Music Industry Lauds Copyright Ruling in Streaming Dispute

The U.S Copyright Office has finalized its rule change on streaming royalties, delivering a long-awaited clarification on who receives streaming royalties when songwriters exercise termination rights that allow authors and heirs to terminate copyright grants — including transfers or licenses — for their music. The rule clarifies who is entitled to collect mechanical royalties paid by streaming platforms after the termination has been invoked. Specifically, the final rule confirms “that the derivative works exception to termination rights under the Copyright Act does not apply to the statutory blanket mechanical license established under the Music Modernization Act.” Continue reading Music Industry Lauds Copyright Ruling in Streaming Dispute

Created by Humans: AI Rights Licensing Platform for Creators

Created by Humans, a company that aims to make it easy for creators to be compensated when their work is used for AI model training, has emerged from stealth with $5 million in funding. Positioning itself as “the AI rights licensing platform for creators,” the company was launched by Trip Adler, formerly the CEO of document sharing service and publishing platform Scribd. Noted author Walter Isaacson is an investor and creative advisor. In streamlining the licensing process, Created by Humans hopes to spare individuals and smaller companies from the proposition of engaging in costly litigation against LLM firms. Continue reading Created by Humans: AI Rights Licensing Platform for Creators

Netflix Plans to Open Two Entertainment Complexes in 2025

Netflix has selected Dallas, Texas and Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia as the first two cities for its massive location-based entertainment venues, set to open in 2025. Specifying “they’re not exactly theme parks,” the Netflix House destinations will feature shopping, eateries and “regularly updated” experiential activities that tie-in with major franchises like “Bridgerton,” “Stranger Things” and “Squid Game.” Netflix CMO Marian Lee says the company has already launched more than 50 experiences in 25 cities, with Netflix House representing “the next generation” venue for the streaming giant. Continue reading Netflix Plans to Open Two Entertainment Complexes in 2025

Runway’s Gen-3 Alpha Creates AI Videos Up to 10-Seconds

Runway ML has introduced a new foundation model, Gen-3 Alpha, which the company says can generate high-quality, realistic scenes of up to 10 seconds long from text prompts, still images or a video sample. Offering a variety of camera movements, Gen-3 Alpha will initially roll out to Runway’s paid subscribers, but the company plans to add a free version in the future. Runway says Gen-3 Alpha is the first of a new series of models trained on the company’s new large-scale multimodal infrastructure, which offers improvements “in fidelity, consistency, and motion over Gen-2,” released last year. Continue reading Runway’s Gen-3 Alpha Creates AI Videos Up to 10-Seconds

Twitch DJ Program Forges New Path for Live Streaming Music

Twitch is rolling out its licensed DJ Program to allow music live streamers to pursue their craft without having to deal with takedown notices. The popular gaming platform, owned by Amazon, has been dealing with copyright infringement complaints, and now offers what it calls a “first-of-its-kind” compliance solution that provides creators who opt-in with “millions of tracks” that will be legally safe to use. Participating DJs will be required to pay copyright holders a percentage of their earnings from the stream in which the music is used. Twitch did not disclose the percentage but said it would split the cost 50/50 with creators. Continue reading Twitch DJ Program Forges New Path for Live Streaming Music

Stability AI Releases Free Sound FX Tool, Stable Audio Open

Stability AI has added another audio product to its lineup, releasing the open-source text-to-audio generator Stable Audio Open 1.0 for sound design. The new model can generate up to 47 seconds of samples and sound effects, including drum beats, instrument riffs, ambient sounds, foley and production elements. It also allows for adapting variations and changing the style of audio samples. Stability AI — best known for the image generator Stable Diffusion — in September released Stable Audio, a commercial product that can generate sophisticated music tracks of up to three minutes. Continue reading Stability AI Releases Free Sound FX Tool, Stable Audio Open

