Wednesday 5 August 2015

The CopyKat - with nets cast wide, the Kat pulls in the Great British Bake Off, the 2020 Olympics, trolls and porn amongst other titbits

The U.S. Department of Justice's recent proposal to amend the consent decrees to allow music publishers to partially withdraw digital rights from collection societies ASCAP and BMI's blanket licenses may be undermined by another change the DoJ is contemplating. Reports say the DoJ has sent letters to the two performance rights societies telling them that on "split works" songs - works which are co-written and therefore co-owned songs where multiple publishers and, often in the US, multiple PROs are involved, new rules might be applied The new proposal is that any writer or any rights holder would be able to issue a license for 100 percent of the song. In other words, the long-established industry practice of each rights owner 'green lighting' their particular portion of a song in order to establish a license - also known as fractional licensing - may no longer be allowed. So even if Sony/ATV or Universal pulled their digital rights from BMI and ASCAP, any songs in their catalogues co-owned with another publisher who was still using the two collection societies for digital would still be available for digital services to stream under their BMI and ASCAP blanket licences. More on Billboard here.

(Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/BBC)
An advert produced to promote the BBC's amazingly successful televised baking competition 'The Great British Bake Off' has been pulled after a complaint from the publishers of the song: 'The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music' - which featured in the advert had newly adapted lyrics for the tune originally sung by Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music – including ‘The hills are alive with the smell of baking, with cakes that we baked for a thousand years.’ and other adapted lines include ‘the hills fill my heart with a love of baking’ and co-presenter Paul Hollywood 'sang': ‘I just want to taste every cake that I baked.’ "The advert campaign utilising The Sound of Music is neither authorised nor approved,’ said Bert Fink, senior vice-president (Europe) for Rodgers & Hammerstein."

Quartz tells us that in keeping with its ambition to become the world’s most open institution of its kind, the British Library has released over a million public domain illustrations and other images to the public through Flickr for anyone to reuse, remix or repurpose. So far, these images, which range from Restoration-era cartoons to colonial explorers’ early photographs, have been used on rugs, album covers, gift tags, a mapping project, and an art installation at the Burning Man festival in Nevada, among other things.

The International Olympic Committee has denied claims that one of the the official emblems for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, designed by Kenjiro Sano,  infringes the copyright of a Belgian theatre's logo. Belgian designer Olivier Debie has said that the design is similar to one he created for the Theatre De Liege. And yes, this is a copyrihgt claim as the theatre's logo has not been registered as a trademark.  Reports say that the IOC vice-president John Coates told a meeting of the Olympic management: "The IOC and Tokyo have checked all the copyright registers prior to this launch and that logo in Belgium isn't protected. Hmmmmmmm - from a UK perspective that wouldn't quite work Mr Coates ..... since it wouldn't need to be registered to attract copyright protection if it qualified as an original work. 

Techdirt reports that it now appears that a judge has begun to get a little more curious about "copyright troll" Malibu Media and how it goes about finding "infringers" to "shakedown with settlement agreements". Techdirt says that in the past, evidence showed that other similar copyright trolls like Prenda, were engaged in seeding their own content, which would make the file authorized, and thus the shakedown letters a form of "copyright misuse." There have long been rumours that Malibu Media, perhaps in association with the infamous "international men of mystery" running the behind-the-scenes operation out of Germany, may be seeding their own files as well.  Food for thought!

And finally more on Malibu ....  the company behind the X-Art adult movies that has filed more than 3,500 lawsuits against alleged illegal online sharers of its adult content in the USA has been back to court to seek an order to say that labels such as "porn" and “copyright troll” (which the Kat just used!) can't be used against it in court. Whilst a self admitted maker of 'beautiful erotica', Malibu recently filed a motion asking a federal court to block the defendant from using terms that it believes “would be unfairly prejudicial” saying  that as a Plaintiff, Malibu has been referred to in many different negatively connoted ways, including: ‘copyright troll,’ ‘pornographer,’ ‘porn purveyor,’ and ‘extortionist,’” and the  motion reads: “Referring to Plaintiff at trial by any title except ‘Plaintiff’ or ‘Malibu Media’ would be unfairly prejudicial and would only serve to impede the impartial administration of justice.” One commentator added that Malibu may also be protecting it's copyright claims against arguments that pornography cannot be protected by copyright laws in the U.S, not least as some argue that pornography does not promote the progression of useful arts,  More on tne protection of copyright by copyright  here and Eleonora posted an article on this very matter back in 2012 - 'How Porn Friendly is Copyright?' so have a look at this and the coments - which are very relevant here.

Has anyone noticed how much cake has featured on this Blog recently?

1 comment:

Ben said...

Interesting update on the BBC's Bake Off 'Sound of Music' use, and the potential of a parody exception to infringement by rebecca Gulbul on the IPKat here