countries such as France and Germany of up to 20% amount to a breach of EU pricing regulations. The inquiry comes after Which? (formerly the Consumers’ Association) wrote to the Office of Fair Trading last September, asking it to look into iTunes’ pricing across Europe. In the UK, iTunes charges users around 1.20 (83p) a track against 99 cents in France and Germany. The OFT later referred the case to the commission, which yesterday said it would begin an investigation. Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1424769,00.html

Microsoft faces the wrath of the European Commission
Competition / April 2005
EU

COMPETITION Computer Software The European Commission is threatening to fine Microsoft 5% of its global revenue for failing to comply with sanctions imposed last year. Microsoft was fined E497 million ( million) and was ordered to implement EU remedies forthwith – these included allowing competitors access to software protocols so they could compete in the provision of interoperable servers and providing Windows software without the obligation of taking Microsofts MediaPlayer software. Microsoft has already posted details of secret protocols to enable other software manufacturers to produce servers compatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating system but is now disputing the royalty (or licence) fees competitors should pay. The software giant also has chosen the name ‘Windows Reduced Media Edition’ for the new version of soft ”unbundled’ from Microsoft’s MediaPlayer software. This and other names (for what Microsoft call their ‘degraded’ software) have bee rejected by the EU as a serious deterrent to consumers. Microsoft’s total revenues in 2004 were approximately $40 billion. Source: The Guardian 26/02/05 Also see: Microsoft Ordered to Open Up Windows – Law Updates March 2005

European Commission seeks to restrict public services broadcasters’ online and digital services
Competition , Internet / April 2005
EU

COMPETITION Television, Internet, Radio The European Commission is to look at the role played by public service broadcasters in the provision of digital and online services. In particular the EC Competition Directorate, headed by Commissioner Neelie Kroes, will look at whether state funding of online and digital services is unlawful state aid. The commercial sector has complained that the online services provided by German public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF and by the BBC in the United Kingdom results in unfair competition to the commercial sector as it is funded by public money or governments. In an effort to head of confrontation ARD and ZDF are to limit their online services to programme related services. The licence fee funded BBC provide its 24 hour news channel News 24 (against commercial providers such as CNN and Sky) childrens’ channels CBBC and CBeeebies (against commercial providers such as Nickleodeon) and a wide range of highly successful web pages at http://www.bbc.co.uk. The BBC also provides a free to air ‘youth’ and comedy channel, BBC3, and the arts and culture channel BBC4. Whilst the principle of licence fee funded broadcasting is not under threat, recent state funding of web and digital services could be. Action…

Patti LaBelle brings claim for non-payment of appearance fees
Contract , Live Events / April 2005
USA

CONTRACT Live Event Industry Patti Labelle (nee Patricia Edwards) has brought an action through her management company, Pattonium Inc, against an American promoter Kensey Wright and Fifth Degree Entertainment after she was promised $150,000 to perform at the annual football classic between N.C. Central University and N.C. A&T University during the summer of 2003. She alleges that she was told that a portion of the money from the concert would go to scholarships. She also says she was led to believe that travel and hotel expenses for herself, her band and her stage crew would be covered. The suit is for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud and filed in Chesapeake Circuit Court. Wright, through his attorney, Bernard T. Holmes, denies the allegations. Holmes described the event as a charitable concert that lost money but is quoted as saying “Putting on any concert is an undertaking,” he said. “Anything can go wrong at any time.” According to the lawsuit, Labelle arrived at the RBC Center in Raleigh on August 29th 2003, and performed, even after she realized she would not be paid in full, according to the lawsuit to entertain fans. LaBelle was to be paid $75,000 before the…

Elizabeth Jagger wins right to protect intimate moments in a nightclub
Artists , Image Rights , Privacy / April 2005
UK

PRIVACY/IMAGE RIGHTS Artists Elizabeth Jagger was entitled to a “legitimate expectation of privacy” Mr Justice Bell has ruled in the High Court, awarding the model an injunction to prevent images of Jagger and boyfriend Callum best taken from a security camera being published. Three of the pictures had already been published in a Sunday tabloid. The pair had been involved in what The Times described as ‘heavy petting’. Mr Justice Bell said that although the claimant may be guilty of misconduct in the most general sense e was not guilty of moral turpitude to prevent her seeking recourse through the courts. Jagger claimed breach of copyright, her rights to data protection, her rights to respect for her private life under article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (Human Rights Act 1998) and at common law. Using wording which stem from the new ‘privacy laws’ resulting from the Human Rights Act, the Judge held that Jagger had a right to privacy and that he could see no public interest in the in further dissemination of the images which would only humiliate the claimant for the “prurient interest of others”. The balance between the article 8 right to privacy and the article…

