Friday 29 November 2013

The CopyKat - Fridays fun furballs

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee has voted unanimously to adopt the Collective Rights Management Directive which would allow online providers to obtain copyright licenses to stream music across E.U. borders. Currently, companies wanting to offer such services must obtain copyright licenses from 28 different member states. The proposed law would allow for a small number of authors’ collective management organizations to operate across EU national borders. “Today’s vote demonstrates that, contrary to some misconceptions, all political groups acknowledge that copyright is compatible with the digital age and can easily adapt to it,” said Marielle Gallo, the French member of Parliament who crafted the law. The full Parliament will vote on the proposed rules in early 2014.

An update on the Beastie Boys spat with toy company GoldieBlox which featured in our last CopyKat update.. In a letter back to the band published on the company's website, GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling writes: "We don't want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans ... Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you". She continues saying that GoldieBlox still believed that it was within its rights to use the song under Fair Use, but having not been aware of Yauch's wishes previously, would remove it from the advert. "In addition", she said, "we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team". Miri Frankel has posted a more detailed look at Fair Use - in this case parody - over on the IPKat website and it's well worth a read My own take remains it's an advert - albeit a clever advert which did spark a public debate - and which does indeed parody the original song - but a parody for commercial gain. 

And an update on Robin Thicke's problems - Marvin Gaye's eldest son, Marvin Gaye III, has launched a new lawsuit against Robin Thicke, similar to, but separate from the one launched by his siblings Frankie Christian and Nona which alleged similarities between Thicke's controversial summer hit 'Blurred Lines'  and Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up' - and that Thicke's track, 'Love After War' takes elements of Gaye's 'After The Dance'. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gaye III's new lawsuit says: "Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' is copied from Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up', Thicke's 'Love After War' is copied from Gaye's 'After The Dance', Thicke's 'Make U Love Me' is copied from Gaye's 'I Want You'), and Thicke's 'Million Dollar Baby' is copied from Gaye's 'Trouble Man'.

The Guardian reports that a freelance designer who says his work was stolen by an advertising agency working on the Hollywood remake of cult thriller Oldboy has written an open letter to director Spike Lee asking him to intervene. Juan Luis Garcia says posters based on his designs are being used to promote the film, which is released this weekend in the US, despite the fact that he has not been paid for his work or agreed to their use. He says the unnamed agency involved made an "insultingly low offer" when it decided to use his designs, and continued to use them when he declined their offer.

A Plymouth licensee has been convicted of the illegal use of Sky TV after his original acquittal by Magistrates was overturned by the High Court. The Morning Advertiser reports that Stanley Ashton did not have a commercial licence for Sky TV for his pub but showed live football matches from his domestic subscription. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) appealed the decision and when the case was returned to Plymouth Magistrates Court where Ashton received a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £850 costs.

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