YouTube allows users to see how using third party music will affect videos before uploading
Copyright , Internet , Music Publishing / January 2015
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   YouTube has added new features to allow content creators to see what effect using other people’s music in their videos will have prior to uploading them to the platform. Google‘s  Content ID system allows music right owners to identify when their music being used by third parties on the site – giving them the choice of blocking or monetising the content – this leaves video creators in the dark about a content owners approach so YouTube will now show uploaders what restrictions may be placed on their videos as a result of their music choices, and whether adverts will appear to compensate the music copyright owners. In a blog post, YouTube Product Manager Tim Grow explained: “Until now there was no way to know what would happen if you used a specific track until after you hit upload. Starting today, you can search the YouTube Audio Library to determine how using a particular track in your video will affect it on YouTube, specifically if it will stay live on YouTube or if any restrictions apply. You can uncross those uploading fingers now!” Users can also access music and sound effects pre-cleared for use in the…

Swedish raid knocks The Pirate Bay offline
Copyright , Internet / January 2015
EU
Sweden
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet     Swedish police have seized servers, computers and other equipment used by The Pirate Bay, effectively (for the time being) taking the controversial file-sharing platform offline. The takedown directly affected the service’s thepiratebay.se domain, and had a knock on effect on other domains and proxies cused to access the site. CMU Daily reported that the service’s homepage” did reappear at a new domain registered in Costa Rica, though at the time of writing [09.12.14] that version of the site isn’t actually working – the homepage and community feed appear, but any attempt to access links to content via the site result in an internal server error.” Other file-sharing sites such as EZTV, Zoink, and Torrage were also offline, as was Pirate Bay’s forum Suprbay.org. The National Coordinator of IP Crime at Stockholm County Police Paul Pinter told Reuters: “We had a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm because of a copyright infringement, and yes it was Pirate Bay”. Interestingly, one of the orginal founders Peter Sunde, who is no longer involved with TPB, posted a blog admitting that he was happy that the website was offline saying “News just reached me that The Pirate Bay has been raided, again. That happened over 8 years…

Industry seeks judicial review for new private copy exception
Copyright / December 2014
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas   As expected, the UK music industry is set to fight the private copy exemption added to British copyright law earlier this year through the courts. On 1 October 2014, the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014 came into force. This introduced the UK’s private copying exception, as contemplated by Article 5(2)(b) of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC). At its heart, the purpose of the UK exception was said to be to legitimise format-shifting i.e. it allows consumers to copy music from their CDs onto their MP3 players (which, as you may well be thinking, people have been doing for years anyway, regardless of lawfulness) although it also covers cloud lockers and other types of personal copying. The Government now faces judicial review over its implementation of the legislation. The claimants are the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), Musicians’ Union (MU) and cross industry group UK Music. Whilst they support the introduction of a private copying exception to keep up with the development of technology and practice, the government has introduced the exception without means of ‘fair compensation’ for musicians, composers and rightholders, as required by the Copyright Directive….

Irish minister rejects Irish music quota for radio
Competition / November 2014
EU
Ireland

COMPETITION Broadcasting   FRENCH-style radio quotas for Irish music could contravene European law, Irish Minister Jan O’Sullivan has insisted. The minister  was responding to Labour colleague Deputy Willie Penrose, who was speaking in the Dail in support of Limerick songwriter Johnny Duhan’s call to set aside a minimum amount of airtime to Irish acts. Deputy Penrose said: “It is well argued by Mr Duhan that we are more vulnerable than any other EU country as we are very near England, and as many of our singers generally sing in English we are more exposed and susceptible to the cultural influence of England and the US than any of our EU partners”. Responding the minister said that while the government supported the promotion of Irish music, its approach had to be “consistent with EU and Irish regulatory structures”.   http://www.limerickleader.ie/what-s-on/arts-entertainment/music/jan-o-sullivan-says-radio-quotas-could-breach-eu-law-1-6359905

Sony/ATV and EMI launch new pan European licensing scheme
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2014
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Sony/ATV, EMI Music, PRS and GEMA are set to build on the success of CELAS and PAECOL by launching SOLAR to administer pan European digital licensing for Sony/ATV and EMI music and compositions, replacing the previous set-ups. Sony/ATV chief Marty Bandier told reporters: “This agreement not only builds on our already successful relationships with PRS For Music and GEMA, but makes the licensing process in Europe more straight-forward as services will now have only one place to go for both Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing repertoire. It is also great news for our songwriters as we look to continue to facilitate licensing in this rapidly-evolving and expanding sector”.   http://www.prsformusic.com/aboutus/press/latestpressreleases/Pages/sony-atv-prs-for-music-gema-launch-joint-venture.aspx

