Kiss FM guilty of Ofcom breach
Censorship / February 2015
UK

CENSORSHIP Broadcasting   Ofcom has found that UK radio broadcaster Kiss FM breached its rules after the station broadcast an unedited version of Calvin Harris’s ‘Open Wide’ at 17.45 on a Sunday afternoon in November 2013 – The explicit track features sexually suggestive lyrics and multiple uses of the word ‘fucking’. Kiss said that it “sincerely apologised” for the error, and acknowledged that it had breached the rules. It explained that it had been given the opportunity to have the first play of Harris’s new single, and had scheduled the spin into its Sunday night chart show and that the track was not properly vetted and “clearly not been the expected ‘radio-friendly’ edit”. Ofcom said that it was “concerned that in this case, the licensee allowed a track that had not been listened to by station staff to be broadcast at a time when children were particularly likely to be listening”. Kiss said that as a result of the incident, it overhauled its procedures for checking the content of new songs, and disciplined the producer in charge of the chart show.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30880221

SIA updates on Business Licensing
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2015
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   The UK’s Security Industry Authority has issued a press release saying that the Home Office is “continuing to work with the security industry and the Security Industry Authority on the development of regulation for the private security industry.” In December 2014, the Home Office said the Government expects the introduction of the statutory licensing of private security businesses to come into force as soon as possible during the next Parliamentary session, which starts in May 2015. Business licensing is subject to Ministerial and Parliamentary approval and the approval of Ministers in the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However both the Conservative and Labour parties support the scheme. The Scottish Government and Department of Justice for Northern Ireland have indicated that they are supportive of a consistent, UK-wide regulatory regime.   http://www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/Pages/business-licensing.aspx

Canterbury: “Stop Criminalising Your Buskers, Start Supporting Them” (and Camden, you are beginning to look ridiculous!)
Licensing , Live Events / February 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   As I grew up in Canterbury and indeed my father (and numerous friends) used to busk in the town centre I have decided to reproduce this entire article from the Keep Streets Live Campaign, a not-for-profit organisation which advocates for public spaces that are open to informal offerings of art and music. It aims to promote positive relationships between local authorities and street performers and to develop policies that support and sustain street culture. My father raised funds for Oxfam by playing the fiddle, dressed as a medieval musician and indeed played the crumhorn and other instruments with the Canterbury Waites! The Council introduced guidelines to regulate busking in the City and these include rules such as buskers only staying in one place for up to an hour, and stopping by 9pm and were introduced after the Government passed the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, which gives local authorities the power to issue a community protection notice to anyone it can reasonably judge to be “having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality”. Douglas Rattray, the head of Safer Neighbourhoods for the…

UK tax relief for orchestras moves a step closer
Live Events , Taxation / February 2015
UK

TAXATION Live events sector   The UK Government is to introduce new tax relief for orchestras from April 2016, following a public consultation. Chancellor George Osborne first announced the move, which mirrors similar reliefs in theatre, film, videogames and animation, in his autumn statement last year, and now has issued a consultation document outlining proposals and calls from input in their implementation. Director of the Association of British Orchestras Mark Pemberton said: “We welcome the launch of the consultation. Tax relief will make a big difference to our members’ resilience in these challenging times, helping them to continue to offer the very best in British music-making to audiences both here in the UK and abroad.   https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/orchestra-tax-relief

Licence backlash prompts council notices ‘re-think’
Licensing , Live Events / February 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Adur District Council and it’s licensing unit are facing criticism over the way it handled the application for a SJM promoted music festival. The Shoreham Herald reports that residents in Shoreham were furious to find out about plans for a large-scale music festival at Shoreham Airport ‘by word of mouth’. They felt Adur District Council should have made public notices more visible on site and said they found out ‘by chance’ only days before the deadline for comments. One local resident, Liz Coward, wrote to the paper saying that “the licensing unit provided, at best, poor advice throughout the SJM Ltd application for a music festival.” With Ms Coward detailing that she was given the wrong closing date for representations, December 4th not 5th, was told that objectors could only read out their letters at the hearing “when, in fact, they were entitled to put their case and question the applicant” and that she was also told that the application could not be refused, ‘because there was a big legal team behind the applicant who knew what they were doing’. Ms Coward aso says that the council website contained a statement that the councillors could…

Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” now includes Tom Petty and Jeff Lyne as songwriters
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2015
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing, sound recordings   When Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” was released in April 2014, numerous commentators were quick to note the distinct resemblance to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1989 classic “I Won’t Back Down”. Others saw perhaps a passing resemblance in one chord sequence but felt that the songs and recordings were completely different. Now details have emerged of a settlement on the split of song writing credits and royalties. And remember it’s similarities in the song this matter is about – NOT the sound recordings themselves –which this blogger feels are quite different. However, there is certainly an arguable similarity in some of the chord sequences. The settlement reportedly included a 12.5% writing credit to both Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame). The song’s credit on ASCAP (the collection society the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) now lists Smith, Petty, Lynne, William Phillips and Jimmy Napes as the chief songwriters in what appears to be an amicable and sensible deal. However one commentator adds “Tom Petty’s copyright settlement with Sam Smith …. marks at least the third time that Petty has heard similarities between his own songs and more recent hits by other…

