Magistrates given more sentencing powers
Copyright / July 2012
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas The IP Kat reports that Royal Assent has been given to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which introduces into England and Wales a wide range of reforms to the justice system — some of which affects that complex web of laws we all know and love as intellectual property. Section 85 of the Act (not in force until a commencement order is made) removes the £5,000 upper limit on fines that can be handed down by the magistrates’ court, thus giving magistrates more freedom to hand down fines that they consider to be proportionate to an offence. This change affects the penalties on summary conviction for many offences: counterfeiting; piracy; unauthorised receipt of broadcasts and the use of illicit decoders and copyright circumvention devices under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/monday-miscellany.html

Hooper and Hargreaves speak out
Copyright / July 2012
UK

COPYRIGHT All Areas Prof Ian Hargreaves (newly appointed a  CBE), author of last year’s report on Intellectual Property, and Richard Hooper in the UK, ex Deputy Chairman of Ofcom and ex-Chair of the Radio Authority (and my MD at pan-European broadcaster SuperChannel way back in the 80s!) who is now in charge of the feasibility study for the for the Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) proposed in Hargreaves’ Report, have been speaking to assorted representatives from the music industry at a ‘First Monday’ event on the 11th June in Central London. Saying that the Digital Copyright Exchange was “the single most important thing” in his report, Hargreaves said that he was “very happy that work was already being done to make it a reality. I’ll be less happy if it doesn’t succeed! But while the government continues to support Richard, there is great potential”. Hooper in turn explained why he sees a need for the DCE, saying “It’s our belief that our copyright licensing system, as a whole, is currently not fit for purpose” telling his audience “The music industry is actually better than many other creative sectors, but there is still room for improvement, and I think most people in the…

Vandals’ bassist wants a seat on the bench
Constitutional Law / July 2012
UK
USA

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW All Areas Here’s a story that grabbed my attention – having been a punk rocker, practicing entertainment lawyer and magistrate myself: it’s all about US attorney Joe Escalante’s campaign to be a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Escalante, 49, the former bassist for the Vandals (who were at their biggest in the early 80s, but still perform) and who has been an attorney for 20 years including a stint as Director of Business Affairs at CBS. He has also served as a temporary judge for the Los Angeles Superior Court system.  In between all that he also fought a long trade mark battle against Variety magazine but it seems the Court doesn’t want him after the Judicial Election Evaluations Committee (JEEC), an organization within the Los Angeles County Bar Association that evaluates judicial candidates, labelled Escalante and four others as “not qualified” for judgeship. In fact I think Mr Escalante may have once sent a UK band featuring a couple of my students and called the [something] Vhandals  a ‘cease and desist’ letter! Anyway, It’s all here. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/the-punk-rocker-who-would-be-judge/257560/

PRS waives Diamond Jubilee fees
Copyright , Live Events / July 2012
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events industry   PRS for Music the collecting society responsible for administering royalties for the use of musical works in the United Kingdom, decided that it would not charge licence fees for the playing of music at certain community events held to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012. The exemption ran from 2nd to 5th June 2012 and applied to non-profit-making events run by volunteers, such as street parties, intended for up to 300 people, in a venue that does not currently require a PRS licence. http://www.prsformusic.com/diamondjubilee/Pages/default.aspx

Beach House consider action over VW ‘sound alike’
Copyright , Music Publishing / July 2012
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, Advertising Baltimore indie duo Beach House have described an official statement sent out by Volkswagon as a ‘ cop out’ after accusing the car manufacturer of plagiarism of the band’s 2010 single ‘Take Care’ when VW used a sound alike in used as the soundtrack of a recent car advert. To be clear –  the advert is not a copy of the song exactly – and it is not a copied sound recording – more of a ‘sound alike’ of the band’s ‘feel’.  VW denied any copying and maintained that the song in its ad was merely inspired by the duo’s ‘dream pop’ – with VW saying “We greatly respect the talent of Beach House and never set out to replicate a specific song of theirs or anyone else’s. Most important to us was to find a track which matched the narrative of the advert, and we believe we have achieved this in the final edits”. You can take a listen online (see the link below) and in this blogger’s opinion it’s fair to say that the feel of the advert’s sound track sounds rather like ‘Take Care’. According to the Wall Street Journal, the band’s manager Jason Forster was contacted…

Publishers was US Vevo money
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, internet David Israelite, CEO of US’s National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), has called for a number of changes to the way the US music publishing business runs, both in the way publishers licence digital rights, and in the way American copyright law applies to digital licensing and the way collecting organisations operate. In particular the NMPA boss was critical of American record labels who are utilising contract clauses to avoid giving publishers their share when they are paid by online video sites, in particular VEVO, which includes major labels Sony and UMG amongst shareholders. In February indie publisher Matt Pincus said his company was receiving no income from the booming music video service, because in the US VEVO had deals with the record companies (including Sony and UMG) that put the obligation to pay publishing royalties onto the labels, rather than paying royalties direct to the publishers – and the labels used contract clauses relating to promotional videos to say that the payment of song writing royalties could be avoided. An unhappy Israelite took this a stage further saying  “Today you have VEVO talking about reaching $150 million in revenue and wanting to grow to $1 billion, and a large amount…

Black Keys sue of use of songs in adverts
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, music publishing, record labels The Black Keys have launched actions against both Pizza Hut and Home Depot, claiming the two companies have used their songs in adverts without permission. Pizza Hut and its ad agency are accused of using the song ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ without permission, while US DIY chain Home Depot is accused of using the band’s hit ‘Lonely Boy’. A lawyer for the Ohio duo say the two commercials were a “brazen and improper effort to capitalise on the plaintiffs’ hard-earned success”. They also claim that the band made both brands aware of the unlicensed use of their music last month, but as yet neither company has taken any action. http://the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/on-bold-infringement-or-unauthorised.html