Italian court says that YouTube’s Content ID should be used to block allegedly infringing contents
Copyright , Internet / August 2014
EU
Italy
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   A couple of months ago the IPKat reported that the Tribunale di Torino (Turin District Court) had rejected an application for an interim injunction brought by Delta TV in the context of proceedings between this and Google and YouTube. Delta TV produces and markets TV programs, and holds the economic rights to a number of South American soap operas for a number of territories (including Italy), where it licences the relevant rights to third parties. Delta TV became aware that a number of episodes of such soap operas dubbed in Italian had been unlawfully uploaded on YouTube. It also became aware that, by inserting their titles on Google Search, the first results displayed links to such YouTube videos. Delta TV sued [the case is still pending] Google and YouTube for secondary copyright infringement, seeking damages for over EUR 13m. It also sought an interim injunction to have the videos removed from YouTube. YouTube and Google opposed the application, claiming that, as soon as they became aware of such allegedly infringing contents, they removed them from YouTube, in compliance with the obligations set for hosting providers by the Ecommerce Directive and the piece of legislation (Legislative Decree 70/2003) that implemented it into the Italian legal system. The Tribunale di Torino dismissed the…

Indies bring in the EU over YouTube negotiations
Competition , Record Labels / July 2014
EU
USA

COMPETITION LAW Recorded music   The independent label community will today step up its campaign against Google owned YouTube by calling on the European Union to intervene, having already criticised the way the YouTube is negotiating with the record companies in a bid to launch its much mooted and rather delayed audio streaming service, a new Spotify and Amazon competitor that will sit alongside YouTube’s vast music video catalogue – with what appeared to be an initial threat from the dominant YouTube – to remove all of the Indie’s material from YouTube if they didn’t sign up to what were perceived to be unfavourable terms all of their content on the Google site could be blocked. The royalty rates paid by YouTube when music videos are streamed on its site were already becoming contentious in the music industry, as the audio streaming services which pay higher rates started to stress that the free-to-view video site was hindering their attempts to woo more mainstream consumers. The rates subsequently offered for YouTube audio were similarly criticised once they were on the table – although the three major labels have done deals with YouTube, albeit on unknown terms. The threat of removing material…

CJEU upholds ‘right to be forgotten’
Artists , Privacy / June 2014
EU

PRIVACY Artists   The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the the application of the so-called “right to be forgotten” on the search giant. In a now already criticised ruling, the CJEU  said links to “inadequate, “irrelevant” and outdated (“no longer relevant”) or excessive data should be erased on request. The board of 13 judges ruled that information could be suppressed under the 1995 Privacy Directive and subject to data protection rules, even if it was ‘true, accurate and lawfully published’ saying “[T]he activity of a search engine consisting in finding information published or placed on the internet by third parties, indexing it automatically, storing it temporarily and, finally, making it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference must be classified as ‘processing of personal data’ within the meaning of Article 2(b) [of the Data Protection Directive] when that information contains personal data and, second, the operator of the search engine must be regarded as the ‘controller’ in respect of that processing, within the meaning of Article 2(d).”   According to the Court: “the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list…

OSA ruling: no Czech exemption from health-spa music royalty payments
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2014
Czech Republic
EU

COPYRIGHT Collection societies, recorded music, music publishing   The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has given judgment in Case C‑351/12, OSA – Ochranný svaz autorský pro práva k dílům hudebním o.s. v Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně a.s., a reference for a preliminary issue from a Czech court, the Krajský soud v Plzni.  According to the press release: A spa which transmits protected musical works to its guests by means of devices located in their bedrooms must pay copyright fees: The territorial monopoly granted to copyright collecting societies is not contrary to the freedom to provide services OSA, a copyright collecting society, holds the exclusive right in the Czech Republic to collect fees, on behalf of authors, for the use of their musical works. The company Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně, which manages a spa, installed radio and television sets in the bedrooms of that establishment in order to make works managed by OSA available to its guests. However, Léčebné lázně Mariánské Lázně did not enter into a licence agreement with OSA and refused to pay fees to it on the ground that, under the Czech legislation, health establishments may freely transmit protected works. OSA, being of the view that…

The IFPI Digital Music Report 2014 shows a changing landscape for the recorded music sector
Copyright , Music Publishing / April 2014
EU
Germany
Italy
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   The IFPI have published their downloadable Digital Music Report 2014 – who shows that music fans’ growing appetite for subscription and streaming services helped drive trade revenue growth in most major music markets in 2013, with overall digital revenues growing 4.3 per cent and Europe’s music market expanding for the first time in more than a decade. Subscription services’ revenues were up 51 per cent in 2013, and it is estimated that more than 28 million people worldwide now pay for a music subscription, up from 20 million in 2012 and just eight million in 2010. That said, on a negative note, in the world’s second biggest recorded music market, Japan, a sharp drop in sales meant that overall global industry revenues declined by 3.9 per cent. Global revenue excluding Japan fell by 0.1 per cent. Physical format sales still account for a major proportion of industry revenues in many major markets.  They account for more than half (51.4%) of all global revenues, compared to 56 per cent in 2012.  Although global physical sales value declined by 11.7 per cent in 2013, major markets including Germany, Italy, the UK and the US saw a slow-down in the rate of physical decline.  France’s…