T for two?
Live Events , Trade Mark / February 2015
UK

TRADE MARK Live Events sector   Drinks company Tennents is locked in a legal battle with a small music promotions company over the use of the letter T in the title of the  new event, due to be staged at Strathclyde Park this year. And The brewers, who are “founding partners” of T in the Park, say the logo for tribute band festival Tfest infringes their trademarks. In response, Tfest promoters Bookaband Ltd have said it would cost them £50,000 to alter their logo and website. Festival director John Ure said: “We don’t understand why a huge company like Tennent’s can feel we threaten them. Tennent’s don’t own the letter T. “We contacted them months ago to show them our logo and didn’t get any objection at the time. But now our website is live, we’re hit with lawyers’ letters.” Tennent’s have alleged that the Tfest mark “bear[s] a close similarity” to T in the Park and will “inevitably” mislead fans into thinking the two festivals are linked saying “To call another event Tfest is confusing at best and misleading at worst.” adding “The T in the Park name, frequently shortened to T, took a great deal of time and…

Rhihanna prevails again against TopShop
Artists , Copyright / February 2015
UK
USA

PASSING OFF, COPYRIGHT Artists   Rihanna has won a legal battle against high street store Topshop over a T-shirt bearing her image. The Court of Appeal in London upheld a ban on the store selling a sleeveless T-shirt featuring a photo of the star without obtaining her permission. At first instance Birss J ruled that “[t]he mere sale by a trader of a t-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not, without more, an act of passing off. However the sale of this image of this person on this garment by this shop in these circumstances is a different matter.” The Court of Appeal has now issued its decision in Fenty v Arcadia, confirming Birss J’s judgment and holding that “the sale by Topshop of the t-shirt amounted to passing off.”   Quick recap In 2012 Topshop started selling – both in its stores and online – a T-shirt [or, to be more precise, and as Birss J explained at the time of his judgment, a ““boyfriend style tank” (i.e. an oversized sleeveless t-shirt)”] bearing the image of Rihanna. Topshop had secured a licence from the holder of the copyright in the photograph, but had not asked Rihanna…

New collection society alliance to be investigated by EU
Competition , Music Publishing / February 2015
EU
Germany
Sweden
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing   The European Commission has announced that it has opened an “in-depth investigation” into the planned joint venture between three of Europe’s biggest song-right collecting societies, Germany’s GEMA, Sweden’s STIM and the UK’s PRS For Music. The three societies announced their alliance last June, expanding on an existing partnership between PRS and STIM built around the International Copyright Enterprise (ICE). The rights organisations, which each represent a large collective of songwriters and publishers, said in a statement: “The hub aims to create easier access for digital music services to clear music rights, and faster and more precise payments of royalties to rights holders. PRS for Music, STIM, and GEMA had planned to begin launching services from the hub in early 2015, subject to competition clearance. Notwithstanding this delay, the partners remain committed to bringing their new service offerings to the market as soon as possible, once the approval of the European Commission has been obtained.” Adding “The collective rights management organisations behind the venture are confident that their vision for a new licensing and processing hub will benefit the market and look forward to providing the European Commission with further analysis and market data” and “The hub is set…

Court Holds Soundreef Business Activities in Italy are Legitimate
Competition , Music Publishing / February 2015
Italy
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing   The Court of First Instance of Milan has ruled in favour of this rising and ambitious British company that administers copyright and neighbouring rights and is a de facto competitor of the Italian Society of Authors and Editors (SIAE) saying: “At the moment there are no sufficient elements to hold that Soundreef’s dissemination of music within the Italian territory is unlawful because of the exclusive granted to the Italian Society for Authors and Editors (SIAE) as per Art. 180 of the Italian Copyright Act, nor does it appear that the music … managed and disseminated by Soundreef in shopping centres, department stores and similar commercial venues, must be necessarily managed by SIAE. Any such claim would be in conflict with both the principles of the free market within the European Community and the core principles of free competition”. [Indeed, in an era in which technology takes the strain and the bureaucratic element of rights management is largely automated, the benefits to rights owners through economy of scale, if they exist at all, must be vanishingly small]. In both phases of the interim proceedings, the Court of Milan dismissed all claims against Soundreef. “The decision holds that…

UK Government launches consultation on CRM Directive
UK

COMPETITION Music publishing, recorded music   The UK government will shortly be launching a consultation on the implementation of the Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive. This EU law was adopted last year to set consistent standards for the regulation of collective rights management organisations such as PRS for Music. The Directive aims to enforce minimum standards to the way collecting societies work and has three key elements: rules on governance, transparency/financial reporting and standards for multi-territory licensing. This government consultation is an opportunity for you to have your say on the implementation of the directive in UK law. The legislation will come into force on 10 April 2016. The Government has also halted a proposed move that would see the copyright protection certain unpublished sound recordings up to the year 2039 removed. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act protects copyright in unpublished recordings from 1957 – 1989 for the period up to 2039, at which point the works fall into the public domain. The proposed move came after lobbying on the issue from groups including CILIP, on behalf of libraries, museums and archives. The Government scrapped the reform after consultations with industry trade organisations including thr BPI and UK Music All…

Music and sports figures rebuffed in call for ticket resale reform
Competition , Contract , Live Events / February 2015
UK

COMPETITION / CONTRACT Live events sector   Senior UK figures from the world of sport and entertainment who issued a call for new controls on websites selling event tickets have seen their bid for regulation of secondary ticketing fail after MPs voted 289 to 204 against an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill in the House of Commons. Campaigners wanted resale websites to be required to publish the names of ticket sellers and the tickets’ face value. The renewed call came in a letter to the Independent on Sunday signed by heads of sporting and cultural bodies and entertainers’ management companies. Government ministers prefer a voluntary approach. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has previously said a change in the law would be unnecessary. Secondary ticketing sites act as marketplaces that allow sellers to charge what they like for concerts, plays and sports events, and often earn a commission from selling on the tickets.  When tickets for a popular event go on sale, they may be snapped up in bulk either manually or using automated software in order to sell them on at a profit. The letter warns that the way the secondary ticketing market currently operates can seriously undermine efforts…