Illegally Blonde?
Artists , Image Rights , Trade Mark / July 2012
USA

TRADE MARK / IMAGE RIGHTS Artistes The Hollywood Reporter says that a planned concert featuring a holographic Marilyn Monroe is under legal threat by the deceased icon’s estate. Organisers Digicon Media’s show “Virtual Marilyn” features  the projected blond bombshell singing and interacting alongside live music stars, but has attracted the attention of attorneys Sheppard Mullin who represent the Monroe estate in what might become a developing legal controversy. The holographic performance by dead rapper Tupac Shakur at the Coachella festival in 2012 proved that digital resurrection of deceased celebrities could be an emerging trend and you can find more on the copyright, trade mark, image right  and other legalities of holograms of deceased stars here  http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4856 and here http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4928 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/marilyn-monroe-estate-hologram-legal-334817

Placebo CD cover a bitter pill to swallow
Artists , Image Rights , Trade Mark / July 2012
UK
USA

TRADE MARKS, IMAGE RIGHTS Artistes An unemployed chef whose boyish face featured on Placebo’s eponymous 1996 debut album is bringing a self funded action against the band claiming the image was used without his consent or permission. The photograph, of David Fox who was then aged twelve, shows the youth in a large red fleece pulling his own cheeks down. It was taken by Mr Fox’s cousin who was a professional photographer. Fox says that once the album was released and became a chart success, he was bullied at school and questioned by teachers. Eventually his mother had to drive him home from school because of the bullying and Fox said he went from being popular to a situation where “Nobody wanted me on their side or anything like that”. He left school before his GCSEs. Now aged 28 was made redundant recently due to the recession. Riverman Management, the band’s managers, said any action should be directed against the band’s label Virgin, who released the album. Former model Robert Christoff initially won a lengthy legal case against Nestle, owner of tasters Choice coffee, having been initially paid  $250 back in 1986 for the photo of the model “posed gazing at…

UK One Direction counter sue US name rivals
Artists , Trade Mark / July 2012
UK
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes The UK One Direction are counter-suing US’s One Direction after the US band brough a suit saying they had the use of the bands’ name. At the moment the UK’s X-factor creation are one of the biggest pop successes in the World.  The American band claimed they had been using the name since 2009, some time before the UK group was formed on ‘X-Factor’, and were also first to upload an album using the moniker to iTunes (albeit after One Direction UK had been formed). CMU Daily report that the US band have alleged that Simon Cowell, Syco and Sony Music knew this before launching their pop creations in the USA, because the US trademark registry had told them so. Syco and Sony Music therefore had no business launching their group under that name in the US, the American band argued, and as a result they were suing for damages. But in a counter suit filed last week, lawyers working for the Sony/Cowell empire have focused on the release date of the American band’s first album, February 2011. They note that One Direction UK were created on British TV the previous autumn, that there had been globally…

Update on Universal-EMI
Competition , Record Labels / July 2012
USA

COMPETITION Record labels   Universal’s proposed takeover of EMI’s recorded music division has had a congressional hearing with a public airing of the arguments for and against the acquisition in the USA – with music industry veterans Lucian Grainge, Roger Faxon and Irving Azoff speaking up for the UMG-EMI tie up and , Edgar Bronfman Jr and Martin Mills against along with  Gigi Sohn from American lobby group Public Knowledge. The congressional session took place on Thursday, 21 June and Grainge insisted that everyone would be a winner if and when the Universal and EMI labels unite, saying, according to the Financial Times: “Our coming together will benefit consumers, artists and all those committed to a diverse and healthy music business”. But Mills countered that the only people who would actually benefit would be Universal’s owners and management, who were, he claimed “monopolists” seeking market power. Edgar Bronfman Jr said that a combined Universal EMI would be “one innovation-stifling dominant player”. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-emi-universal-antitrust-idUSBRE85K0N020120621?feedType=RSS&feedName=innovationNews&rpc=43 and more here http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/irving-azoff-disputes-bronfman-mills-testimony-1007407162.story

Trolls unmasked by mum
India
UK

INTERNET Technology, Criminal Law, Data Protection The High Court has ordered that Facebook must reveal the IP addresses of internet ‘trolls’ who abused a woman user after she posted comments supporting failed X-factor contestant Frankie Cocozza. Nicola Brookes (45) received more than 100 ‘vicious and depraved’ messages, and trolls then set up a fake profile in her name and image– spamming Cocozza’s 98,000 online fans and seemingly suggesting that Brookes wanted to lure young girls.  Some messages falsely described her as a drug dealer, a prostitute, a paedophile and known child abuser, and others attempted to ‘befriend’ young girls. Her home address and personal email address were published. Sussex Police did not successfully intervene in Ms Brookes’ case, but Liam Stacey, received a 56 day prison sentencing after tweeting racist abuses about Bolton Wanderer footballer Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed with a heart attack during a premiership match against Tottenham Hotspur in March. Ms Brookes still uses Facebook. Solicitors Bains Cohen agreed to take the case pro bono and Rupinder Bains said Facebook had not contested the Norwich Pharmacal  action, and had agreed to hand over the information within six weeks. In India global hacking movement Anonymous has called for…

Festival fun helps Highland cops balance books
Licensing , Live Events / July 2012
UK

LICENSING Live events industry   This is the headline in the Ross-shire journal reporting that Scottish music festivals in the Highlands have helped the Northern Constabulary save £2 million in the last year. Policing huge outdoor events like this weekend’s RockNess event near Inverness has helped keep the force in the black and save £2 million out a revenue budget of £51.5m for 2011/12 which was underspent. Scores of officers are needed to police the thousands of revellers who attend several large music festivals and one-off concerts which are annually held in the region including the three-day RockNess event, Tartan Heart at Belladrum near Beauly and Loopallu in Ullapool and they are, of course, charged for.  Andy Cowie, the force’s deputy chief constable, did not know how much cash had been raised from the policing of festivals but said “The public purse should not be subsiding private enterprise”. http://www.ross-shirejournal.co.uk/News/Festival-fun-helps-Highland-cops-balance-books.htm

