Streaming Boosts Music Revenues, But Not Equally for Artists

The Recording Industry Association of America reports that streaming is booming, more than offsetting declines in CD sales and digital downloads. In 2015, overall revenues rose almost 1 percent to $7 billion, the fifth consecutive year that the market grew — albeit slightly — in wholesale value. But artists and their representatives are saying that the gains aren’t being fairly shared, since many users still listen for free. In 2014, for example, on-demand streams grew 63 percent while revenue increased only 34 percent. Continue reading Streaming Boosts Music Revenues, But Not Equally for Artists

HPA Tech Retreat: Washington Update During This ‘Silly Season’

In another annual HPA Tech Retreat panel, Jim Burger, a copyright attorney with Thompson Coburn in Washington, D.C. gave his “Washington Update.” “We’re talking about Congress and the Silly Season, and it’s crazy,” said Burger, who said he would touch on intellectual property litigation on the copyright side; the FCC and communications; net neutrality; and unlocking the set-top box among other topics. Burger noted that the House Judiciary Committee has held over 20 copyright hearings this year. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Washington Update During This ‘Silly Season’

YouTube Creators Getting Frustrated Over Copyright Violations

A growing number of YouTube creators are becoming frustrated with copyright violation claims. Some have even posted videos about their headaches in dealing with the claims and they are urging YouTube to fix the system. Currently, the popular online video platform relies on a model established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in which user-generated flags can lead to the sudden takedown of a video. Some creators have even had the advertising or the uploading capabilities restricted on their channels. Continue reading YouTube Creators Getting Frustrated Over Copyright Violations

Copyright Infringement Ruling: Cox to Pay BMG $25 Million

In a significant victory for BMG and copyright enforcer Rightscorp, a federal jury in Virginia found Cox Communications guilty of ignoring music piracy, directing that it pay BMG $25 million for the violations. Although Rightscorp was not named as a plaintiff, it provided the evidence that made it possible for BMG to go to trial. Rightscorp has been sending out copyright notices asking for $20 to $30 per song for what users believed were pirated songs. Cox was the biggest holdout, making them a target for BMG and Rightscorp. Continue reading Copyright Infringement Ruling: Cox to Pay BMG $25 Million

Judge: Cox Not Entitled to Safe Harbor from Copyright Liability

U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady ruled that Cox Communications is not, as it claimed, a mere conduit for those who infringe copyrights but instead has liability for not implementing a repeat-infringer policy. The suit originated with BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music, which both sought the help of Rightscorp, a company that tracks down online pirates and, controversially, demands they pay up or face lawsuits. Cox had asserted that Rightscorp’s demands were unreasonable and did not cooperate. Continue reading Judge: Cox Not Entitled to Safe Harbor from Copyright Liability

Studios Await Court Ruling on Blocking Digital Transmissions

A case before a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit between two companies that make dental braces will have an impact on Hollywood movie studios and Silicon Valley technology companies. Both groups have taken a vocal position on the issue, in which Align Technology, which makes Invisalign braces, accuses ClearCorrect of infringing its patents by sending digital files over the Internet. The question is whether the U.S. International Trade Commission has the power to block those files. Continue reading Studios Await Court Ruling on Blocking Digital Transmissions

Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

Twitter is cracking down on plagiarized tweets, since tweets are considered the intellectual property of the original tweeter. Users can request to have copied tweets removed on copyright grounds. Twitter has deleted several copies of a stolen joke originally penned by freelance writer Olga Lexell after she reported the infringement. Although most social media-related copyright claims involve embedded media or links rather than text, anyone can submit a claim through Twitter, and the company will remove the tweet if the request is valid. Continue reading Twitter Will Remove Plagiarized Tweets on Copyright Grounds

3D Printing Brings More Piracy Issues to Entertainment Industry

The rise in accessibility to 3D printing has provided avid fans and hobbyists with the ability to print their favorite characters and props from movies, TV shows, comics and video games, which often violates the intellectual property rights of entertainment companies. So far, Hollywood has not taken any significant legal action against 3D printers. Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros., however, are among those that have responded by releasing sanctioned 3D designs as a promotional tool prior to movie release dates. Continue reading 3D Printing Brings More Piracy Issues to Entertainment Industry

Twitter’s Periscope Hopes It Can Coexist with TV Broadcasters

Periscope is trying to repair its relationship with television broadcasters after some users illegally live streamed the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao boxing match. The company says it was better prepared to handle takedown requests after the piracy issues involving “Game of Thrones.” Because Twitter owns Periscope, the live streaming app needs to maintain a good relationship with broadcasters. Meanwhile, the U.S. Open golf tournament will not allow live streaming from Periscope or Meerkat. Continue reading Twitter’s Periscope Hopes It Can Coexist with TV Broadcasters

Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

Saturday’s championship bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is generating controversy regarding the number of people who watched the fight for free using Twitter’s new video streaming app, Periscope. The app allows users to stream video recordings in real time and post to Twitter. Many on social media reported watching the fight via Periscope as opposed to paying the $100 pay-per-view fee to HBO and Showtime, which has since sparked a discussion about piracy. Continue reading Controversy Arises Over Periscope Streaming of Boxing Match

Grooveshark Shutters Music Service After Losing Legal Battle

After facing a six-year legal battle with major music labels, Escape Media has finally agreed to cease operations of music startup Grooveshark, which offered users access to millions of songs for free. Grooveshark’s founders recently published a formal statement to apologize for attempting to offer music without having the licensing agreements to legally do so. Under the terms of the settlement, the company has been mandated to shut down its website, apps and clear all of its servers.  Continue reading Grooveshark Shutters Music Service After Losing Legal Battle

HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

The first four episodes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” fifth season were leaked online before the season’s premiere. Reportedly leaked from a review screener, the episodes have since been downloaded from public torrent sites millions of times. In response, HBO has distributed thousands of warnings to those Internet subscribers whose connections were determined to share leaked episodes. There are no legal ramifications for the subscribers, but HBO hopes that the warnings will prevent some of them from downloading future episodes. Continue reading HBO Sends Warnings to Torrent Users Sharing ‘Game of Thrones’

Live Streaming Apps Could Face Copyright Infringement Issues

Meerkat and Periscope are two apps that have brought live streaming into the spotlight, and some experts worry that these apps may be a breeding ground for copyright infringement. It may be as simple as someone trying to livestream a TV show or a public performance, but without the proper licenses, these users may be breaking copyright laws. Fair use laws probably will not offer these companies any defense, but constant monitoring should help them avoid potential legal problems. Continue reading Live Streaming Apps Could Face Copyright Infringement Issues

Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Google claims that it has taken additional measures to make search results more resistant to piracy. According to a new white paper, Google has changed its search-engine algorithms so the sites with a large number of takedown notices appear lower in search results rankings. The company has also enhanced autocomplete and related search, preventing the inclusion of terms associated with piracy. New advertising products will also promote copyright-friendliness.  Continue reading Google Report Explains Enhancement of Anti-Piracy Efforts

Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

In a 57-page decision issued this week, a New York federal judge ruled against music streaming service Grooveshark in a copyright infringement case. The judge ruled that the service’s parent company, Escape Media Group, and co-founders Samuel Tarantino and Josh Greenberg, had uploaded almost 6,000 songs without licenses, and urged their employees to do the same. Meanwhile, a California judge ruled in favor of musicians Flo & Eddie in a suit against SiriusXM, and now the duo is taking on Pandora. Continue reading Music Industry: Rulings Could Have Long-Term Consequences

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