Parklife’s ‘from Mum’ text backfires big time
Live Events , Privacy / January 2015
UK

PRIVACY Live events sector, telecoms   The Warehouse Project, organisers of Manchester’s Parklife Festival in Heaton Park have been fined £70,000 after they sent out a promotional text message ahead of this year’s event which was set to appear on the recipient’s phone as if it had come from the recipients’ ‘Mum’. Promoting a series of post-festival club nights, the text read: “Some of the Parklife after parties have already sold out. If your going, make sure you’re home for breakfast! xxx” There was then a link to a web-page listing the after parties. After a substantial number of complaints (not least from those whose mothers were ill or had passed away)  Parklife organisers initially responded in a flippant matter, tweeting – according to the BBC – “so this is what it feels like to be a jar of Marmite #LoveItOrHateIt” but then amended this and admitted that their text campaign may have caused “unnecessary personal distress” to some recipients and adding that they would like to “apologise to them directly”. They later added: “The communication was intended as a fun way of engaging festival-goers. However, the festival acknowledges that this was not an appropriate theme for everyone”. The promotion…

Bereaved mother welcomes Magistrates ruling that legal highs are unsafe
Criminal Law , Live Events / January 2015
UK

CRIMINAL Live events sector   The mother of a young man who died after taking a legal high has welcomed a decision by Canterbury Magistrates Court which declared that ‘legal highs’ seized in raids across Kent were unsafe. The decision means that local authorities across England and Wales can now use existing trading standards laws to tackle the sale of legal highs in so called ‘head shops’ and possibly at other locations – such as festivals – where the drugs might be sold . Karen Audino, whose son Jimmy Guichard died in October last year after taking a herbal substance that resulted in a heart attack and brain damage told the Times (04.12.14) “I’m absolutely thrilled this has happened. The shops aren’t going to be able to display what is in them because they don’t know”. Jimmy died aged just 20 in hospital in October 2013. A bag containing a herbal substance, said at the time to be synthetic cannabis from the UK Skunkworks shop based in Chatham in Kent, was found next to Jimmy where he had collapsed. Back in June 2014 widespread raids were carried out across Kent at shops suspected of selling legal highs. Officers from Kent County…

Viagogo argues against secondary ticketing regulation
Contract , Live Events / January 2015
UK

CONTRACT Live events sector   In an interesting response which impacts on the sports and events industry as much as live music, Secondary ticketing company Viagogo  has commented on efforts to regulate the resale of tickets online in the new consumer rights legislation that’s currently working it’s way through Parliament. The House of Lords voted to amend the Consumer Rights Bill so to include some secondary ticketing regulation, mainly stemming from a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse. The proposed rules would oblige ticket sellers online to reveal their identity, to provide any specific information about the tickets being sold, to state the mark-up that has been added, and to draw a buyer’s attention to any terms and conditions on the ticket that could mean challenge any re-sale Viagogo notes that forcing sellers to reveal their identity and information such as seat numbers would do more than just show up the prolific touting operations (and promoters and artists who tout their own tickets). It would possibly make it easier for anti-touting promoters to cancel tickets that a buyer attempts to resell. Whilst tghere has been an ongoing debate about what a ticket actually is, with the secondary…

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…

Business rate demands for festival sites set to be challenged
Licensing , Live Events , Taxation / January 2015
UK

LICENSING / TAXATION Live events sector   Festival magazine reports that festival organisers and landowners who host festivals have reacted angrily to recent demands from local authorities for business rates on lane formerly classified as agricultural – with some demands being back dated to 2010. In Valuation Office Agency has said that it was “reviewing unassessed festival sites to ensure that all are correctly rated. This treats all businesses equally and ensures they pay their fair share of the overall rates bill. Local authorities have a discretion to reduce the rate by up to 100% on events that benefit the local economy. The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) are set to challenge the new approach with festival organisers pointing out that land use is sometimes for just a few days a year, and services and amenities that a town centre music venue might receive as part of is business rates – such as refuse collection, street lighting and recyling services – are not available to festival sites,   Festival Magazine December 2014 (Audience) www.liveuk.com

Small venues look for greater government support
Licensing , Live Events / January 2015
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Some interesting ideas came out of the recent one day Music Venues Trust ‘Venues Day’ conference in London – neatly summarised by Jonathan Robinson in one of Music Tank’s excellent newsletters who pointed out “little appears to have changed in the ten years MusicTank has looked at issues afflicting live, from noise abatement, and Licensing Act reform to form 696 and secondary ticketing”  – points raised by representatives from small venues from across the UK included: lobbying Government for an extension of the tax status recently afforded theatre and orchestras (VAT is crippling small venue businesses); pooling of knowledge via a website (to help each other); booking agents ‘gifting’ back a successful band, to, say a venue that helped them on their way in the early years (supporting and acknowledging the importance of this sector); local authorities having to include cultural policy as part of planning policy; take a lead from Unesco and introduce its protective status to areas of music heritage and high cultural value; further highlight the economic value live music brings to cities, towns and neighbourhoods; make a case for state funding for UK bands to be able to do UK tours…