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

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

Collection Society reform gathers pace
Copyright , Music Publishing / March 2014
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, recorded music   CISAC, the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies have announced some of the key findings from its Global Royalty Collections report, based on 2012 figures: Gross royalty collections achieved a new record high of € 7.8 billion, an increase of 2% over 2011. 58,8% of global collections were generated in Europe (€4.6 billion)  87% of collections were accounted for by the musical repertoire 75% of collections were from public performance royalties 4% of collections coming from digital (€ 301 million) There was a 5.1% decline in mechanical reproduction royalties. The report itself is “Sustaining Creativity: Growth in Creators’ Royalties as Markets Go Digital”. MEPs have strongly backed a new bill that will allow music download sites to secure single music rights licences from collective management organisations that are valid across the EU, voting 640-18 in favour of adopting the Collective Rights Management Directive. Organisations managing authors’ works will be required to prove that they can process data from service providers showing when music is downloaded or streamed online, and that they can match this data to the music by their clients. MEPs say the law should stimulate the development of EU-wide online music services and that lower…

EC launches consultation for European copyright law reform
Copyright / January 2014
EU

COPYRIGHT All Areas   The European Commission has launched a public consultation as part of its on-going efforts to review and modernise EU copyright rules. Set in the context of an introduction that says “Over the last two decades, digital technology and the Internet have reshaped the ways in which content is created, distributed, and accessed. New opportunities have materialised for  those that create and produce content (e.g. a film, a novel, a song), for new and existing  distribution platforms, for institutions such as libraries, for activities such as research and for  citizens who now expect to be able to access content – for information, education or  entertainment purposes – regardless of geographical borders”  The Review of the EU Copyright Rules invites stakeholders to share their views on areas identified in the Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market including territoriality in the Single Market, harmonisation, limitations and exceptions to copyright in the digital age; fragmentation of the EU copyright market; and how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement while underpinning its legitimacy in the wider context of copyright reform. The Review says this as a backdrop: “The “Licences for Europe” process has been finalised now. The…

EU term extension prompts ‘rare grooves’ outing
Copyright , Music Publishing / January 2014
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   It seems that the major record labels have decided that the new EU wide term extension for sound recordings does not apply to unreleased material: Rather than full scale releases, some of the labels have decided on limited releases only: A new Sony collection of unreleased Bob Dylan recordings — concerts, radio and television appearances, and studio outtakes, all from 1963 — has just appeared in a limited edition of 100 copies, on six vinyl LPs – “The 50th Anniversary Collection: 1963”. Universal and Apple are being a lot more generous to fans:  Universal plans to release, on iTunes only, “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963” a compilation of 59 recordings, among them a handful of studio outtakes; a few dozen BBC performances, drawn from the same well as the recent “On Air” BBC two-CD set; and informal demonstration recordings of two songs the group gave to other artists — Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s acoustic guitar duet version of “Bad to Me” and a Lennon piano demo of “I’m in Love.” Some interesting comment on the labels’ thinking can be found on the NY Times website here.   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/arts/music/european-copyright-laws-lead-to-rare-music-releases.html?_r=0

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

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

Article: What goes around comes around: the copyright roundabout
Copyright / August 2013
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT All Areas By Andrew Potter   It is said that when David Cameron was recently in Brussels, he was asked by other leaders why, when the UK was probably the richest European country in term of creativity, he wanted to water down the copyright law. This apparently made him sit up, and there is increasing evidence of a sea change from the time when Google appeared to be dictating the new government’s policy in this area. With copyright, governments tend to behave to a pattern: when they are newly elected, they are immediately lobbied by powerful users who claim that copyright stunts business development. Then they start to learn what it is all about and realise that creativity is a business too, that many creative people can be useful and prominent advocates, and that the likes of Adele or Anthony Gormley can be a cause of national pride. So, instead of watering it down, successive governments during the past century have been persuaded with each new law or amendment to strengthen rather than weaken copyright. The latest cycle began with the Hargreaves Review. It dutifully asserted that copyright laws are ‘today obstructing innovation and economic growth’. It offered a…

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

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

EC approve UMG and Sony divestments
EU
UK

COMPETITION Record labels, music publishers   The European Commission has granted approval for the sale of the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music. When it acquired EMI last year, Universal Music was forced by competition regulators to sell the Parlophone Label Group – which includes the UK-based Parlophone frontline label and catalogue, some more British EMI archive, and EMI operations in various other European markets – and it was announced that Warner would buy it in February in a £478 million deal.  Beggars boss Martin Mills told Music Week: “This is good news for the market, and goes some way towards mitigating the concerns raised by Universal’s EMI acquisition, which we are already seeing become reality. As the clearance says, the strengthening of both Warners and the independents, as a consequence of Warner’s agreement with IMPALA and Merlin, should go some way to counter the power of Universal – and the existing duopoly of Universal and Sony – to unilaterally determine the shape of the marketplace. The consequent strengthening of the independent sector as a whole should be especially welcomed”. And BMG’s acquisition of the EMI publishing catalogues Sony/ATV was forced to sell has also been approved by European regulators….