IOC to “investigate” in Olympics touting row
Live Events / July 2012
UK

OLYMPICS Live events industry, ticketing In a perhaps an all too predictable story, a ticketing scandal involving more than a quarter of the 204 countries represented at the Olympics looks set to hang over the London Games, after it emerged that an internal investigation is unlikely to be completed before the opening ceremony. The International Olympic Committee has promised to investigate allegations that 27 agents representing 54 countries were prepared to offer thousands of unauthorised tickets at prices of up to £6,000 to undercover Sunday Times reporters posing as Middle Eastern buyers. After an emergency board meeting, the IOC said it took the allegations very seriously and referred the matter to its ethics commission. “Should any irregularities be proven, the organisation will deal with those involved in an appropriate manner. The NOCs [national Olympic committees] are autonomous organisations, but if any of the cases are confirmed the IOC will not hesitate to impose the strongest sanctions,” it said in a statement. Re-selling Olympic tickets is a specific summary offence in the United Kingdom, punishable by a fine of up to £20,000. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jun/17/olympics-ticketing-scandal-london-games

Morrissey and NME settle over racist claim
Artists , Defamation / July 2012
UK

DEFAMATION Artistes IPC, publisher of the NME and Morrissey have announced they are settling their recent legal dispute. Morrisey was suing the publisher and then editor of NME Connor McNicholas over an interview the music weekly ran with him back in 2007 in which the singer appeared to say that an “immigration explosion” had damaged Britain’s identity. Morrissey immediately hit out at the magazine and its then editor Conor McNicholas, arguing they had twisted his words to make him look racist, so that the interview would be more sensational and sell more copies. The NME always denied any such editorial meddling. In November last year Mr Justice Tugendhat allowed the case to proceed despite a four year delay. The NME have now published an apology for the ‘misunderstanding’ which reads “In December 2007, we published an article entitled ‘Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again’. Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary”. The apology continues: “We wish to make clear that we do…

Cookie Update: Simkins’ Early Warning 14/06/2012 – A tough cookie to crack – update on implied consent
Data Protection , Internet , Privacy / July 2012
EU
UK
USA

DATA PROTECTION, PRIVACY Internet, Technology   Following on from Simkins earlier report (http://www.simkins.co.uk/ebulletins/LJAuktoughcookie.aspx), the ICO’s grace period for cookie compliance came to an end on 26 May 2012. The ICO has now also revised its guidance on the use of cookies. https://templatearchive.com/ico-cookies-guidance/ The revisions consist of new commentary on the scope for reliance on implied consent. The ICO acknowledges that implied consent can be a valid means of obtaining the user’s informed consent – especially in the case of analytics cookies, where implied consent may be a more practical and user-friendly means of obtaining consent. If the site operator is to rely on implied consent, the user must take some kind of step (such as visiting a website, navigating to a certain page, or clicking on a particular button) from which the user’s consent to the setting of cookies can reasonably be inferred. Simply visiting a website is not enough to imply consent on its own: there must be a sufficient indication that the user understands and agrees that, in addition to providing content or services, the site operator may store cookies on the user’s device. Implied consent depends, therefore, on providing the user with clear and readily available information…

Louisiana allows tax breaks for Superfest
Live Events , Taxation / July 2012
USA

TAXATION Live events industry   Louisiana has passed a law to allow the Baton Rouge city-parish to be able to provide a local tax break to keep the Bayou Country Superfest at Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium for years to come. The authorization came as Gov. Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bill 475 into law –  passed during the just-ended 2012 legislative session. Bayou Country Superfest promoters would be able to get a tax rebate that amounts to about a $300,000 loss in local sales tax revenue for entertainment events that take place in a large venue, for which only LSU’s Tiger Stadium fits the definition. The tax break would be performance-based where average attendance at events has to be at least 25,000. The rebate would be on ticket sales and parking charges associated with the event. Tickets for the recent Memorial Day weekend event ranged from $50 to $250 a day. City-parish officials originally sought a state tax break too but that provision got stripped during the legislative process. SB475 sponsor state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, D-Baton Rouge, said the concerts have been profitable for LSU and bring thousands of country music fans to the area where they spend money. During…

UK tax avoidance scandal reaches Take That
Artists , Taxation / July 2012
UK

TAXATION Artistes   TAKE THAT became the latest celebrities caught up in the UK’s tax avoidance scandal after PM David Cameron said yesterday he would look into a £480million investment scheme used by some band members. The Prime Minister also lashed out at comedian Jimmy Carr, branding his tax avoidance “morally wrong”. Carr has subsequently apologised for investing in the contentious scheme known as K2 after it was revealed that he had paid £3.3million a year into a Jersey-based fund which cut his tax bill to just 1per cent by loaning him money back. Now an investigation has found that Take That stars Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and their manager Jonathan Wild ploughed £26 million into a music investment partnership run by Icebreaker Management which enables them to cut their tax liability dramatically. Over 1000 people contributed £480m to 62 music industry partnerships that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) claim act as tax shelters. Some commentators have called for Gary Barlow to be stripped of his recently awarded OBE if the claims are true. Lily Allen reportedly said “how are tax avoiders the moral equivalent of benefit cheats? Surely they’re a hundred times worse” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/20/take-that-tax-avoidance-investigation?newsfeed=true

Universal’s royalty reducers in the spotlight
Artists , Contract , Record Labels / July 2012
EU
USA

CONTRACT Artistes, record labels Attempts by Universal Music Group’s lawyers to hide their royalty reducing practices from court scrutiny in the FBT (‘Eminen’) case have failed and indeed have provoked fairly forthright comment from the judge, Philip Gutierrez. UMG had argued that any royalty that had to be paid to FBT would be paid on a “net receipts” basis – but this was latterly challenged by FBT who had discovered that only about 29% of international revenue (here from the sale of Eminen recordings) actually returns to the major’s Aftermath division, with the other 71% being kept by the local Universal companies that actually sell the music: and 50% of 29% is a lot less than 50% of 100%. UMG felt that the Judge had accepted the “net receipts” basis but Judge  Gutierrez has made it clear he has not, saying in a written judgement that [a] he did not mean to make a ruling on this matter when asked for clarification on “our net receipts” last year, and [b] he doesn’t believe that FBT were aware that Universal intended for the international royalties issue to be resolved via that clarification either, because there would be no logic in them…