New US Copyright Legislation: Congress and the Silver Screen
Copyright / April 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Film & Television The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 was passed swiftly with unanimous consent by the US Senate on February 1, 2005 following introduction of the bill on January 25, 2005. The statute is comprised of four parts: The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act (or the ART Act) will criminalize the use of camcorders to record movies in theatres and the posting of unreleased films and music on the Internet. Anyone using a camcorder in a movie theatre could face a penalty of up to three years in prison. In order to ease the burden of proof, the Copyright Office will allow works to be registered three months before their release. The Family Movie Act will allow consumers to view only certain portions of movies when watching them at home. It legalizes ‘jump and skip’ technologies such as those used by ClearPlay, which allow consumers to bypass material considered objectionable. This helps to clarify copyright protection in light of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), under which this manipulation of a copyrighted work could be considered infringement. The National Film Preservation Act will allow the Library of Congress to continue its motion picture preservation program and will assist libraries, museums, and archives in preserving films, and…

German Court confirms prison sentence for Landser singer
Artists , Criminal Law / April 2005
Germany

CRIMINAL LAW Artists Germany’s Supreme Court has ruled that neo-Nazi rock group Landser spread racial hatred and was a criminal organization, upholding the first such judgment in the country against a music group. The court also upheld the three year and four month prison sentence against lead singer Michael Regener. A Berlin court had ruled in December 2003 that Regener, 39, had formed a criminal organization, incited racial hatred and spread Nazi propaganda in a case that set a legal precedent by bring a collective action against a group of musicians. The Supreme Court ruling upheld the lower court’s judgment, saying the group had acted together to produce and distribute right-wing, racist material. Two other group members had received suspended sentences of 21 and 22 months at the trial which lasted six months. Landser is an old German name that means soldier. Source: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7872969

French choir child seek share of film and CD success
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
France

COPYRIGHT Artists, Record Labels Parents of the children who sang the music in the award-winning film Les Choristes say that their offspring have not been paid a centime for their work. Other parents have taken their children out of the Choeur du Collège Saint-Marc in Lyons because they say that the film’s success has made the choir’s touring schedule “infernal”. One parent says his daughter, Lucile 14, is entitled to a cut from the phenomenal success of Les Choristes, including revenue from 8.5 million cinema seats and 1.5 million soundtrack CDs sold in France alone. The low-budget movie, about a choir in a school for delinquent boys in the 1940s is enjoying worldwide box-office success. The leader of the Saint-Marc choir was offered a cut in the profits when his children recorded the original songs for Les Choristes . He chose instead to take a one-off E21,000 (£14,600) fee. The movie’s producers have since given the choir an ex-gratia payment of E121,000 as a share of the royalties from the soundtrack CD. All of this money has been paid into the funds of the choir. Not a penny has been paid to the children. Some parents accept the argument of the film’s producers and the…

French courts accept personal downloading of movies
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
France

COPYRIGHT Film & Televison, Record Labels A French appellate court has confirmed that downloading a movie file for personal use is acceptable. A man accused of downloading 500 film and music files has been acquitted by the Montpellier Court of Appeals in the south of France, confirming an earlier ruling by a bankruptcy court in Rodez in October last year. The plaintiff admitted lending CDs made from his copies to friends. But this still fell within the concept of ‘personal use,’ the court ruled. The man’s lawyers argued the CDs had already been bought and paid for before they appeared online. The court said that once the work had been made public it can be copied for personal use. Source: http://www.mp3newswire.net/stories/5002/french.html

Noise fines in New Jersey and Toronto
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005
Canada
USA