IFPI report confirms modest growth in recorded music revenues
Brazil
EU
India
Mexico
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has published its annual Recording Industry In Numbers report for 2013. The global recorded music industry saw its revenues increase very slightly by 0.2% in 2012, the first increase since 1999. Growth in digital revenues, including those from the rapidly expanding subscription and streaming service domain, coupled with boosted income from a number of emerging markets, combined to help compensate for the continued decline in physical product sales. Digital now accounts for 35% of the wider record industry’s global trade revenues, and of this paid for downloads account for around 80% – although in Europe subscription and streaming are now bringing in a third of digital income. Digital generated $5.6 billion in 2012, up 8% on 2011. Physical products bring in 57% of the money worldwide and CD sales topped $9.4 billion with 833 million CDs sold, down from 910 million in 2011 and 2.4 billion sold in 2000.The remaining income is from other licensing-based revenue streams, chiefly performance (PPL) rights, which now account for 6% of income overall. Sync licensing saw modest growth in 2012. Brazil, India and Mexico have all seen market growth since 2008 (of…

New EU rules may put pressure on unexplained ticketing charges
Contract , Live Events / May 2013
EU
UK

CONTRACT Live events industry   New regulations have come effect last weekend that will stop UK companies from including anything but ‘cost of sale’ in payment surcharges which may have a major impact on the ticketing business where a variety of additional costs are often added the cost of tickets including credit card booking fees, delivery, ‘transaction’ and ‘booking’ fees . The Regulations ban traders from charging consumers more than the cost borne to them for accepting a given means of payment. The Consumer Protection (Payment Surcharges) Regulations which stem from EU legislation were passed by the UK parliament last year and brought into effect on the 6 April  say that where credit card fees are added to purchases, a seller can’t use that extra charge to increase profit margin, ie the fee must only cover costs directly linked to the credit card transaction. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued guidelines to try to define “costs directly linked to the credit card transaction. Fees charged to a seller by a credit card provider can be included, and according to the guidelines so can any costs directly related to fulfilment  – IT costs, risk management and anti-fraud efforts….

Retitling of songs means millions missing in unreported artist royalties
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Artists, record labels, music publishing   A new report, the “State of the Music Licensing Industry: 2013” provides evidence that shows an increasingly problematic music licensing landscape for recording artists, labels and publishers and highlights that whilst the music licensing industry continues to grow as a multi-billion dollar segment of the global music industry, there remains some unhealthy practices, most notably the prolific practice of retitling. Retitling is where a music licensing company re-registers a song under a different title with a performing rights organization (PRO), allowing for the royalties to be separately tracked when that song is licensed for a specific third party use. This allows the music licensing company to control and earn a significant share of the royalties collected. The report states that 40% of music licensing companies retitle works for a share in royalties garnered from “sync” placements. “The practice of retitling is considered unhealthy for artists and for the music licensing industry. It can be very problematic, as one piece of music with many titles is confusing and can lead to multiple parties claiming ownership of the same work and ultimately artists not receiving royalties owed, if at all” said Winston Giles, CEO and…

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

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

Term extension too late for Love Me Do
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / February 2013
EU
UK

COPYRIGHT Record labels, artistes   Two independent labels have released versions of the Beatles’ track ‘Love Me Do‘ and it’s B side ‘PS I Love You‘ which officially fell out of copyright on 31 December 2012 (after fifty years) against the backdrop of the sound recording copyright term being extended in Europe to a term of seventy years. The term extension was agreed at a European level after a change of heart by the UK government and extensive lobbying by the recorded music industry. For the UK record industry, there was an real urgency, as it’s catalogue of mid-1960s recordings, including key Beatles and Rolling Stones releases, were approaching the end of their 50 year term. The extension, which was dubbed the Cliff Richard extension because an increasing number of the Peter Pan of Pop’s recordings would enter the public domain, was also helped by stories of ageing session musicians who might still earn royalties from the 1960s hits they were involved in, thanks to a rule that says any recording artists involved in a recording are due a cut of public performance royalties via collecting society PPL, despite past recording agreements with the record labels who released and usually…

MPG announce new standard for embedding ISRCs onto WAV files
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2013
EU

COPYRIGHT Recorded music sector   The Music Producers Guild’s Mastering Group has achieved a significant breakthrough for all recording artists and other copyright owners by working with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to create  an industry standard for embedding ISRCs which uniquely indentify sound recordings into digital music files. It is hoped that the adoption of this standard will simplify the reporting of the use of tracks by broadcasters, and the distribution of broadcast royalties. The system would also ensure that ISRCs are carried through the digital aggregation process, and could power a global database containing credit information associated with a track, hopefully overcoming a digital music gripe particularly important to the producer and sound engineer community, shoddy crediting (which, arguably, is a violation of a creator’s moral rights in some copyright systems). The MPG is planning a launch presentation to outline its new standard, and is calling on labels, rights administrators, artists and managers, broadcasters and industry trade groups to get behind the initiative. http://broadcastengineering.com/music-producers-guild-helps-define-new-industry-standard

Mills calls for more support for the content industries from technology loving politicians
Copyright / February 2013
EU
France

