Sunday, 19 October 2014

The CopyKat - SiriusXM on the ropes as US judges align

GMA News tells us that the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines is strengthening copyright protection and awareness in the country, ahead of the Asean economic integration in the latter part of 2015. IPOPHL director-general Ricardo Blancaflor highlighted moves during the 35th Manila International Book Fair in a move to reverse the inclusion of the Philippines on the watchlist of the US Trade Representative. In the recent copyright forum between the Philippines and Korea, IPOPHL and the Korea Copyright Commission (KCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the copyright industry of both countries. Sharing the copyright protection system of Korea to the Philippines is one of the main goals of KCC which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of the Republic of Korea. The purpose of this signed partnership is to establish a collaborative relationship between the two countries in the field of copyright and related rights, in order to protect the rights of authors and related rights, to promote the fair use of works and to endeavor to improve and develop the culture and creative industries of both countries. 

Following the publication of his copyright and education report last week, Mike Weatherley MP has announced he is stepping down from his role as Intellectual Property Advisor to David Cameron after a year in the job. Weatherley had already announced that he would step down as MP for Hove and Portslade at the next election, and with that new election looming, Mike no doubt realises that copyright will be buried deep beneath isues such as the UK's membership of the European Community, NHS reforms, the economy, education, immigration, sleaze and and English parliament - to name but a few burning topics.  Confirming he was stepping role, Weatherley said: "It has been a wonderful opportunity to work with the Prime Minister in this way. Feedback from industry has been very encouraging throughout the time that I served as the Prime Minister's adviser and I have very much enjoyed the work that was involved in both tackling IP crime and boosting the profile of IP generally".

The IFPI's Head of Global Legal Policy, David Carson, is leaving the global recorded music body to return to a role in the US government. The organisation is not directly replacing Carson, but instead expanding the remit of its Director of Licensing, Lauri Rechardt. Carson joined the IFPI in August 2012 from the General Counsel of the US Copyright Office, where he had served as General Counsel since 1997.

And copyright attorney and former Library of Congress digital director Mary Rasenberger has been named executive director of the Authors Guild in the US. The Guild, which represents thousands of published writers, announced the change Thursday. She succeeds longtime head Paul Aiken, who has been diagnosed with ALS.

YouTube has hit $1bn in payments to companies that participate in its 'Content ID' programme that sells advertising on user-generated clips that could/would otherwise infringe copyright "in a sign that media groups increasingly see the video site as a friend rather than foe". More on the Financial Times here.

The Geeks are up in arms! Microsoft appears to be taking down YouTube videos with content related to Windows 8 based on copyright claims. Bruce Naylor, a techology reviewer and analyst at his YouTube channel FrugalTech, received a takedown notice sent from a brand protection company called Marketly on behalf of Microsoft. Naylor explained  that he filmed the video on January 6th, 2013, and called it an “op-ed piece”  saying “At no point during the video did I actually use any third-party copyrighted material,”  and “No music, video, photos — nothing like that. It was strictly talking about why Windows 8 was failing in the marketplace at that time.” And  Scott Hanselman, who works for the Web Platform Team at Microsoft (yes!)  made a how-to video for Windows 8.1 that was cited for copyright infringement - one of two copyright complaints. Microsoft responded saying "“While we are still investigating the recent YouTube takedown notices, it appears some of these videos were inadvertently targeted for removal because there were stolen product keys embedded in the comments section of the videos. Our intention was not to target legitimate YouTube content and we are sorry for the impact this has had.  We have already taken steps to reinstate legitimate video content and are working towards a better solution to targeting stolen IP while respecting legitimate content.”

SiriusXM have had some more bad news: A California federal judge Phillip Gutierrez had already delivered a "legal earthquake"by finding that SiriusXM had violated the claimant's (sixties band the Turtles)  pre-1972 master copyrights by playing their music without licensing it or paying performance royalties and now another fesderal judge who had indicated some support for SiriusXM's decision has now had a change of heart and now is minded to follow the Carifornian court.  Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel is presiding over a similar case brought by Capitol Records and other record industry giants; Judge Strobel had previously expressed her inclination to reject proposed jury instructions offered by the record companies, but now she had a change of heart by granting what the record companies were seeking. "Plaintiffs ask the court to take judicial notice of the order granting summary judgment in Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Siruis XM Radio, Inc," she writes. "While a federal trial court opinion is not binding on this court, the court finds the logic applied in that order interpreting Civil Code §980 to be persuasive."

Google is rolling out an update to its search engine next week that will downrank websites containing pirated content. The new, improved algorithm pushes copyright violators lower in search results. "We've now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites," Google says in its latest transparency report. The update will also affect search autofill behavior to prevent sites with pirated content from appearing in results. Furthermore, “legitimate” media sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play will be prioritized to the top of Google's results page when users search for a particular movie, TV show, or song. More on the fastcompany website here.

And finally, in Germany has been found liable for not deleting copyright content in a timely manner. Anti-piracy company Pro-Media informed the file-host of the infringement via a ‘takedown’ email, but Uploaded claimed not have been aware of the notice. A notic detailing infringing URLs on the file-hosting site was sent to the given abuse contact of the site,” Mirko Brüß, a lawyer with record label lawfirm Rasch Legal, told TorrentFreak. However, three days later the album was still being made available so the lawfirm sent Swiss based Uploaded an undertaking to cease and desist. When the file-hosting site still didn’t respond, Rasch Legal obtained a preliminary injunction against Uploaded. The Regional Court of Hamburg has now ruled that Uploaded is liable, even if no notice has been viewed. The Court followed our reasoning, meaning it is sufficient that the file-hoster actually receives the notice in a way that you can expect it to be read under normal circumstances.

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