Four arrested in aftermath of Brazillian nighclub disaster
Health & Safety , Live Events / February 2013

HEATH & SAFETY Live events sector At least 231 people have died in a fire in a Brazilian nightclub, with fears that the death toll could rise further. The blaze, at the Kiss nightclub in the city of Santa Maria, in the south of Brazil, apparently began when a band lit a flare or fireworks which ignited sound proofing foam on the ceiling. Guitarist Rodrigo Martins, whose band Gurizada Fandangueira was playing at the time of the fire told Radio Gaucha: “We had played around five songs when I looked up and noticed the roof was burning. It might have happened because of the Sputnik, the machine we use to create a luminous effect with sparks. When the fire started, a guard passed us a fire extinguisher, and our singer tried to use it but it wasn’t working”. Reports suggest that as furniture and fittings in the club started to burn, toxic fumes spread, adding to the death toll. Eyewitnesses also say that fire extinguishers in the venue didn’t work, and that the evacuation of the building was hindered because security guards – not realising what was happening inside – wouldn’t let people leave the club before they had settled…

Exit Festival and Foreign Producers of Phonograms: New Challenge for O.F.P.S.
Copyright , Live Events / February 2013

COPYRIGHT Live events sector   Bogdan Ivanišević, Head of IP Practice Group at BDK legal in Serbia brings us news of a recent Challenge to the recoded music collection society in Serbia, O.F.P.S by one of Serbia’s biggest live events, the Exit Festival. Bogdan explains that back in May 2012, The Serbian Commercial Appellate Court denied a request by the Organization of Phonogram Producers of Serbia (O.F.P.S.) to collect royalties for communication to the public of Italian sound recordings in a Belgrade restaurant. A few months later, the same court issued a decision in an ongoing case that might again be the cause of a headache to the collecting society and this time much larger financial stakes are involved because the party opposing O.F.P.S. is the well known “Exit” Festival in Serbia. The annual Exit music festival in Novi Sad was first staged in 2000 at the picturesque Petrovaradin fortress on the banks of the Danube, and the festival is now well known internationally and attracts tens of thousands of fans from all parts of Europe. O.F.P.S. claimed that “Exit” owed it almost 350,000 Euros of unpaid royalties for the use of Serbian and foreign sound recordings during the two festivals held in 2007 and…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

Anonymous hackers jailed for cyber attacks
Data Protection , Internet , Privacy / February 2013

PRIVACY / COMPUTER CRIME Internet   A student and a church volunteer have been jailed for carrying out cyber attacks with the hacking group Anonymous, including one online assault that cost the payments giant PayPal at least £3.5m. The attacks targeted anti-piracy and financial companies between August 2010 and January 2011. Christopher Weatherhead, a Northampton University student, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday for his part in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on PayPal, Visa and Mastercard in December 2010. Judge Testar also sentenced Ashley Rhodes, 28, to seven months in prison for his part in the activities of the self-styled “hacktivist” group. Rhodes, a church volunteer from Camberwell, south London, sighed and leant his head on the back wall of the dock as his jail term was read out at Southwark crown court. A third man, Peter Gibson, 24, was given a suspended six-month prison sentence for his part in the Anonymous attacks. The sentencing of a fourth man, Jake Burchall, 18, was adjourned. The Ministry of Sound estimated the cost of the attack on its sites as £9,000, while the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s costs were more than £20,000 and the British Phonographic Industry’s…