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry A New Jersey state appeals court has rejected a bid by the former owner of the Clarksburg Inn to overturn two convictions of violating the township’s anti-noise ordinance, ruling that such terms for noise as “loud,” “unnecessary,” and “unusual” don’t have to be defined by decibel levels. A 2003 trial before Municipal Court Judge Debra Gelson resulted in $1,250 in fines and $60 in court costs for summonses issued to the restaurant by the State Police, which provides police coverage to the township. The decision was upheld on an initial appeal to the Law Division of Monmouth County Superior Court. Roger Weltner, one of three witnesses at the municipal trial, testified that he lives 81 feet from the Clarksburg Inn and endured ongoing disturbances because of loud music. Weltner said he called police three times to complain on the night of Feb. 1, 2003. A three-judge panel of the Appellate Division of Superior Court wrote in its decision last week that attorney Richard J. Simon’s main argument for vacating the convictions that the township ordinance is unconstitutional because its definition of noise is vague was “unpersuasive.” Though 46 New Jersey municipalities regulate noise based…

UK pub’s breach of noise order results in 00 fine
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Music Industry Noise from a UK public house which was so loud that a shelf in a nearby home was “clearly vibrating” has resulted in a 00 fine for the licensee. Mid Suffolk District Council area environmental health officers visited a home in Debenham at around 9pm on August 10, 2003, after receiving a complaint about the level of noise from the Cherry Tree pub, where music was being played. There had been previous complaints about noise from the pub and a noise abatement order had been issued in October 2003. The Environmental Health Officer, Eric Foxton, told the court that in his opinion “the level of noise was a nuisance and it was taking away from that family the ability to enjoy their property.” Magistrates decided there had been a breach of a noise abatement notice, and fined licensee Zoe Hearn 00 and ordered her to pay prosecution costs of 48 in her absence after hearing evidence from Mr Foxton and householder John Bridges. Mr Foxton told the court that he set up noise monitoring equipment in Mr Bridges’ garden during an event at the pub in August 2002. Over two five-minute periods he found…

The European Live Music Forum Launches at ILMC
Legislation , Live Events / April 2005
EU

LEGISLATION Live Music Industry The European Live Music Forum (ELMF), first announced at the Noorderslag Seminar in Holland had its foundation meeting in London at the seventeenth International Live Music Conference in London on the 10th March 2005. The ELMF, currently was proposed by eight associations including Europe wide festival association Yourope, The Concert Promoters Association (CPA), the Agents Association, Network Europe and the International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) will try and identify issues, themes and objectives and formulate a constitution over the next few months but will hope to make a preliminary announcement at the ILMC. An invitation has been extended to all national and Europe wide live music, festival and cultural events to be involved with the ELMF. More groups and associations have been invited to join to give the Forum broad based European wide industry support. See: http://www.ilmc.com

Hyperion Records wait for appeal verdict
UK

COPYRIGHT Record Labels, Music Publishers Hyperion Records who lost a copyright action brought by Dr Lionel Sawkins are awaiting the decision of the Court of Appeal in the matter. Mr Justice Patten had held that copyright was owned by Sawkins in the ‘editions’ of a musical works originally written by baroque composer Michel-Richard de Lalande. Hyperion contend that an edition of an existing musical work cannot be an original musical work. COMMENT : This case is a good example of what is, and isn’t, an ‘original work’ and therefore protected by UK copyright law. It is also interesting to see that Mr Justice Patten found that Dr Sawkins had done enough to become an author. But in the well know ‘Spandau Ballet’ case of Hadley v Kemp it was held that contributing to the performance and interpretation at the recording of pop songs would not make the person a co-author of a work. But as Cornish & Llewelyn rightly say, this is a sphere where the dividing line is ”difficult to draw” See Law Updates August 2004 Hadley v Kemp (1999) EMLR 589 Wood v Boosey (1868) LR 3 QB 33 Redwood Music v Chappell (1982) RPC 109 Cornish, WR & Llewlyn (203) Intellectual Property at page 394

IFPI gain extra time to lobby
Copyright , Record Labels / April 2005
EU

COPYRIGHT Record Labels The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and other interested parties in the music industry have been granted extra time to present their case for the extension to the 50 year term for the life of copyright for sound recordings in Europe after the European Commission altered its timetable for reviewing legislation. Recordings by classic rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley are beginning to fall into the public domain. Already nearly 140 European artists, managers and trade organisations (including the IFPI and BPI) have provided comment to the EC. Source: http://www.ifpi.org