COPYRIGHT All areas   Beggars Banquet chief Martin Mills has spoken out against politicians who pay lip service to the creatuve industries. Using a speech at MIDEM to attack the “predatory behaviour” of the majors, and expressing concerns at Sony/ATV/EMI’s recent decision to licence Pandora in the US directly rather than via the collective licensing system Mills went on to say the tell his audience: “I want to address the lack of support that governments, politicians and bureaucrats worldwide show to the creative industries”. He added: “Many [in governmental and political circles] pay lip service to the value and importance of the creative economy, but most fail to match that with their actions. Creative industries are built upon strong and defendable intellectual property rights, and without that they will inevitably wither and fail. It is impossible to make the investments to produce new creative goods without the security that ownership of them is protected. Yet governments are seduced daily by elements of the new technology industry into diluting and compromising that security”. Admitting that rights owners – especially the bigger ones – have made various mistakes in the way they licence online content services in the last fifteen years, and…

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

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

Brazil blocks EMI mergers
Brazil
EU
UK

COMPETITION Recorded music, music publishing   Both Sony/ATV and Universal have been told by the Brazilian competition regulator that they could not merge the respective EMI publishing and recorded music  businesses with their existing companies in Brazil. This is a more difficult position that both majors face in Europe where divestments had been agreed. US regulators did not set any hurdles for the two mergers, seemingly relying on the EC measures. In one of his first interviews since acquiring the EMI record companies, Universal chief Lucian Grainge said he planned to launch EMI’s American label brand Capitol in the UK, the mega-major having been forced to sell off EMI’s UK-based Parlophone brand by European regulators.

Indie woe as more VAT loopholes spring up
EU
UK

TAXATION Recorded music, retail   It seems the UK government’s plans to stem the sale of VAT free CDs and DVDs in the UK faces a new challenge. With the Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) tax dodge loophole used by online retailers based in the Channel Islands having been closed, the Guardian revealed that The Hut was now using a warehouse in Chicago, seemingly to benefit from the tax relief that occurs when low-cost goods are sold from outside the EU into the UK. It means The Hut does not need to charge VAT on CDs or DVDs, giving it a 20% advantage over mainland sellers. One of the lobby groups that campaigned against LVCR abuse has now said that some operators are finding other ways of avoiding paying tax, but predicted that most alternative methods would be stopped by the authorities in due course too.  Independent retailers argue that the exploitation of LVCR by a small number of big mail-order firms, plus HMV and the supermarkets, helped contribute to the demise of many indie record sellers, who couldn’t compete on the high street, or transform their brands into successful mail-order businesses, because their offshore competitors had such a big…

YouTube got smarter – says YouTube
Copyright , Internet / November 2012
EU
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Internet   YouTube says that it has been steadily improving its ability to manage content, especially infringing content, and the company has now showcased some major changes resulting from this process – some which will please content owners, some of which will please YouTube users. Starting with the latter, YouTube has now implemented an appeals process for material taken down via the “Content ID” system, YouTube’s own copyright protection system. Content ID enables some 3,000 approved rights holders to upload videos to a central reference database, where they are digitally fingerprinted. There are some 500,000 hours logged. When YouTube detects content with a fingerprint match but uploaded by someone else, it enables the rights holders to automatically take it down, or place ads on it. Now the system has been updated with YouTube saying: “Users have always had the ability to dispute Content ID claims on their videos if they believe those claims are invalid. Prior to today, if a content owner rejected that dispute, the user was left with no recourse for certain types of Content ID claims (eg monetize claims). Based upon feedback from our community, today we’re introducing an appeals process that gives eligible users a…

EMI v Re-Digi begins
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / November 2012
EU
USA

COPYRIGHT Record labels, internet   A Manhattan court has begun hearing the legal challenge to the right to sell digital music files as “used” goods. The case centres on how copyright law for physical goods applies to digital products. EMI has brought the case against ReDigi, a site that allows users who’ve legally purchased music in digital form to sell it on to somebody else. Users can only sell songs they’ve bought from iTunes or ReDigi itself: they can’t sell tracks they have ripped from a CD. Re-Digi claims the service must be legal because of the US ‘first sale’ doctrine. The major labels disagree. They argue that the first-sale doctrine only applies to physical music products, saying that when a CD changes hands no actual mechanical copy is made of the songs or recordings contained on the disk, whereas when an MP3 is transferred from one PC to another a copy does take place. EMI’s attorney Richard Mandel said: “You are selling and distributing recordings. In order to do that, you have to make a copy and that is a violation of the reproduction right of the Copyright Act”. But Gary Adelman, representing ReDigi, countered: “There is no copy…

