TiVo has announced that it is releasing a new product - the “Roamio Over-the-Air [OTA] DVR”) that will allow customers who don’t have cable/satellite service to record, store, and playback over-the-air television programming (provided they have an HD digital antenna pulling in the signals). Now what does that remind the CopyKat of - ohhhhhh yes - the Aereo service that the Supreme Court declared to be infringing in June. However the key difference is that this is a customer's box - allowing customers to record programmes where they already had free access, and to play those recordings back to themselves - rather like a video recorder - and that of course reminds us of of that classic 1984 (split 5-4) Supreme Court decision in Sony v. Universal which found that manufacturers of home video player/recorder devices such as Betamax or other VCRs could not be liable for infringement - overturning the The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit which had found the manufacturers of betamax manchines liable for contributory infringement. But will the content and broadcast sectors see it that way?
The head of the Serbian actors’ association, Nikola Djuricko, has said that actors will demand amendments to the copyright law that would extend legal protection on artists whose performance is visual and not just an audio recording (Article 117 of the Serbian Law on Copyright and Related Rights states that performers are entitled to remuneration for the performances published “on a sound carrier”).
|Maslen & Mehra's work|
The International Business Times tells us about Getty Images, whose 'settlement demand letters' - sent to those who the image licensing copany have discovered have used their 80 million images without permission - are often accused of being close to mimicking the behaviour of copyright trolls. Well, Getty has had a nasty shock. Getty's Picscout software picked up an unlicensed image it thought was on the website of of the Schneider Rothman IP Law Group, a Florida law firm (who specialise in copyright litigation). Getty wanted a $380 licensing fee for a photo of a woman texting and driving, which Getty claimed, was being used on the firm’s website without permission. The law firm pointed out that it never displayed the Getty-owned image on its website. Rather, the image was syndicated through a plugin operated by Zemanta Inc., a software company that provides third-party content. Getty have now admitted its error and that it had closed its claim against the law firm - but not before the law firm issued its own legal proceedings alleging “unfair and deceptive business practices.” The law firm is seeking a court declaration that no infringement was committed and an injunction against Getty to stop it from demanding payment where no infringement exists.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Sirius XM could be on the verge of fending off the first major challenge in an ongoing lawsuit brought by major record labels over its royalty-free broadcasting of pre-1972 music (which of course includes a wide repertoire including classic rock n roll and tracks from the likes to Bob Dylan, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones). Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel has indicated that she was leaning towards rejecting a motion by Warner, Universal, Sony, Capitol and ABKCO Records to accept the labels' interpretation of the law in jury instructions. The plaintiffs believe that state laws protect the misappropriation of older sound recordings that were authored before falling under federal copyright protection. But the judge isn't ready to go so far and has indicated that she feels the label's may be relying on inappropriate case law. This lawsuit is just one of a number of actions against the broadcaster - which include the class action led by Flo & Eddie of the Turtles in which the band behind "Happy Together" contends that state law protects pre-'72 music and the broadcaster can't rely on statutory royalty rates for the recordings - and the claim from collection society SoundExchange claiming Sirius XM underpaid federal royalties for pre-'72 tunes. And Sirius have had a second dose of good news on that front: U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in the District of Columbia has approved the Sirius' motion to stay the lawsuit from SoundExchange to await the decision of a hearing with the federal Copyright Royalty Board - the body that sets the statutory rates that Sirius XM must pay - and if these can include revenues purportedly attributable to performances of pre-1972 sound recordings."