5 UK ISPS ordered to block The Pirate Bay
Copyright , Internet / June 2012
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet   The High Court yesterday has issued orders requiring five internet service providers to block access to The Pirate Bay file sharing site. The five ISPs are Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media.  BT, previously ordered to block Newzbin, was included in the application by record label trade body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) but had asked for more time (a ‘few more weeks’) to consider it’s response so was not included in the blocking orders. Welcoming yesterday’s web-blocking orders, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI said “The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else” adding “Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists”.  Loz Kaye from The Pirate Party had a different take saying “Site blocking isn’t the solution to anything – it’s just censorship, and ineffective censorship at that. It’s laughably easy to…

YouTube v GEMA goes to appeal
Germany
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing Following the German court ruling last month in the long running dispute between YouTube and Germany’s music rights collecting society GEMA, both parties have appealed the decision. YouTube was held liable under the principle of Storerhaftung (disturbance liability – secondary liability for contributing to someone else’s breach of third party rights and was issued with a permanent injunction to take down a number of songs GEMA administers and ensure those songs do not appear on YouTube in the future Whilst YouTube seems more than safe under the US’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act and has a ‘takedown’ system for removing unlicensed content, the German courts have taken a firmer approach and seem to want YouTube to be more proactive in removing infringing material. YouTube will argue that their takedown system is already sophisticated and available to all content owners and that more onerous filtering and removal obligations would not only damage the Google platform, but also other websites and services: YouTube spokesperson Mounira Latrache said “The ruling to implement [more] filtering would be damaging for innovation and freedom of expression online”. GEMA has also filed papers seeking further clarification of  the rights of its members to protect their content online. It…

An IP address is not a person
Copyright , Internet / June 2012
Finland
Germany
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, Technology In the USA, Judge Magistrate Gary Brown (US District Court, Eastern District of New York) has gone to great lengths to explain why an IP address is not the same as a person and cannot be used to bring claims against alleged copyright infringers. In the USA Mass-BitTorrent lawsuits have been “dragging on for more than two years” and involve more than a quarter million potential illegal downloaders. The copyright owners who start these cases generally provide just an IP-address as evidence of the infringement and as the identity of the ‘John Doe’ infringer. The court is then asked to grant a subpoena, allowing the claimant to require an Internet Service Provider for the personal details of the alleged offenders. Judge Brown is of the opinion this is a “waste of judicial resources” and that the argument that IP-addresses can identify the alleged infringers is very weak with Judge Brown saying “The assumption that the person who pays for Internet access at a given location is the same individual who allegedly downloaded a single sexually explicit film is tenuous, and one that has grown more so over time” adding “An IP address provides only the location at…

Performers in Ghana and Kenya asked to be paid
Copyright / June 2012
Ghana

COPYRIGHT All areas The Ghana Association of Phonographic Industries (GAPI) is considering filing a legal suit against the Government of Ghana because government and other state institutions used Ghanaian music works without paying royalties. Project Coordinator for GAPI, Francis Mensah Twum told Adom Entertainment News the Information Services Department (ISD), and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) use Ghanaian music in their vans that go round to educate the public, but they do not pay royalties. GAPI also cited political parties for the same offence, saying that GAPI is speaking with its lawyers to prepare a legal suit against the offenders which, including the government. Mr. Twum Mensah however noted that alternatively, government could support the forthcoming Copyright Bank/Fund with seed capital to compensate for the millions of cedis of accumulated in unpaid royalties it owed the industry. He explained that apart from government not paying royalties due the industry, government also delayed the passage of the Copyright Law, and it took another four years before it enacted the Legislative Instrument to make the law operational which “allowed piracy to continue and the industry lost an average of $30 million a year, which amounted to about a $400 million…

Hologram Musicians: The Legal Implications
USA

IMAGE RIGHTS / COPYRIGHT/ TRADE MARK Artistes ARTICLE LINK  Yvette Joy Liebesman, an assistant professor at St Louis University Law School, explains the legal implications of using a dead musicians’ image in the wake of the  ‘Tupac’ appearance at the Coachella Festival looking at image rights, trade mark issues and copyright. And Pepsi has done a deal with the Jackson Estate which will see the Michael Jackson’s image used in a new global ad campaign to coincide with a re-release of ‘Bad‘. Pepsi cans will also featured pictures of the singer and options to download some exclusive remixes as part of its ‘Live for Now” campaign . The Fix reports that control of the name and likeness of Kurt Cobain now sits with his daughter Frances Bean Cobain, and not his widow and her estranged mother Courtney Love. According to the website, in 2010 Love took a $2.75 million loan from her daughter’s trust fund, and as part of that transaction the trust gained control of Cobain’s image rights until the loan is repaid. Love also stood down as a director of the company which controlled those rights. Since Frances Bean turned eighteen in 2010 she has had direct control…

Neelie says ACTA is doomed
Copyright , Internet / June 2012
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda has said that the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) , signed by almost all EU member states – but not all – is likely to follow the US’s SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) into the dustbin of failed legislation saying “We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest against rules which they see as constraining the openness and innovation of the internet” adding “there is a strong new political  voice, and as a voice for openness, I welcome it even if I do not always agree with everything it says on every subject … we are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and ACTA”. ACTA is currently awaiting review by the Court of Justice and EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht had urged the EU Parliament to delay any formal ratification of ACTA until that happened, but it now looks like the whole process has stalled as member states (even those who had previously signed up) lose the political will to move the Agreement forward. In the USA, critics of the U.S. government’s antipiracy efforts have new ammunition to support claims…