Dancing Jesus pair receive prison terms
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music   The two men behind the Dancing Jesus file sharing forum have been sentenced to prison terms. Kane Robinson, 26, of North Shields, the site’s owner and creator, was sentenced to 32 months and 22-year-old Richard Graham, from Leicestershire, to 21 months at Newcastle Crown Court. Graham, who uploaded 8,00 songs to the site, had earlier pleaded not guilty but changed his plea to guilty when the evidence was presented.. The two men were subject to a private prosecution led by record industry trade body the BPI after an investigation by the City Of London Police. Robinson pleaded guilty to copyright crimes before trial. Of the 8000+ tracks Graham shared via the Dancing Jesus site, about two-thirds were pre-release.  Commentators said that the sentences were similar to those found in criminal copyright convictions relating to the manufacture and sale of bootlegged CDs or DVDs. Commenting on the sentences, David Wood, Director of the BPI’s Copyright Protection Unit, told reporters: “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to the operators and users of illegal music sites that online piracy is a criminal activity that will not be tolerated by law enforcement in the UK or overseas. Piracy –…

Space oddity back online
Copyright , Music Publishing / December 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s “goosebump-inducing” cover of “Space Oddity?” which had amassed 23.4 million hits before it was taken down from YouTube is back online after  Hadfield secured fresh permission from Mr Bowie’s representatives to use the extra-planetary recording, which was made aboard the ISS at an elevation of 250 miles (400 km), after a five month hiatus. Bowie himself loved it, posting on Facebook that it was “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created” and an initial one-year agreement which has now been extended after a “careful and exacting” legal process with Hadfield saying “And now, we are so happy to be able to announce that my on-orbit cover of Space Oddity is back up on YouTube. This time we have a new 2-year agreement, and it is there, for free, for everyone. We’re proud to have helped bring Bowie’s genius from 1969 into space itself in 2013, and now ever-forward. Special thanks to Onward Music Ltd, to the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, to musicians Emm Gryner and Joe Corcoran, to videographer Andrew Tidby, to my son Evan, and mostly to Mr. David Bowie himself. For the countless others who have helped work to bring about…

Ek talking up Spotify in battle with Swift
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, internet   Spotify’s Daniel Ek has responded to Taylor Swift and other critics in a lengthy blog post reigniting the debate prompted by Swift pulling her catalogue from free (freemium) streaming services. Ek begins by saying “Taylor Swift is absolutely right” (referring to remarks the singer made in a Wall Street Journal  and Yahoo interview) adding “Music is art, art has real value, and artists deserve to be paid for it. We started Spotify because we love music and piracy was killing it. So all the talk swirling around lately about how Spotify is making money on the backs of artists upsets me big time”. Ek then detailed how the Spotify payment model works and revealed that Spotify has now paid out $2 billion to the music industry since launching in 2008, $1 billion of that in the last year and that Spotify now has 50 million active users, 12.5 million of whom are paying subscribers – an increase of ten million and 2.5 million respectively since the last lot of official figures released back in May of this year. However Ek somewhat failed to address why a relatively small share of these streaming royalties are shared…

Federation of Small Businesses says concerns remain with public performance licensing
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector, retailing, music publishing, recorded music   The Federation of Small Businesses has said that the music industry’s performing right collecting societies still have some way to go in improving the way they work with small to middle sized enterprises, despite acknowledging some improvements in recent years. The UK government has, in recent years, put some pressure on collecting societies including PPL and PRS for to adopt ‘minimum standards’ of service to licensees and both PPL and PRS had already updated their own codes of conduct to bring them in line with post-Hargreaves standards back in 2012. But citing its own research, the FSB said last week that it had found nearly a quarter of its members with a collecting society licence had made a complaint of some sort about the collective licensing system. The Federation added: “The findings also show the lack of progress towards achieving greater transparency and simplicity of charges over the past twelve months. Without such progress, trust amongst small businesses in the current system will be undermined”. FSB National Chairman John Allan told reporters: “Although collecting societies have a strong code of conduct in place, we are not convinced they are making…

UK’s anti tout law moves forwards
Consumers , Live Events / December 2014
UK

CONSUMER LAW Live events sector   The UK’s House Of Lords has voted to include a new clause in the Consumer Rights Bill that would force people touting tickets online to provide buyers with  extra information, a move designed to make it clearer who exactly it is reselling tickets, how big a mark-up is being added, and what the risks are to the consumer by buying tickets on the secondary market. The amendment stems from a report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse back in April, which hoped to speed up the prospect of some ticketing touting regulation by amending the in-development Consumer Rights Bill, rather than having to promote bespoke ticket touting legislation to government or via a private members bill. The amendment, which was approved by a small margin – 183 votes to 171 by the Lords with cross party support  – would oblige a ticket seller using a resale site like Viagogo, Seatwave or StubHub to reveal their identity, declare the face value of tickets they are selling, provide seat numbers and booking references associated with the ticket, and state whether the terms and conditions of the ticket being sold give the promoter the…

“Anti lout’ law used to ban gathering
Licensing , Live Events / December 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   A new ‘anti-lout’ law to stop large mobs of people gathering will be used for the first time to ban 500 boy racers from meeting at a retail park. The Public Spaces Protection Order, which became law on 20 October, gives town halls sweeping new powers to outlaw any activity which may have a ‘detrimental effect’ on the quality of local life.  The Daily Mail reports that “Initially intended to clamp down on antisocial behaviour such as begging and spitting, council officers can put up signs banning an activity in a specified area, either round the clock or during specific hours.” Anybody flouting the order will be liable for an on-the-spot fine, normally ranging from £70 to £100, issued by a police officer, PCSO, council worker or private security guard employed by the local Town Hall. Colchester Council, in Essex, plans to become the first to use the law to make the car park at Turner Rise Retail Park in Colchester the subject of the Public Spaces Protection Order. It will be the first time the new order has been imposed, and it will outlaw non-customers from the car park between 6pm and 6am. It…

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….