ProMusic website re-launched
Copyright , Internet / November 2012
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COPYRIGHT Internet   IFPI, the organisation representing the international recorded music industry worldwide, has welcomed the latest in a series of rulings by Russian courts against Kontakte, the country’s leading social networking site that facilitates the mass distribution of copyright infringing music. The Arbitration Court of St Petersburg and Leningrad ordered vKontakte to pay damages of 550,000 roubles (€13,718) to SBA Gala Records, an independent Russian record label and licensed distributor for EMI Music’s international repertoire, for its role in facilitating the illegal distribution of 11 unlicensed sound recordings online.  vKontakte enables any user to upload files containing copyright infringing music to its social networking platform, then offers its other users the opportunity to search for the tracks and the ability to stream them, and download them using apps and browser extensions. It is Russia’s most popular online entertainment platform with more than 110 million registered users and is one of the top 50 most visited sites in the world. The IFPI have also announced the re-launch of the newly redesigned www.pro-music.org website – a simple information resource for anyone looking to find out more about legitimate digital music services and copyright law across the world. First launched in 2003, Pro-Music was created by…

Grooveshark launches artist monetisation service
Copyright , Internet / November 2012
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COPYRIGHT Internet, Technology   Controversial streaming music service Grooveshark –  currently undergoing some major revisions including better playlisting options, and new sharing and recommendation tools, qill also introduce artist-managed profiles. These will allow artists to set up their own profile on the Grooveshark platform, adding and removing tracks, communicating with fans, and posting blogs. Whilst basically offering the same artist profile functionality as MySpace and Facebook Grooveshark will be that users will be encouraged to make donations to artists they like via the Flattr micro-payment system. Users can put a set some of money into their Flattr account, and then tag which artists they would like to share that cash with. As all four of the major labels are currently suing Grooveshark it is unlikely any artists signed to EMI, Universal, Sony or Warners will be featured.

No Doubt settle with Activision in a long-running dispute over the ‘Band Hero’ game.
Artists , Image Rights / November 2012
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IMAGE RIGHTS Artistes The recently re-launched No Doubt have settled their case  with Activision of the use of their name and images in Band hero. The iconic band were one of a number of artists who did a deal with the gaming firm to appear in an edition of the various ‘Hero’ games but subsequently complained that users could play any song using their avatar, and not just their own tracks. The gaming giant insisted participating artists knew of this facility, but No Doubt argued the games firm had breached its contract and rights. Various attempts by Activision to have the case dismissed failed, but an out-of-court settlement was reached this week, before the dispute could get a proper court hearing. CMU Daily  http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/no-doubt-settle-with-activision/

Two more acts sue for digital royalty boost
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / October 2012
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COPYRIGHT Record labels, artists   Boz Scaggs and REO Speedwagon have joined the ever growing list of artistes, many well established, who have filed digital royalty lawsuits against the  major bales for a bigger cut of digital revenue. The defendant in both suits is Sony.  FBT Productions have already won a court case against Universal to get a bigger share of digital royalties from ‘Eminen’ recordings they worked on, and Cheap Trick, the Allman Brothers and a number of other artistes have settled a case with Sony. Cases from Rob Zombie, Whitesnake, Toto, Weird Al janKovic, Dixie Chicks, Chuck D, George Clinton, Peter Frampton, Sister Sledge, Rick James’s estate, Kenny Rogers and James Taylor are pending. More on royalties and these claims at http://www.musiclawupdates.com/?p=4941

EC and FTC green light Universal’s EMI deal
Competition , Music Publishing / October 2012
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COMPETITION Recorded music   UMG have been given outline approval by EC and US regulators to buy up EMI’s recorded music division – but the major will have to divest a number of key EMI catalogues to meet competition requirements in Europe. The same day the Federal Trade Commission approved the $1.9 billion deal without conditions, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada had already approved the sale.  Among the EMI assets to be sold are the Chrysalis catalogue (Blondie, The Ramones, Spandau Ballet, Jethro Tull and Split Endz), Mute Records (home to Depeche Mode, Moby, Yeasayer and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) and Parlophone catalogues ( Coldplay, David Guetta, Lilly Allen, Tinie Tempah, Blur, Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Pink Floyd, Cliff Richard, David Bowie, Tina Turner and Duran Duran) but excluding the Beatles and  Robbie Williams. UMG will also have to sell the EMI Classics and Virgin Classics divisions and the divestment package also includes Coop, a label licensing business selling artists such as Mumford and Sons, Garbage and Two Door Cinema Club. In addition, Universal committed to selling EMI’s 50% stake in the popular Now! That’s What I Call Music compilation joint venture and to continue licensing its repertoire for…

Google demotes potentially infringing sites
Copyright , Internet / September 2012
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COPYRIGHT Internet   Google has taken a significant step against online piracy after saying it would alter its search algorithms to favour websites that offered legitimate copyrighted movies, music and television. Google said that beginning next week its algorithms would take into account the number of valid copyright removal notices sites have received and  sites with multiple, valid complaints about copyright infringement may appear lower in Google search results …….. like YouTube for example ….. no, I made the last bit up. The move is set against growing disquiet about whether or not “safe harbour” really is appropriate in the digital age – and this initiative is clearly on Google’s terms, BUT it is a move forward for content owners. Google’s Senior Vice President Engineering Amit Singhal said in a post on Google’s official blog “We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible results. Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in…