Rhyming & Stealing: Let’s honor late Beastie with better copyright laws
USA

COPYRIGHT Artistes, record labels, music publishing ARTICLE LINK: Just as the sad death of the Beastie Boys’ Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch from cancer was announced, aged just 47, Tuf America, Inc announced a new lawsuit against the band and co-defendants Universal Music, Brooklyn Dust Music and Capitol Records. Tuf America  administers the rights to the recordings of Trouble Funk’s catalogue, including the group’s 1982 funk classics, “Drop the Bomb” and “Say What” and the federal lawsuit relates to two songs on the Beastie Boys’ debut album, ‘Licensed To Ill‘, and two more on the follow-up, ‘Paul’s Boutique’. The company claims that the group illegally sampled the two Trouble Funk songs. The 20 years delay in pursuing the litigation is partly linked to the fact Tuf America only gained control of the copyrights in Trouble Funk’s catalogue in 1999, the additional ten year wait “seemingly being down to the fact it’s only recently that the label noticed the alleged infringements”. The law suit doesn’t surprise Kembrew McLeod, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa, and co-author, with economist and researcher Peter DiCola, of the book “Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling” who says  “‘Paul’s Boutique’ and other albums of that era are like…

Willis wins YMCA rights reversion case
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, artistes In a court ruling which has significant implications for the music industry, a Californian judge has dismissed a suit by two song publishing companies aimed at preventing Victor Willis, former lead singer of The Village People, from exercising his right to reclaim ownership of YMCA and a number of other massive Village People hits he wrote and co-wrote in the 1970s. The right to reclaim arose when the Copyright Act amendments went into effect in 1978 and it meant that songwriters could terminate copyright grants to publishers and record labels 35 years later. If they were to do so, however, they need to send their termination notices not fewer than two or more than 10 years from the intended termination date. The floodgates have opened! But Willis met with resistance as music publishers Scorpio Music and Can’t Stop Productions countered by arguing (a) that Mr. Willis had no legal standing to reclaim the song’s copyrights because he had “no right, title or interest in the copyright” as the songs had been created under the provisions of a “works for hire” relationship – in effect Willis and his co-writers were employees of the companies that managed the…

MP3 Tunes files for bankruptcy
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2012
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels MP3tunes, the cloud locker music service that has been engaged in a long and costly lawsuit with EMI, has filed for bankruptcy in federal court in San Diego. In court papers, it listed $7,800 in assets and $2.1 million in liabilities. MP3tunes was founded by Michael Robertson, the web entrepreneur who in the 1990s was one of the first to turn digital music into a big business, with MP3.com. Last year, the Southern District of New York District Court held that the MP3tunes’ model did not violate copyright itself and was protected by the ‘safe harbour’ provisions of the DCMA – but the company, a number of executives and Mr. Robertson personally faced liability for individual songs uploaded without permission and for ‘contributory infringement’. EMI appealed the ruling, and hearings were scheduled to begin next week. In a statement, an EMI spokesman noted that despite the bankruptcy, Mr. Robertson was still a defendant in the case – a potentially damaging claim as EMI have alleged Robertson personally loaded infringing material onto the service. Robertson told C-Net: “Four and a half years of legal costs and we’re not even out of trial. MP3tunes has no choice but…

Supreme court refuses Tenenbaum appeal
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / June 2012
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels The US Supreme Court has refused to hear the Joel Tenenbaum case in a case brought by the Recording Industry Association Of America’s which resulted in a win for the RIAA and damages of  $675,000 awarded by the jury for illegally sharing 30 songs online. The damages were then reduced 90% by the trial judge Nancy Gertner on constitutional grounds but the appeals court subsequently criticised the judge’s process, and reinstated the $675,000 damages sum. Tenenbaum’s legal advisor Charles Nesson hoped to persuade the Supreme Court that his client’s damages were indeed unconstitutionally high and that Judge Gertner was correct when reducing the award. But the Supreme Court declined to hear Nesson’s arguments, meaning Team Tenenbaum will have to continue to fight the damages sum in the lower courts, which could involve several more hearings and appeals yet. Tenenbaum has said publicly that he (unsurprisingly) doesn’t have $675,000, and has previously suggested he’d have to bankrupt himself if that figure stood. http://articles.boston.com/2012-05-22/metro/31802695_1_copyright-joel-tenenbaum-downloading-music  and  http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/325282  

Mega boss won’t reveal passwords without assurances
Copyright , Internet / June 2012
New Zealand
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   CMU Daily reports that MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz is refusing to give New Zealand police the passwords to encrypted data that they seized from his home earlier this year unless they agree to give him access to the digital files too. Dotcom’s lawyers have complained that they are being denied access to that data, which is hindering their efforts to defend the Mega chief against America’s attempts to extradite him to face criminal charges in the US.

German Pirate Party launch new agenda
Copyright / June 2012
Germany

COPYRIGHT All areas This from Monika Bruss writing on the 1709 Blog In recent weeks, copyright critics and author’s rights aficionados in Germany have been waging a war of words in a multitude of open letters), newspaper articles and at birthday brunches (or maybe that was just the birthday brunch I attended yesterday…). At the core of the debate is the political success of the Piratenparty (“Pirate Party”) that runs, inter alia, on the slogan of “de-criminalisation of non-commercial file sharing”. The Piratenpartei is keen to stress that they do not want to abolish copyright protection outright, but that they envisage a better deal for authors and users alike (at the expense of the much-loathed content industry). Others point out that “de-criminalisation” of file sharing amounts to much the same thing as the abolition of copyright. This morning, the Piratenpartei published what they deem the ten most important issues that should be addressed in reforming the current copyright law. As it is only available in German, I have translated (and somewhat summarised) them below: (i)         The term of (copyright) protection shall be shortened to 10 years post mortem auctoris. Among other things, this would alleviate the orphan works problem. (ii)        …