Music composers complain to OFT
Competition / April 2005
UK

COMPETITION Songwriters The British Society of Composers and Songwriters (BACS) has made a formal complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about the assignment of music publishing rights in music for films and television programmes. BACS are concerned about the practice of some film and TV companies of demanding an assignment of publishing rights as part of a composer’s engagement to write music for a film or television programme. BACS point out that in some circumstances the commissioning company may take rights but not exploit these, exclude mechanical royalties from any deal and sometimes offer less favourable publishing deals to composers that those they could find with third parties, depriving composers of revenues. BACS has also raised wider competition concerns in that many publishers are excuded from the film and television production market because they have no relationship with film and television companies. The OFT will investigate breaches of the Competition Act 1998, Article 81 of the EC Treaty and whether the case merits reference under the Enterprise Act 2002. Source: PACT Magazine March 2005 UK Government consults on moral rights for performers

UK Government consults on moral rights for performers
Artists , Performer's Rights / April 2005
UK

PERFORMER’S RIGHTS Artists The UK Government is consulting on legislation which would give performers the same moral rights as those owned by authors of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic copyrights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. These include the right to be identified as the author (or here performer) and to object to the derogatory treatment of a work (or here a performance). The new right could have important ramifications for screen credits and the right to object to derogatory treatment of a performance could impact on the producer’s right to edit programmes and performances. The changes result from the UK’s adherence to the WIPO Performances and Phonograms treaty. Source: PACT Magazine March 2005

The Corrs face claim over copyright to ‘Breathless’
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing The Corrs, one of Ireland’s most successful music acts, have been accused of stealing their biggest hit from an American songwriter. Jenesee Ricco, a Los Angeles-based musician, is suing Atlantic Records over a claim that the group’s 2000 hit, “Breathless”, was copied from his own track of the same name. He is claiming damages of $50,000 (E37,500). Ricco has filed a case in the Los Angeles Superior Court claiming he wrote his version of Breathless in 1999. He has highlighted his claim on American television, telling the Celebrity Justice show that the track was given to Atlantic Records by “a person I had taking songs around at the time”. He added: “The hope was that someone making an album would record the song. I didn’t know where it was going or who was getting it, I never even heard of this band and then it came out on the radio and nobody had ever contacted me.” The Corrs deny any similarity in either melody or lyrics and that apart from the phrase “leave me breathless” that there is no overlap in the words. They deny that the band members know Ricco, that the band and Mutt Lange…

New ways for pirates to obtain downloads
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / April 2005
USA

COPYRIGHT Film & Television, Record Labels, Internet A new report from Pew Internet & American Life states that 36M people in the US download music and films (equal to 27% of all Internet users). Half of them, however, also use alternative channels to get music for free. 19% of P2P users (7M people) have copied files illegally from other people’s digital music players while 28% (10M people) get tracks via e-mail and instant messaging. 23% of users have used both routes. This is a new ‘invisible piracy’ that will be impossible for the industry to plug. Even the DRM on digital players (designed to stop copying in this way) is hacked on a regular basis. Interestingly, however, 53% of Internet users believe that the operators of P2Ps should be held responsible for piracy over their networks while only 18% say the file-sharers themselves should be held accountable. Source: http://money.cnn.com/2005/03/23/news/fortune500/grokster/ and FiveEight –http://www.fiveeight.net

ILMC calls for European legislation to govern ticket re-sales
Health & Safety , Live Events / April 2005
EU

HEALTH & SAFETY Live Event Industry European promoters and venues aired their worries about the secondary market in concert tickets at the seventeenth annual International Live Music Conference. Conference speakers highlighted events such as 3A’s Kylie Minogue and Cream concerts and Glastonbury where prices quoted by ticket touts and on auction website Ebay have risen to many multiples of original face values. Most European speakers at the ILMC said that there was nothing to prevent concert ticket re-selling in their territories. In the UK it is only a criminal offence to resell football tickets and the rise of Ebay had led to a rise in re-selling – not just by touts but by members of the public. Most delegates felt that legislative action was the only way forward. The position is different In the USA on a state by state basis where ticket reselling or ‘scalping’ can be prohibited. Ticket broker Chris Lipton has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the state who alleged that that he scalped tickets to a benefit concert featuring Bruce Springsteen. Under a deal announced Monday by the state Division of Consumer Affairs, $7,500 of the settlement money would go to…