Power says PRS injunction against him set aside
Copyright , Live Events / December 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Vince Power has said that the injunction issued against him as a result of legal action by the music publishing sector’s collecting society PRS has been set aside in court. PRS had claimed that Power’s Hop Farm festival operated without a licence from the society between 2009 and 2012. The company that operated the Hop Farm event during that time, Music Festivals plc no longer operates but PRS argued that Power should be held personally liable for the unpaid royalties as the person in control of the company at the time. Power didn’t respond to PRS’s lawsuit and the courts ruled against the promoter by default, ordering him to pay the society’s legal costs and to settle the case against him. It was reported at the time that Power had been banned from playing music in public until he updates his licences. He will also have to cover the £7,987 in legal costs incurred by PRS. Power argued that he had not been aware of the PRS’s litigation against him, and had never been formally served papers and the promoter sought to have the injunction set aside and, according to Power’s spokesperson, that has now…

UK brings in new exceptions for private copying, quotation and format shifting
Copyright / November 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT All areas   Revisions to the UK’s copyright law means that consumers can now make back up copies of CDs, MP3s, DVDs, Blu-rays and e-books on local storage or in the cloud – but only of their own copies. The exception to copyright is for personal use, it must be non commercial, and it remains an offence to share the data with friends or family – and the exception does not extend to computer programmes.  It’s still not allowed to circumvent any copy protection on music, movies and ebooks. Recording of streaming media is also forbidden along with making copies of movies or music consumers have rented or borrowed There is a second new exception for quotation that permits the use of a quotation from the work (whether for criticism or review or otherwise) provided that the work has been made available to the public, the use of the quotation is fair dealing with the work, the extent of the quotation is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used, and the quotation is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement (unless this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise). The change to…

Music hits the right notes for business success
General / November 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Music publishing , recorded music   A lot of us seem to pay twice when we listen to music in the workplace  – once because the broadcaster pays a blanket levy to the PPL and PRS for Music – and then again because the owner of a shop, factory, or garage also pays for music in the workplace – even if it’s just for their own staff and not customers. There have been a number of legal challenges to this over the years in the British Courts, including the leading 1943 judgement in Turner v PRS which seemingly supports PRS’s view that “If your staff or customers are listening to music on your premises, played by any means from live performance through to radio, TV, CD or via the internet, you need our music licence”. The battle has extended to a number of decisions in the European Court of Justice which has managed to come to the conclusion that hotels do have to pay for providing music ti their guests – but dentists don’t have to pay! Case law references below. Musicians and writers deserved to be paid. But paid twice? Well, and no doubt with one eye on this argument and the need to…

Dancing Jesus duo plead guilty
General / November 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Internet, recorded music   Following news that the BPI was taking a case to criminal trial involving the pair behind Dancing Jesus website, the second defendant involved has pleaded guilty to illegally distributing music. Richard Graham, of Leicestershire, originally entered a not guilty plea, but changed it earlier this week after seeing the evidence against him being presented to the judge and jury. His guilty plea follows that of Dancing Jesus’ owner Kane Robinson, of South Shields, who entered his guilty plea in January this year. The UK-based website was taken offline in 2011 after US Homeland Security seized the server on which it was hosted. City Of London Police arrested both the site’s administrator and one of its most prolific uploaders, known as Trix. Although initially subject to a police enquiry, the case was brought as a private prosecution by the BPI on behalf of the recorded music industry at Newcastle Crown Court for the illegal distribution of music via an internet. Commenting on the investigation, the director of BPI’s Copyright Protection Unit, David Wood, said: “This case is significant. The guilty verdict confirms that posting illegal online links to music is a criminal offence, which economically harms…

xx claim rip off by Hugo Boss
General / November 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music   XL affiliate Young Turks has claimed that an advert released by Hugo Boss earlier this year contained a soundtrack that sounded very similar indeed to ‘Intro’, a track by one of the label’s bands The xx. The label took to Twitter to ask the German fashion company: “As a firm built around original design, isn’t it odd that you’d pay for such a poorly disguised fake?” The tweet then linked to the Hugo Boss commercial on YouTube. The link to the advert has now been removed from the below article and has been taken down from YouTube due to a ‘copyright claim by UMPI’. Just a couple of weeks  earlier singer and producer SOHN claimed that car manufacturer Audi had used part of his song “Lessons” without his permission in a commercial for their Audi A3 Sportback – or at least used a sound alike re-recording. Previously Beach House had hit out at Volkswagon back in 2012 for a sound alike track and Tom Waits settled with car firm Opel over a sound alike track used in an advert in 2007. The 1988 case of Bette Midler v Ford Motor Co found that hiring a sound…

Jay Z, Chauncey Mahan and a copyright ownership dispute
Artists , Copyright / November 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, artistes   This from the IPKat.   In July this year, Grammy award winner producer and sound engineer Chauncey Mahan launched legal proceedings in the Court of Judge Schofield (District Court of New York, case 14-cv-5075 LGS) against Shawn Corey Carter known by his stage name Jay Z, an American rapper, and Roc-A-Fella records under the Copyright Act 1976.  Mahan claimed that he should be named a joint author and hence a joint owner of the copyright of six Jay Z albums (45 published sound recordings) including 1999’s “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter” and 2000’s “The Dynasty: Roc La Familia” on which he worked from August 1999 to October 2000. Mahan said he was instrumental in creating the sounds of the releases since all of them were tracked, recorded, edited, arranged and mixed by him at Sony Studios — where he rendered his technical and aesthetic talents without direct or indirect supervision of other putative joint authors. Mahan brought his own digital audio workstation, i.e, pro-tools system, into Sony Music Studios and interfaced his then state-of-the-art equipment with Sony’s built-in technology. However, Jay Z’s stand on this is that Chauncey is “attempting to use…