Bollywood moguls react with anger to India’s new copyright law
Copyright / June 2012
India

COPYRIGHT All areas   Bollywood has reacted with anger to the new Indian Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which seeks to protect owners of literary and musical works and which has been passed by the Rajya Sabha (543-0) and will be presented to the Lok Sabha before it becomes law, much to the delight of singers, script writers, lyricists and composers. But some music and film companies feel that it is “extremely unfair”. The new Act is said to be “empowering the creative sector” and strengthens the royalty claims of artistes, song and script writers, musicians and addresses newer issues related to the digital world and the Internet. The legislation was approved by the Rajya Sabha on May 17th and law provides that authors are the owners of the copyright for their creative work and that this right cannot be assigned to producers, as has been common the practice. The Act also makes it mandatory for broadcasters from both the radio and television industry to pay royalty to the owners of copyright each time a work of art is broadcast. The law also bans cover versions of literary, dramatic or musical work for five years from the first recording of the original…

Queen’s manager harks back to the ‘old’ EMI
Competition , Record Labels / June 2012
UK
USA

COMPETITION Record labels Whilst numerous music industry players have hit out at Universal’s plans to buy the EMI record companies – including Warners’ former chief Edgar Bronfman, Beggars Banquet chief Martin Mills and legendary producer George Martin (alongside negative comments from AIM and IMPALA), Jim Beach, manager of Queen, a band signed for most of their career to an EMI label before moving over to Universal once Terra Firma acquired the British label, has written a letter to the Times seemingly supporting a merger that will give Universal something approaching 50% of the recorded music market saying “Today’s music business is very different to that of 40 years ago, when the band I represent, Queen, began its career with EMI Records. Then the company was a hugely influential creative force in the UK and overseas. It gave us extraordinary music across virtually every genre, and its artists shaped the tastes of more than one generation”, “But”, he continued, “the latter-day EMI Records under private equity proved to be a very different place. Investment was slashed to the detriment of the artists, Queen among them, and we were not alone in jumping ship. I look forward to when EMI Records will…

Boss Act Back
Competition , Live Events / June 2012
USA

COMPETITION LAW Live events industry   A New Jersey U.S. Representative is taking a second stab at passing national legislation that would bring transparency to online ticket sales and target the controversial use of computer technology in the purchase of concert tickets. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, announced that he plans on re-introducing “The BOSS ACT,” dubbing this incarnation the “2012 Tour.” Pascrell previously introduced a bill by the same name in 2009, but the Bill never made it past the initial committee stage. The new legislative initiative is, according to Pascrell, a response to the glitches that occurred in January of 2012 when Bruce Springsteen most recent tickets went on sale. reminding fans and the congressman of Springsteen’s 2009 concert tour, which saw fans being redirected to Ticketmaster’s secondary ticketing website and sparked a lawsuit that ended with a $16.5 million settlement. http://www.ticketnews.com/news/nj-politician-proposes-online-ticket-sale-law051207419?utm_source=email&utm_medium=2012-05-10 and more on Ticketmaster here http://www.consumeraffairs.com/entertainment/ticketmaster.htm

Hendrix biopic in the line of fire
Ireland
UK
USA

TRADE MARK / COPYRIGHT Film, television, music publishing, image rights   The proposed Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Outkast MC Andre 3000 is definitely being made, despite the Hendrix Estate saying that it was not involved in any biopic last week, adding that that would stop any unapproved project from using the legendary guitarist’s music, which the Estate controls The biopic’s director, John Ridley, says he will begin filming his Hendrix movie in Ireland later this month, deriving part of his original screenplay from archived live and interview footage. A statement from Hendrix’s estate – which doesn’t rule out the potential for a Hendrix-scored Hendrix film in the future – says: “Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a ‘biopic’ in the future. Though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18032311

Morrissey’s battle with the NME approaches
Artists , Defamation / June 2012
Greece
UK

DEFAMATION Artistes   A July date for Morrissey’s High Court action against the New Musical Express has been set for  July 16th to the 19th – although his tour dates in Athens and Istanbul on July 16th and July have Not been cancelled which seems a tad odd. . Fans hoping to show support for Morrissey have been encouraged to “make their presence known outside the High Court in London on these dates.” The former Smith’s frontman is suing the NME over an interview published November 28, 2007 that the singer claims was defamatory and portrayed him as racist. The singer claims the magazine and its then editor Connor McNicholas doctored his words and fabricated material.  His website True to You notes that the magazine proposed a formal apology on its website (and not in print), but that Morrissey rejected the offer “as disproportionate to the damage done to Morrissey by the NME magazine itself.”   http://pitchfork.com/news/46565-morrisseys-case-against-nme-set-for-july/

Viagogo ups sticks and leaves the UK
Business , Live Events / June 2012
Switzerland
UK

BUSINESS Ticketing, Live Events   In the wake of the Channel 4 Dispatches programme and a High Court order requiring disclosure of customer details, Viagogo has wound up its UK company and seemingly moved its base to Switzerland. On the 22nd March Viagogo changed its name to Consolidated Information Services Ltd and then put the company into liquidation 4 days later.  The Viagogo website is now operated by Viagogo AG.  The High Court order, obtained by the Rugby Football Union in May 2011 and confirmed on appeal, required the company to reveal details of customers re-selling ‘Six Nation’ Rugby Union matches. Viagogo maintains it will not release customer information.   http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4631 and http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4682

New proposals to tackle drunkenness
Licensing , Live Events / June 2012
UK

LICENSING Live events industry The UK Government has a proposed a number of changes to the Licensing Act 2003 to reduce drunkeness and alcohol related violence. Local authorities will have new powers to refuse, revoke or impose conditions on a licence to combat irresponsible behaviour  by bar and club owners – reducing the evidential threshold from ‘necessary’ to ‘appropriate’ A new local levy to enable local authorities to require business selling alcohol late at night to contribute to policing costs and other costs their trade causes Local health authorities will be ‘responsible authorities’ so, for example, a hospital regularly treating victims of alcohol violence from a particular venue could instigate a review of that venue’s licence. Hospitals could also share non-personal information concerning assaults and violence The strategy also plans to encourage local authorities to use existing powers under the Licensing Act 2003 – such as the offence of knowingly serving someone alcohol who is drunk – there have just been just three convictions for this offence since 2010. Source: The Magistrate May 2012

