Viacom and Google Resolve Copyright Litigation Over YouTube

The long-running legal battle between Viacom and Google over YouTube has been resolved. Viacom has been suing Google since 2007, arguing that the online video site violated copyrights. The two companies announced yesterday that they have settled out of court. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but people familiar with the matter suggest that both sides are now free to explore potential business partnerships, including the possibility of collaboration on advertising technology. Continue reading Viacom and Google Resolve Copyright Litigation Over YouTube

Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, the lengthy, dramatic battle regarding what digital music service Pandora should pay ASCAP ended Friday when U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Pandora should continue to pay the performing rights organization what it has been paying through 2015. Pandora had argued that it should pay less than the current 1.85 percent of revenue, while ASCAP had argued for an escalating rate structure that would require Pandora to pay 2.5 percent of revenue for 2013 and 3 percent in 2015. Continue reading Judge Rules in Royalty Lawsuit Between Pandora and ASCAP

Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

TV startup Aereo has temporarily shut down its service in Denver and Salt Lake City. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit refused to overturn a preliminary injunction granted by a Utah District Court judge that prohibits Aereo from operating in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. Aereo is issuing full refunds for this month to customers in the two cities. Despite the setback, Aereo continues its expansion with a recent launch in Austin, Texas one week before the SXSW conference. Continue reading Aereo: Internet TV Service on Hold in Denver and Salt Lake City

Dish Programming Deal with Disney Resolves Auto Hop Dispute

As part of a new long-term programming deal with Disney, Dish will curtail the use of its DVR ad-skipping feature, Auto Hop, for ABC shows. The deal will also provide Dish with online video rights to Disney’s flagship TV channels for a planned Internet-based TV service. The rights deal, confirmed by both companies Monday, marks a first of its kind for Disney. ABC and other major broadcasters have been involved in litigation over the Auto Hop feature since it launched in 2012. Continue reading Dish Programming Deal with Disney Resolves Auto Hop Dispute

TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC filed a 59-page brief to the Supreme Court a few weeks ago that detailed how online video startup Aereo is stealing their programming and undermining the TV business model. The filing also noted that “a ruling against Aereo would pose no threat to innovative online-distribution services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon,” since those services “pay for the right to use copyrighted content.” In a Supreme Court filing yesterday, the Justice Department backed the networks in their fight with Aereo. Continue reading TV Networks Battle Aereo, Gain Support of Justice Department

VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

PandoDaily and TheWrap are among those reporting that visual effects industry workers are planning a demonstration outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood during Sunday’s Academy Awards to protest ongoing efforts to send post-production work overseas. The group believes that offshoring has led to a slow collapse of the VFX industry in the U.S. While there was little the effects industry could do about this in the past, it may now be armed with a new weapon based on the MPAA’s attempts to combat Internet piracy. Continue reading VFX Industry Plans Oscar Demonstration to Protest Offshoring

Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

For the first time, federal prosecutors are targeting people who have illegally distributed pirated versions of apps for Google’s Android operating system. Numerous individuals are currently under investigation, and four men from Oregon and Florida have been charged with copyright crimes. The Justice Department is pursuing criminal charges, rather than going the traditional route with cease-and-desist letters from copyright holders or civil suits, in order to send a strong message to deter piracy. Continue reading Android: Justice Department Fight Against Piracy Goes Mobile

BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

BitTorrent is making efforts to appeal to Hollywood — and help generate legitimate revenue — by offering studios and artists the opportunity to sell and distribute their material in Bundles as a way to entice customers to buy the full content on iTunes or other similar services. BitTorrent Bundles has already teamed up with Lady Gaga, Madonna and Vice Media to launch promotional content including photos, trailers, videos, songs and other extras. Continue reading BitTorrent Offers Hollywood Bundle Options for Promo Content

Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

A statement from the Writers Guild of America West raises the group’s concerns regarding copyright infringement fees and agreements, digital sales and other related issues. The letter particularly references the “notice and takedown” system of copyrighted material shared on the Web, noting that the system’s intentions are good, but may also cause potential harm. The statement was written in response to a recent green paper on copyright policy. Continue reading Writers Guild Cautions Against Stiff Copyright Enforcement

Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino is suing online media publisher Gawker Media LLC and the website AnonFiles.com for over $1 million for copyright infringement. Tarantino filed the complaint on Monday after Gawker and AnonFiles.com posted an online copy of “The Hateful Eight,” written by Tarantino. The filmmaker said he was depressed the screenplay had been leaked, and is cancelling all plans to develop the script as his next project.  Continue reading Tarantino Suing Gawker and AnonFiles.com for Leaking Script

Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Known for filing copyright infringement lawsuits, musician Prince has targeted 22 individuals for posting links of his live concerts and posting them on Facebook and blogs, and filed a lawsuit for $22 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California. Only two of the defendants are referenced by their real names in the lawsuit, and the others are referenced by their online usernames.  Continue reading Music: Prince Sues Facebook Users for Copyright Infringement

Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

A new Web application named Hola is bypassing copyright laws to deliver content to users who otherwise don’t have access to it. The app essentially unlocks international versions of Netflix so U.S. users can watch shows like “True Grit” or “Community” — only available overseas — whenever they want. By changing users’ IP addresses and making their devices act as routers, content is never copied illegally. Since beta testing began, the app has become incredibly popular, and it could alter the way the Internet operates. Continue reading Hola: New App Skirts Copyright Law to Stream TV Shows, Music

Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Crowdsourced music videos of live performances are becoming more and more popular as concert-goers increasingly record shows with their smartphones or cameras. One Neil Young fan named Tom Adams went so far as to piece together multiple recordings of the same performance captured from different angles by other fans in attendance. On top of the video, he added a single audio recording of the concert to create one cohesive video. Continue reading Music Fans Recording Live Performances: Harmless or Illegal?

Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Several countries have launched “graduated response” initiatives in an effort to reduce online piracy, but new findings from U.S. and French researchers suggest the measures do not have the intended effect. Last year, the U.S. implemented its six-strikes system to warn infringing file-sharers, and then penalize them after multiple warnings. Although the penalties range from a fine to a prolonged Internet disconnection, the study suggests this does not prevent piracy.  Continue reading Research Suggests Strikes Systems Not Curbing Online Piracy

Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal filed by broadcasters against the Aereo online TV service. Disney’s ABC, CBS Broadcasting, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and 21st Century Fox are among those who argue that Barry Diller-backed Aereo violates copyrights by using tiny antennas to access broadcast signals without paying fees. Media companies appealed a decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April that denied their request to shutter Aereo while legal issues are being addressed. Continue reading Broadcasters Head to Supreme Court in Battle Against Aereo

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