Heartbroken – without your cash. Big hit helps Judge make decisions hitting big topics
Artists , Copyright , Music Publishing / November 2014
UK

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, artists This update By Leeza Panayiotou, LLB(Hons)   In Henderson v All Around the World Recordings Ltd [2014] EWHC 3087 (IPEC), the Claimant Jodie Henderson’s damages were assessed to be a total of £35,000.00. But it’s the result of a fairly long process and  it’s interesting to see how the court reached this decision and quantum. The year was 2007 and Jodie Henderson (aka Jodie Aysha) and Tafazwa Tawonezvi (aka T2) charted at No.2 in the Singles Chart for 5 weeks and stayed in the Top 40 for over 40 weeks with the track ‘‘Heartbroken’’. Despite such success however, Henderson was never remunerated for her performance on the track, her appearance in the music video or for the use of her name. Though Henderson penned the lyrics herself several years before the tracks release (and she is now signed to Sony ATV music publishing), it was Tawonezvi who remixed the track into its ‘Bassline’ state (arguably the reason for the track’s mainstream success at the time). Tawonezvi had signed a deal with 2NV Records Ltd, presumably in recognition of his talents as a producer and DJ, and this paved the way for 2NV Records to sign a…

Is This Henley a Shirt or a Musician?
Artists , Trade Mark / November 2014
UK
USA

TRADE MARK Artistes, merchandise By Marie-Andree Weiss writing on the IPKat   Don Henley, a member of the Eagles music band and also a solo musician, is suing clothing retailer Duluth Holdings in the CentralDistrict Court of California, alleging that an advertisement created by Defendant is an infringement of his trade marks and right of publicity and is also false advertising. The advertisement at stake shows a drawing of two tee-shirts known as “henley,” side-to-side, with the phrase “Don A Henley AND Take it Easy” printed on the left of the ad. A henley tee-shirt is a tee-shirt which does not have a collar but has a front placket closing with several buttons, generally three. I read on the Web that the term “henley” originates from the town of Henley-on-Thames, as rowers practicing there in the 19th century sported such shirts, but I cannot assert that this really is the origin of the term. “Take It Easy” is a colloquial expression, often used in the U.S. as a way to say good bye and is also the title of the Eagles’ first hit single. It is featured on the Eagles album Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, which is, according to the Complaint, the bestselling album of all time in…

Theatre fall leads to prosecution and civil claim
Health & Safety , Live Events / November 2014
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A award winning theatre company faces a ‘substantial’ fine after a stage hand was left paralysed after walking through an unmarked “Juliet” door and tumbling 10ft onto the stage below. Rachael Presdee, 38, spent six months in hospital and was left paraplegic following the accident at Soho Theatre in central London, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard. She is now wheelchair-bound and, unable to continue her career in theatre, has returned to her native Australia. The Soho Theatre Company Ltd pleaded guilty to Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to protect the safety of visiting production staff, and to Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations for failing to identify and manage the risk to which such persons were exposed. The prosecution was brought by Westminster City Council Miss Presdee was working backstage on a 2012 production of Boys. The court heard Miss Presdee was adjusting the stage lights for an evening performance when she walked through the unlocked door – traditionally used for the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet – into “thin air”. The door had been identified as a potential safety…

Universal exec pleads guilty to £650,000 fraud
Criminal Law , Record Labels / October 2014
UK

CRIMINAL Recorded music   A former Universal Music executive has admitted in court to stealing almost £650,000 from the major music company. Duncan Schwier, who worked for the production music division of Universal’s publishing business, admitted to taking £643,697 from his employer. The fraud was only uncovered when Schwier was promoted last year and his successor, John Clifford, discovered a number of invoices that had been paid to non-existent companies. Schwier has enjoyed a long career in the music production business, originally joining Atmosphere Music in 1984. That company was subsequently bought by the original BMG, the publishing side of which was acquired by Universal in 2007. Becoming a General Manager for Universal Publishing Production Music, he had been very involved in the firm’s alliance with the BBC. Pleading guilty to the fraud, Schwier, without legal representation, told Hammersmith Magistrates Court that ill-health had led to him stealing from Universal. According to the Daily Mail, he said: “The background for this is a series of cancers for which I have medical reports”. Prosecutor Caroline Mungal said: “The Crown invite the court to commit this matter for sentence. You can see the value of the monies involved, in excess of £600,000. The…

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

A Nightingale sues
Artists , Contract , Live Events / October 2014
UK

CONTRACT Artistes, live sector   London booking agency EC1 has reportedly issued legal proceedings against Lily Allen for allegedly breaching a 2012 agreement that would have seen the company and its director Alex Nightingale act as booking agents for the singer’s 2013 and 2014 touring activity. According to the Mail On Sunday, Nightingale claims that Allen broke her contractual commitments when she switched allegiances to rival booking agency CAA, it seems because she’d been told the bigger agency could secure her “higher gross fees” from promoters. EC1 had already begun work on Allen’s proposed tour when it was told she was moving to CAA. The company is now suing for £100,000. Mr Nightingale argues he is entitled to compensation for the ‘very large amount’ of work carried out, adding there was no break clause in their agreement. A spokesman for Allen has denied the allegations made against her, saying that the singer’s lawyers “will be defending the matter vigorously”.   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2746302/Tour-boss-sues-Lily-Allen-100-000-breaking-contract-American-company-run-comeback-tours.html