IFPI welcomes closure of Demonoid
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / September 2012
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COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels   IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, has welcomed the closure of the Demonoid bitTorrent service, which they say was a significant channel for the distribution of infringing content worldwide. IFPI made a number of complaints about the unlicensed service, which repeatedly infringed the rights of its member record companies.  In response, INTERPOL coordinated international efforts that saw the site closed down and its servers seized by police in Ukraine and a criminal investigation launched into its owners in Mexico resulting in a number of arrests and seizure of assets.  IFPI assisted INTERPOL, the Division of Economic Crimes (DEC) in the Ukrainian police and the investigative arm of the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR). “International police cooperation is the key to ensuring that the illegal activities of transnational organised criminals are stopped at every opportunity,” said John Newton head of  INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods Sub-Directorate. “ In this instance police forces on different sides of the world worked together with INTERPOL and the music industry to successfully disrupt the distribution chain for illicit digital music products.” www.ifpi.org

Software case may impact on re-digi business model
Copyright / August 2012
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COPYRIGHT All areas   In an interesting decision in the World of software, the European Court of Justice has decided that the legal purchaser of software can re-sell that software despite terms in a licence designed to prevent that – which will be music to the ears of Re-Digi whose business model is all about the sale of ‘second hand’ MP3 files as they fight EMI in the US courts, primarily on the issue of the application of the doctrine of exhaustion of rights to the re-sale of digital music files.  Case 128/11 UsedSoft v Oracle http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/usedsoft-and-principle-of-exhaustion.html

Def Leppard solve digital dispute with re-recording plan
Artists , Copyright , Record Labels / August 2012
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COPYRIGHT Record labels, artistes   Def Leppard have announced plans to re-record their entire back catalogue because of an ongoing royalty dispute with their label of 30 years, Universal Music Group. Its more bad news for UMG who are seeking EU ad US regulatory approval to swallow up EMI’s recorded music division enabling the new group to control almost 50% of the global recorded music market. Along with the ongoing claim from Eminen producers FBT over digital royalties, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott told Billboard that the English band were “at loggerheads” with Universal over royalty payments, especially compensation for digital downloads. “We just sent them a letter saying: ‘No matter what you want, you are going to get “no” as an answer, so don’t ask,” adding “That’s the way we’ve left it. We’ll just replace our back catalogue with brand new, exact same versions of what we did.” Def Leppard have already recorded fresh versions of Rock of Ages and Pour Some Sugar on Me, two of their biggest hits, to coincide with the release of the film Rock of Ages  starring Tom Cruise. Elliott admitted to Billboard that it was no easy task  to recapture the sound of decades past – the band formed in Sheffield in…

EU plans collection society reform
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2012
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COPYRIGHT Music publishing, artistes   The European Commission has proposed measures to modernise collecting societies and put in place incentives to promote their transparency and efficiency saying “New digital technologies are opening up great opportunities for creators, consumers and businesses alike. Increased demand for online access to cultural content (e.g. music, films, books) does not recognise borders or national restrictions. Neither do the online services used to access them. This is where collecting societies come into play, in particular in the music sector, where they collectively manage the licensing of copyright-protected music tracks for online use on behalf of composers and lyricists and collect and redistribute to them corresponding royalties. However, some collecting societies struggle to adapt to the requirements of the management of rights for online use of musical works, in particular in a cross-border context. As a result of today’s proposal, those collecting societies willing to engage in the multi-territorial licensing of their repertoire would therefore have to comply with European standards. This would make it easier for service providers to obtain the necessary licences for music to be distributed online across the EU and to ensure that revenue is correctly collected and fairly distributed to composers and…

Sony complete EMI Music deal
Competition , Music Publishing / August 2012
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COMPETITION Music publishing   The Sony Corp. of America led investor consortium has now completed its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, just hours after the Federal Trade Commission issued a statement saying it closed its antitrust investigation of the $2.2 billion deal, which meant it received regulatory approval. The Sony-led consortium paid $2.2 billion to Citigroup on Friday, and took collective ownership of EMI Music Publishing, meaning the once British-owned major music company has now been officially split into two. The US bank will keep hold of the other half for the time being while Universal’s bid to acquire EMI’s recorded music division continues to be investigated by regulators in America and Europe. The European Commission gave the Sony consortium transaction its approval, subject to a number of remedies, back in April. Those remedies mean that, as Sony takes ownership of EMI Publishing, the Virgin and Famous UK song catalogues are now up for sale. BMG, which bid against the Sony consortium for EMI outright, is now expected to lead the bidding for these not insignificant former EMI publishing portfolios. Although many refer to a “combined Sony/ATV and EMI”, the two publishing companies will technically remain separate entities, because of…

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

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

Neelie says ACTA is doomed
Copyright , Internet / June 2012
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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…

Musicians should protect their finances and art: ilive
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COPYRIGHT Artistes, record labels, music publishing ARTICLE LINK:  Stephen Hollis, senior associate at law firm Adams & Adams encourages established and aspiring musicians to check out their recording label before they sign, and compares the choices made by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson and the resulting state of their posthumous fortunes, and in particular compares revenue streams from record labels and music publishers and the importance of the latter. http://www.timeslive.co.za/ilive/2012/04/03/musicians-should-protect-their-finances-and-art-ilive