Could musicians fall foul of US environmental law?
USA

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW Artistes A US senator has made it his mission to save musicians from a federal environmental law that could be cited to confiscate the instruments of US performers travelling abroad for the summer concert season? Republic Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee (its capital is Nashville, better known as Music City) says that the law should be clarified or ‘tweaked’ if necessary.   “I don’t want the musicians from Nashville who are flying to Canada to perform this summer to worry about the government seizing their guitars,” Alexander said in a statement. Why seize guitars? Because many of those instruments are made from exotic woods that were outlawed by a 2008 amendment to the century old  Lacey Act, an amendment Alexander himself proposed, by adding wood and forest products to Act, which was  first passed to protect endangered birds whose feathers were being used to decorate womens’ hats,   However, he now seemingly accepts that the law was not meant to apply to musical instruments made pre-2008 and wants to create a ‘safe harbour’ for instruments made before that date – saying “the law was never intended to apply to those instruments”. It’s no secret that American timber companies were being…

Revealed: drugs seizures at UK festivals
Criminal Law , Live Events / June 2012
UK

CRIMINAL LAW Live events industry ARTICLE LINK:  Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act provide a unique insight into changing patterns of drug use at British music festivals. What the article fails to address is the approaches and resources of different police forces around the UK, which surely has a significant impact on these statistics.   http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/21/music-festivals-drugs

Gaga faces South East Asian backlash
Censorship , Live Events / June 2012
Indonesia
USA

CENSORSHIP Live events industry Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour of South East Asia has hit problems in the Philippines with Christian groups joining Muslim protests against her concerts. In particular Christians have said that they are appalled by the use of a crucifix in “a very denigrating manner” as were the lyrics as one of her songs “where she is belittling Jesus Christ himself and praising Judas as heroic. It us understood the concerts in Manilla will monitored for any hint of “blasphemy, devil worship, nudity or lewd conduct”.    40,000 fans in the Catholic-majority nation have snapped up tickets of up to 15,840 pesos ($370) each to watch the U.S. singer perform in Manila. Police in Indonesia had already halted what would have been the biggest concert on her Asian tour after fears that her sexual imagery and risque dance routines would undermine Islamic values and corrupt youth. Muslim hardliners under the Islamic Defenders Front banner claimed the Born This Way Ball would undermine the country’s moral fibre and had planned to blocade the country’s airport. The 52,000 capacity show at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium was scheduled for June 3rd, promoted by Big Daddy Promotions. The IDF’s Salim Alatas told reporters  “She’s a vulgar…

Article: “Let He Who Is Without Sin, Cast The First Stone”
Articles / May 2012

Click here to download this article as a PDF file (.pdf) By Ben Challis The title of this article is from the Bible, from the story of a woman who is caught committing adultery, then a mortal sin. The sinner is brought before Jesus by the less than unblemished Scribes and Pharisees: In the lesson, Jesus refuses to condemn the woman, because of the hypocrisy of those who brought the charges, and whilst he tells the woman to ‘sin no more’ he also tells her accusers to repent their sins. Now why does this remind me of what’s happening with copyright law reform at the moment? Well, let me explain.   Pontificating Pirates Reading The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde’s rather pathetic excuses and whinging repudiation of the quite proper conviction he was given by the Swedish Courts, laden with conspiracy theories and self pity, I couldn’t but think that in my heart of hearts, I do feel that copyright theft is wrong because it steals from the very people who create beauty and enjoyment in our lives. Where would we be without music, art, books, films, plays, poetry and the other marvellous fruits of human creativity? But there again,…

SiriusXM Files Antitrust Claims Against SoundExchange and A2IM
USA

COMPETITION / COPYRIGHT Record labels, broadcasting In a curious move, Satellite and internet radio station Sirius XM Radio has filed a complaint against US collection society SoundExchange, Inc. and the American Association of Independent Music (“A2IM”) saying both organisations unlawfully interfered in SiriusXM’s efforts to secure, through a competitive market, the use of sound recordings critical to its business.  The complaint contends that the conduct violates federal antitrust, as well as New York state law, in particular violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act by interfering with the satellite channel’s efforts to obtain cheaper direct licenses that pay royalty rates of 5% to 7%, instead of the 8% statutory rate for master rights owners. SoundExchange is the non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.  The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters. SiriusXM is seeking injunctive relief to stop SoundExchange and…

Weird Al joins digital royalties battle
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, artists CMU Daily reports that Weird Al’ Yankovic is the latest artist to enter the digital royalties dispute party in the US, in a wide ranging royalties lawsuit that accuses Sony Music of improper reporting of its costs, of failing to pass on any of the damages it won from file-sharing companies like Kazaa, and of paying him a record sale royalty on download sales when such revenues should be treated as licensing income. He joins Toto in the latest assault on the major, who had recently settled (subject to court approval) the 2006 lawsuit launched by The Allman Brothers, Cheap Trick, The Youngbloods and others which would see artists receive a 3% increase in their share of download revenue and a lump sum payment. Meanwhile EMI faces litigation on this issue from Kenny Rogers and early 80s new wave band called The Motels, led by singer Martha Davis; Warner Music from Sister Sledge and Tower Of Power; and Universal already have lost one case, brought by eminen producers FBT and face claims from Rob Zombie, Chuck D, David Coverdale (Whitesnake), Dave Mason (Traffic) and the estate of Rick James Whilst obviously (and perhaps unsurprisingly) less than…