Ellington Estate takes on EMI Music
General / October 2014
UK

CONTRACT Music publishing   The estate of Duke Ellington is hoping to resurrect a royalties lawsuit against EMI Music Publishing, (now controlled by Sony/ATV)  after a lower courts sided with the music company in the legal dispute. The lawsuit, being led by Ellington’s grandson, first emerged in 2010, and centres on royalties – and the artificial reduction in artiste royalties as money is moved between a big music firm’s global subsidiaries and the division to which the creator is directly signed to. It is common practice for each subsidiary to take a commission, with the artist getting their percentage cut only of the monies that reach their home division – here with EMI treats its businesses in other countries as if they were third-party sub-publishers, with Ellington’s estate arguing in reality that they are, in fact, different offices of the same company. And more importantly, Team Ellington alleged that this directly breached the jazz great’s 1961 contract with Mills Music, which was subsequently acquired by the EMI publishing firm. The court which first heard the case concluded that while the 1961 contract did specifically ban the publisher from allowing its subsidiaries to take additional cuts of any royalties, that only…

ARTICLE LINK: 10 tips on the Live Music Act
Licensing , Live Events / October 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   Never has the UK’s law relating to live and recorded music been so complex. Here is a brief guide to the main issues licensees often ask. http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/General-News/Poppelston-Allen-Understanding-recorded-and-live-music-law

Agent of change principle gathers momentum
Licensing , Live Events / October 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events sector   The now much debated ‘agent of change’ principle, designed to protect live music venues, bars and clubs in the face of the increasing numbers of residential properties being built close to venues has prompted the Musicians’ Union to call for new law to protect venues from noise complaints New regulations should be introduced to protect live music venues from possible closure following noise complaints, the Musicians’ Union has said. A similar law was recently introduced in the state of Victoria in Australia.  At the Trades Union Congress conference the MU proposed a motion, which was passed, demanding the introduction of new regulations that would help put a stop to the “worrying trend of long-established music venues being forced to close after only one or two complaints from neighbours”. John Smith, MU general secretary, said: “Venues must, of course, stick to the terms of their licence and residents must be able to complain if they do not comply or are causing a genuine nuisance. But equally, flats which are built above, adjacent or nearby to an existing music venue should not take precedent over an established institution. “The onus should be on the agent of change,…

Keep the Faith, kill the trade mark application: you can’t monopolise Northern Soul 
Live Events , Trade Mark / October 2014
UK

TRADE MARK Live events sector, fashion   From the IPKat   “Northern Soul” is not everyone’s favourite type of music. Indeed, many ardent music fans may not have experienced its delight at all. There is however a dedicated following for it, consisting of people who express their loyalty by purchasing memorabilia and buying handbags, or so it seems. Here’s a guest post from Katfriend Shalini Bengani to explain all about it: Retro Bag Shop’s application; opposition by Brian Poulton (Case 0/358/14) was decided last month by Hearing Officer Oliver Morris in the UK Intellectual Property Office. It sheds some fascinating light on Northern Soul music, about which more can be learnt through this BBC2 Culture show documentary link as well as the Northern Soul fans’ Facebook page. This case plays out between the Retro Bag Shop and Mr Brian Poulton (part owner of Indie Apparel Limited which trades on eBay as Atom Retro) regarding an application to register a figurative trade mark with the text NORTHERN SOUL KEEP THE FAITH (depicted here), filed on 27 December 2012 for Class 18 goods: imitations of leather, travelling bags, handbags, rucksacks, purses, wallets; flight and shoulder bags. Poulton’s opposition is based on absolute grounds of refusal under…

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain loses trade mark battle
Artists , Trade Mark / October 2014
UK

TRADE MARK Artists   The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) has lost round one of a trademark infringement battle against a rival band over the UOGB name, having argued that its reputation could be tarnished by the German-based United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO). The UOGB had sought an injunction against the rival group ahead of the UKUO’s upcoming UK tour but Judge Richard Hacon in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled in favour of the UKUO, saying it was not in competition and that, as the group had been performing in Germany for some years, the UOGB should have acted sooner. Issuing an injunction would have forced the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra to cancel an already booked tour, costing them tens of thousands of pounds. Both orchestras perform their take on contemporary pop songs. The UOGB, whose members dress like a traditional orchestra and sing and tell jokes on stage, have been performing for more than 25 years, released records and have appeared on television. Despite the refusal to grant the injunction, a full trial should follow late 2014 or early 2015. The UOGB (a partnership consisting of George Hinchliffe and Marian Lux) have a Community Trade Mark registered…

E-petition calls for a review of noise abatement laws in the UK
Licensing , Live Events / September 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events   After a spate of venues have been closed or threatened by closure by often just one complainant or by those who have moved into residence beside existing venues – often in new developments,  a new e-petition has been sent up to challenge noise laws in the UK – “Urgent Review of Noise Abatement legislation” calling upon the Secretary of State to: “conduct an urgent review of all applicable Noise Legislation so that the collective right of local communities to be able to enjoy well-run and managed music venues is properly balanced within the law against the individual rights of owners and occupiers of adjoining properties to limit environmental noise.” We request that this review specifically addresses the possibility of new owner/occupiers or developers misusing existing legislation to demand a lowering of environmental noise in a zone in which it has traditionally existed, resulting in the potential closure of highly valued community spaces including music venues, church halls and arts centres.” As this e-petition received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – DEFRA) then provided the following response: “Legislation relating to noise is very wide ranging. It…

Complaint made to Police after busker moved on under Vagrancy Act
Licensing , Live Events / September 2014
UK