Where next with EU copyright law?
Copyright / May 2012
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COPYRIGHT All areas On the 1709 Eleonora Rosati gives a detailed report back from the Fordham IP Conference in the USA which this year focussed on the current state of affairs in the EU, and Eleonora starts with the views from the European Commission, Head of Unit – Copyright, DG Internal Market & Services Maria Martin-Prat first who recalled that in the 1990-2000s copyright harmonisation occurred whenever this was necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market. This objective is and remains at the centre of attention when it comes to legislative initiatives. At the moment, said Martin-Prat, the priority of the Commission is to facilitate licensing across the EU. Interestingly enough, this implies facing the issue of territoriality. In any case, the establishment of EU-wide licensing system is not going to affect the territoriality of Member States’ copyright laws. This is because territorial rights do not necessarily imply territorial licensing, explained the Head of Unit. This said, the Commission’s efforts are directed at tackling five areas of copyright. These include improving the functioning of collective licensing and management and, possibly, setting out an extended collective licensing system; favouring mass digitisation of works and facilitating the use of out-of-commerce works,…

European festivals launch standard contract terms
Contract , Live Events / May 2012
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CONTRACT Live events industry YOUROPE, the European festivals organisation that has a membership of over 80 festivals across Europe, has announced that 22 of its members will be introducing standard artiste booking terms for the 2012 festival season. The new terms cover areas such as force majeure, cancellation, insurance, security, the use of pyrotechnics and lasers, noise limits, curfews and payment terms and are designed to set out basic standards that festivals and performers have to adhere to. The association also said it was introducing simplified booking contracts for emerging talent with General Secretary Christof Huber saying “It was the wish of many of our members to create these Standard Terms for European festivals. It should make life easier for festivals as they will have standard terms for important topics, rather than a number of contract terms which they can’t fulfil“. The standard terms resulted from a series of meetings in Hamburg, at Eurosonic in Groningen in the Netherlands and finally in London in March and YOUROPE were advised by UK lawyer and Music Law Updates Editor Ben Challis, and insurance broker James Dodds (Doodson Entertainment). Participating member festivals include Melt! (Germany), Exit (Serbia), Sziget (Hungary), Oya Festival (Norway), Open…

Beatles seek Trade Mark exclusivity against mobility aid applicant
Artists , Trade Mark / May 2012
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TRADE MARK Artistes The IPKat reports that the General Court has given its decision in a Community trade mark appeal, Case T-369/10 You-Q BV v OHIM. According to the Curia press release: “Apple Corps can prevent the registration of a figurative Community trade mark composed of the word ‘BEATLE’ in respect of electric mobility aids saying It is likely that, by using that mark, You-Q would take unfair advantage of the repute and the consistent selling power of the marks BEATLES and THE BEATLES held by Apple Corps”. In January 2004, Handicare Holding BV applied to OHIM, the Community Trade Mark Office, for registration of a figurative sign composed of the word ‘BEATLE’ as a Community trade mark in respect of electric mobility aids for persons with reduced mobility. However, Apple Corps Ltd, an undertaking founded by ‘The Beatles’ group, opposed that application, relying on its various earlier Community and national trade marks, including the word mark ‘BEATLES’ and several figurative marks composed of the word ‘BEATLES’ or ‘THE BEATLES’. On 31 May 2010 rejected Handicare’s application, finding that, because of the similarity of the signs, the considerable and long-standing reputation of the earlier marks of Apple Corps and the overlap of the relevant public it was likely…

US talent unions back UMG on EMI takeover, and Sony/ATV deal for EMI Music publishing gets the EC’s green light
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COMPETITION Record labels, music publishing In a surprise move, two of the US’s biggest talent unions have come out in support of Universal’s takeover of EMI’s recorded music division on the ground that UMG would, unlike previous owners Terra Firma, actually invest in music and musicians. In a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz The American Federation of Musicians said that UMG had shown “compliance with and respect for its collective bargaining agreements has been positive when compared to its peer companies” and that “Sustaining the EMI legacy” under Universal’s ownership “would appear to benefit AMF recording musicians.” The recently merged The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said Universal has shown commitment to the music industry, investing in new artists and innovative musical genres in a separate letter saying “For EMI to be left to further drift into oblivion, or for EMI to be acquired and sold off in pieces by capital investment speculators with no appreciation for, or commitment to, artists who fuel the recording industry, would ill serve the industry,” SAG-AFTRA said. Universal is “committed to reinvesting in EMI to create even more opportunities for new and…

Pirates take to the skies
Copyright , Internet / April 2012
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COPYRIGHT Internet As Pirate Bay co-founder Carl Lundstrom prepares to serve his four month prison sentence under house arrest in Sweden, it seems the current Pirate Bay organisers are planning to put copies of their database onto servers in the sky – on “small airborne drones” connected to the mobile internet – that would have to be literally “shot down” to take the site offline.  A blog post by a certain MrSpock that appeared on the Swedish site on Sunday said: “We can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we’re building, that’s more than enough. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.” http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/19/pirate_bay_loss_drones/