An Illinois couple who own several recording companies specializing in doo-wop, jazz, and rhythm and blues have filed law suit against the major satellite and Internet radio companies in the US over their playing of pre-1972 songs. Following on from the actions from Flo & Eddie of the Turtles and and RIAA, it's the third lawsuit that seeks to obtain payment for use of sound recordings under state copyright laws. Arthur and Barbara Sheridan filed two lawsuits in New Jersey federal court: one against Pandora and Sirius XM (PDF) and another against iHeartMedia (PDF), the parent company of online music service iHeartRadio. Their lawsuits seek class action status, looking to represent owners of pre-1972 songs. The action says that the companies have derived "significant benefits," including "millions of dollars in annual revenue," by playing those songs without permission, the suit alleges. In an action brought by ABS Entertainment, which owns the recordings of Al Green, among others, terrestrial radio broadcaster CBS has argued that not only does state law not apply to their use - a matter the recorded music industry had until recently accepted this interpretation of the law - CBS also says that as it only plays re-mastered versions of pre-1972 sound recordings, these actually have a post 1972 copyright copyright saying "In fact, every song CBS has played in the last four years has been a post-1972 digital sound recording that has been re-issued or re-mastered". Meanwhile Pandora has confirmed that it has reached a settlement with the major labels over its use of pre-1972 sound recordings. The streaming platform follows the lead of US satellite radio service Sirius which, back in June, agreed to pay $210 million to the three majors - Universal, Sony and Warner - and ABKCO Music, which is best known for controlling the early Rolling Stones catalogue, with Pandora paying the labels $90 million for past and future usage of pre-1972 repertoire More on ArtsTechnica here and the Hollywood Reporter here.
Adolf Hitler's ‘Mein Kampf” falls out of copyright next year when the term of the copyright, owned by the State of BAvaria, expires. is almost certainly going to re-published and it seems annotated German and French reprints are being prepared. Last week a Paris publisher, Fayard, confirmed in a statement it was going ahead with an annotated French print, after pondering on it for the past four years. A German-language reprint will be handled by the government-funded Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, which emphasizes the book’s historical importance. It too, will be annotatated. More on the Times of Israel here.
The Supreme Court of India has held that no copyright exists on the "title" of a literary work, reversing the decision of the Bombay High Court: "No copyright subsists in the title of a literary work and a plaintiff or a complainant is not entitled to relief on such basis except in an action for passing off or in respect of a registered trademark comprising such titles. The Times of India has more.
The 'Dancing Baby' case is not over - with BOTH sides aiming for a rehearing: Whilst at the time of the appelate court's judgement, the EFF called it “an important win for fair use,” but now both the EFF (which is representing the plaintiff, Stephanie Lenz, who filmed her then toddler dancing to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" ) and Universal Music Corp. have requested an en banc rehearing from the Ninth Circuit. It seems the EFF are looking to strengthe the case for 'fair use' by breathing new life in section 512(f), which allows the targets of illegitimate takedowns to sue the people who sent the invalid notices - potentially arguing that on the facts of this case, Universal could not possibly have acted in 'good faith' when issuing a DMCA takedown' notice The Universal petition claims that Lenz had no standing for an appeal in the first place because she was not injured by the takedown. UMG will also ask the court to clarify some of the language in the opinion.
|Jay Z at Glastonbury 2008 (Nick Cordes)