LICENSING Live events   In the UK a classical musician is suing Greater Manchester Police for loss of earnings after a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) used laws that tackle ‘aggressive begging’ to stop him busking in Sale town centre. Professional flautist and singer Barry Jackson, 48, was singing Luciano Pavarotti arias and playing music in a shopping precinct when the female PCSO ordered him to move on saying he was a ‘beggar and a vagrant’ and was causing an obstruction. The intervention under the Vagrancy Act 1824. forced Mr Jackson to abandon his planned five-hour stint after just 45 minutes. He later consulted a solicitor and has now filed complaints to Greater Manchester Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The incident occurred last month after a complaint was made to the police. Mr Jackson told Mancunian Matters “Busking is a great British tradition but it seems someone in authority wants to restrict street culture and that is bad for all for all performers who perform in the street like me” adding ”I always try to be a responsible performer, never obstructing and definitely never asking for money. I simply play so people hear my work and it’s a…

Arrest in Fisherman’s Friend tragedy
Health & Safety , Live Events / September 2014
UK

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events sector   A man has been arrested over the deaths of Fisherman’s Friends singer Trevor Grills and the group’s tour manager Paul McMullen. Both were killed last year after a metal door fell on them while the group waited to perform a show in Guildford. The 55 year old man, from Bridgenorth, Shropshire, is being questioned by Surrey Police on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. McMullen died on-site at Guildford’s 1,700 capacity G Live venue in February 2013, having been trapped and critically injured by the collapsed door in a loading bay at the site, which is owned by Guildford Borough Council.  Grills died two days later of head injuries. http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/fishermans-friends-deaths—man-7561653

AIM and A2IM tell members to be wary of SoundCloud user licence
Artists , Contract , Copyright , Internet / September 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT / CONTRACT Artistes, internet   UK and US indie label trade bodies AIM and A2IM have warned their members to be aware of a number of clauses in SoundCloud’s terms and conditions for content-uploaders, and what rights those clauses ask rightsholders to give up when uploading music to the service. The warning appeared on the A2IM blog  and states: “When putting tracks up on SoundCloud, you should strongly consider turning API access off. If you do not do this, you are granting not only SoundCloud a royalty free licence to use your recordings, but also anyone else who uses their API and/or links to your recordings (eg internet radio stations, remix services or other music apps)”. It adds: “As a SoundCloud user, you have already warranted to SoundCloud that you control all rights when using the service. This means that publishing, which you may not control, is also included in this royalty free license for onward usage. User uploads are also covered by this, so if third parties are uploading your recordings, they are also passing on a free license to other sites and services beyond SoundCloud, which effectively creates an ecosystem of royalty free usage for your music”. SoundCloud…

UK confirms it will classify pop promos
Censorship , Internet / September 2014
UK

CENSORSHIP Broadcasting, internet   A spate of recent sexually suggestive promotional videos from the likes of Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Mile Cyrus and Katy Perry has prompted the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to suggest an age-rating system for online videos which it suggests should be introduced as soon as possible. Following the issuing of new classification guidance from the BBFC, the organisation’s assistant director, David Austin, said it was responding to pressure from parents who were concerned about the sexual imagery freely available to children who had access to the web, having already begun reviewing videos by artists such as Metallica, Robbie Williams and Beyoncé which had been submitted on a voluntary basis. Austin said the BBFC was working with the BPI, the body representing the UK music industry, and Google in a pilot project to see how classification might work, though there were questions about how videos created abroad could be rated. It is thought the classifications will be quite strict as sexual and other behaviour cannot be put in context in the three or four minutes a promo videos allows: the latest guidance states: “The classification of a music video will take account of any elements which…

Commercial radio group questions public service value of BBC Radio
Competition / September 2014
UK

COMPETITION Broadcasting   The UK commercial radio trade group RadioCentre has again taken aim at the BBC’s biggest two music services, Radio 1 and Radio 2, questioning the ‘public service value’ of the two stations, saying the two national and licence fee funded stations compete head on with their own flagship services. The latest criticism from RadioCentre comes at the launch of a big review of the Corporation’s music radio operations by regulator the BBC Trust. The review will look at the output of Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 3, 6 Music and the Asian Network. The review, which will report early next year. considers how well each radio station meets the remit it has been given by the BBC Trust, as well as considering value for money, how much the services support live and new music, and how they are adapting for the digital age. The Guardian quotes new RadioCentre boss Siobhan Kenny as saying: “Ahead of [the BBC’s] charter renewal, we need to focus on the size, scope and remit of some of the BBC’s most popular services, and what roles they will have in a future digital environment. At RadioCentre, we are particularly interested in the positioning and…

The Department Of Justice’s digital licensing review underway – good news for publishers?
Copyright , Music Publishing / August 2014
UK
USA

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   CMU Daily reports that The US Department Of Justice has distributed a so called Civil Investigative Demand, or CID, to the two main performing rights societies in the US music publishing domain, ASCAP and BMI, as well as the two dominant music publishers Universal and Sony/ATV/EMI. The initial review of the publishers’ actions began with the rate trial against Pandora, one of several internet radio services that are grinding up against the majors in order to settle streaming rates. Pandora’s representatives alleged that the labels had been working together to change bylaws within ASCAP and BMI that would allow for partial withdrawals—in other words selling the rights to play all of your catalogue aside from the biggest draws, so that publishers can charge higher rates for a Rihanna than a Raekwon, for example. Judge Denise Cote agreed with Pandora in her decision. The document request notices are part of the DoJ’s review of the consent decrees that regulate the collective licensing of song performance rights in the US and are set against a backdrop of both Universal and Sony/ATV seeking to directly licence digital services such as Pandora. A court previously ruled that, under the current…

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…