Hadopi claims 50% drop in French piracy
Copyright , Internet / May 2012
France

COPYRIGHT Internet A new report on the effectiveness of the French three-strikes ‘Hadopi’ anti-piracy law claims that it had managed to cut Internet piracy in half in 2011. Well I imagine it would, as it’s from the Hadopi office itself, and as Torrentfreak points out the Report is “conveniently written in English so it can be used by lobbyists all around the world”, The Report says that “Benchmarking studies covering all of the sources available shows a clear downward trend in illegal P2P downloads. There is no indication that there has been a massive transfer in forms of use to streaming technologies or direct downloads.” The report goes on to cite a variety of statistics ranging from a 29 percent decrease in visits to “pirate” sites in 2011, to a 66 percent drop in illegal file-sharing traffic in France in the same period. Impressive figures indeed, and Hadopi correlates this to the French three-strikes law. However there is no corresponding rise in digital sales in France and Torrentfreak asks “[if] the entertainment industry has claimed that digital piracy is the main cause for the gradual decline in revenues …… one would expect that the revenues are soaring, right? But they’re not”…

Northampton Country falls silent
USA

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing Northampton County Courthouse, the Gracedale nursing home and other Northampton County buildings have gone silent after failing to pay a licence fee demanded by ASCAP to use music usually radio broadcasts, poped through buildings.  County Executive John Stoffa ordered the music silenced after an ultimatum by from ASCAP saying “Out of the blue one day in my mail was this letter from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers,” Stoffa said. “I’d never heard of it before”.  ASCAP wanted $2,343 per year to allow the county to perform the tunes through the public buildings. Stoffa inquired further and learned ASCAP had similarly informed the county before, but the Authority had ignored the request . ASCAP offered the county a contract based on its population size that would have granted use of its repertory as background music in municipal buildings, as on-hold music and at other government-sponsored activities. The license, an ASCAP representative wrote in an email to Stoffa, provides an “efficient and affordable” method for local governments to comply with copyright law. “Frankly, I waited three months to make a decision because I thought these people might go away,” Stoffa said. The $2,343 fee is equal…

Gooveshark faces more woes
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels There is more trouble ahead for Grooveshark the popular streaming service that in one way or another has run afoul of every major record label. EMI Music, the only major record label to license its music to Grooveshark, has now sued the company in New York State Supreme Court, saying that the service owes $300,000 plus interest for non-payment on a promissory note having paid $150,000 from the alleged $450,000 due. As a result, EMI says, it has terminated its licensing agreement with Grooveshark. In a statement, Grooveshark said: “Grooveshark was recently forced to make the difficult decision to part ways with EMI due to EMI’s currently unsustainable streaming rates and EMI’s pending merger with Universal Music Group, which we consider monopolistic and in violation of antitrust laws. To date, Grooveshark has paid over $2.6 million to EMI, but we have yet to find sustainable streaming rates.” Grooveshark has an estimated  35 million users, and argues that its service is legal under the terms of the Digital Copyright Millennium Act, which i simple terms gives ”safe harbor” to sites that host third-party material if they comply with takedown notices from copyright holders. Grooveshark is facing a…

50 cent faces sampling claim
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, artistes Rapper 50 Cent is being sued by Robert Poindexter (The Persuaders) for allegedly sampling one of his band’s tracks without permission. The sampled recording in question, “Love Gonna Pack Up And Walk Out,” was allegedly sampled on a 2009 track called “Redrum” and then included on a mixtape called “War Drum” that 50 Cent posted online for free and the latter point appears to be the rapper’s initial legal contention in defence of his actions – he didn’t make any money out of it (which might beg the question – then why did he do it – were there any other benefits to 50 Cent?). The filed legal papers reportedly describe this contention as “frivolous and immaterial.” Poindexter is demanding $600,000 in punitive damages, as well as statutory damages of an unexpressed amount. http://www.tmz.com/2012/04/21/50-cent-lawsuit/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#.T5MF3o7GdYA

Australia’s iiNet decision comes down firmly in favour of ISPs
Copyright , Internet / May 2012
Australia

COPYRIGHT Internet Australia’s High Court -the nation’s highest – has given a clear ruling that internet service providers are not liable for authorising copyright infringement by making their services available to people who do infringe copyright. In case case originally brought by rights group AFACT, the High Court unanimously dismissed the appeal in the case and the Court observed that iiNet had no direct technical power to prevent its customers to infringe copyright in the appellants’ films. Rather, the extent of iiNet’s power to prevent its customers from infringing the appellants’ copyright was limited to an indirect power to terminate its contractual relationship with its customers. Further, the Court held that the information contained in the AFACT notices, as and when they were served, did not provide iiNet with a reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers’ accounts. For these reasons, the Court held that it could not be inferred from iiNet’s inactivity after receiving the AFACT notices that iiNet had authorised any act of infringement of copyright in the appellants’ films by its customers. The unanimous decision distinguished the Kazaa case (where the Kazaa P2P site was successfully pursued…

US appeals court reverses Viacom v Google decision to allow Viacom’s action
Copyright , Internet / May 2012
USA

COPRIGHT Internet The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed (Thursday 4th April) the June 2010 lower court ruling from Judge Louis Stanton in favour of YouTube which resulted from the $1 billion lawsuit filed by Viacom, the English Premier (football) League and others in 2007 to stop users posting of clips from programmes like the Daily Show and SpongeBobSquarePants amongst 79,000 copyrighted works on the YouTube platform. YouTube seemed to put a positive spin on the decision with a YouTube spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement: “All that is left of the Viacom lawsuit that began as a wholesale attack on YouTube is a dispute over a tiny percentage of videos long ago removed from YouTube. Nothing in this decision impacts the way YouTube is operating.” Viacom, in a statement, said the appeals court “delivered a definitive, common sense message to YouTube: intentionally ignoring theft is not protected by the law.” http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0405/Appeals-court-reinstates-Viacom-lawsuit-against-Google-s-YouTube and more on other developments here http://www.the1709blog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/after-fight-are-youtube-and-viacom.html