Meta Opens Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Meta Platforms has rebranded its Quest VR operating system Horizon OS and is opening the platform to third parties. While licensing terms have not been publicly disclosed, Asus and Lenovo have said they’re going to be designing hardware using the system. Microsoft and Qualcomm are also in round one of the companies on the inside track as Meta positions Horizon OS along the lines of a universal VR standard, not unlike Microsoft’s Windows OS for computers. All four companies have already been working with Meta on VR for Quest or its predecessor, Oculus. Continue reading Meta Opens Mixed Reality OS to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Payment Law Prompts Google to Block California News Links

In response to a new law that would require online platforms to pay publishers for news summaries, Google announced it is undertaking a “short-term test” to block links to California-based news sources for some users in the state. The California Journalism Preservation Act, which was introduced in March 2023 and passed by the State Assembly last year, has yet to advance to a hearing by the State Senate Judiciary Committee. The still pending legislation would require digital services, including Google and Meta Platforms, to pay a “journalism usage fee” to certain outlets when their content is used alongside digital ads. Continue reading Payment Law Prompts Google to Block California News Links

OpenAI Hopes ChatGPT Enterprise Will Help Drive B2B Profit

There are now more than 600,000 users signed up for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise, up from 150,000 in January of this year. A surge, by any standards, it has sent OpenAI doubling down on the B2B approach as a way to turn artificial intelligence into a profitable business — something it is under some pressure to do in order to satisfy its obligations to investors. The company is also amping up its Custom Model training program, aimed at helping enterprise clients develop individually tailored generative AI technology for specific use cases and applications. Continue reading OpenAI Hopes ChatGPT Enterprise Will Help Drive B2B Profit

Streaming Drives U.S. Recorded Music to Record $17 Billion

U.S. recorded music revenue grew 8 percent in 2023, to an estimated record high of $17.1 billion at retail. It was the eighth consecutive year of growth, according to the RIAA, which says streaming continued to be the biggest driver, notching new heights of paid subscriptions, robust growth in ad-supported listening, and healthy increased contributions from new platforms. Streaming accounted for 84 percent of retail revenue, at $14.4 billion including from 96.8 million paid subscriptions. On the supply-side, wholesale revenue grew 7 percent to $11 billion, also a record. Continue reading Streaming Drives U.S. Recorded Music to Record $17 Billion

Minute Media Secures a 10-Year Future for Sports Illustrated

Authentic Brands Group, which owns the rights to Sports Illustrated, has selected the London-based Minute Media to continue publishing the storied magazine in print and digital editions in a deal that runs for 10 years, with an option to extend for up to 20 more years. The Minute partnership will “usher in the future of the SI brand,” announced Authentic, whose portfolio includes fashion and sports, as well as IP rights to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, who it is leveraging into a chatbot. Minute owns sports and culture resources including athlete-driven The Players’ Tribune, the FanSided network of websites and newsletters, and sports highlights platform STN Video. Continue reading Minute Media Secures a 10-Year Future for Sports Illustrated

Nielsen: 21 Million Years Worth of Video Was Streamed in 2023

In 2023, U.S. audiences streamed the equivalent of 21 million years of video, according to Nielsen, which says that’s a record, surpassing by 21 percent the 17 million years’ worth of video streamed in 2022. Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” was the most streamed original, while “Suits” was the most-streamed show in a single year. Its 57.7 billion viewing minutes on Netflix and Peacock surpassed “The Office,” which generated 57.1 billion viewing minutes on Netflix in 2020. According to Nielsen’s Gracenote, “audiences had 90 different streaming services to choose from at the end of last year, up from 51 at the start of 2020.” Continue reading Nielsen: 21 Million Years Worth of Video Was Streamed in 2023

AI Poison Pill App Nightshade Has 250K Downloads in 5 Days

AI copyright infringement tool Nightshade generated 250,000 downloads shortly after its January release, exceeding the expectations of its creators in the computer science department at the University of Chicago. Nightshade allows artists to thwart AI models from scraping and training on their work without consent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows more than 2.67 million artists working in the U.S., but social media feedback indicates the downloads have been worldwide. One of the coders says cloud mirror links had to be added so as not to overwhelm the University of Chicago’s web servers. Continue reading AI Poison Pill App Nightshade Has 250K Downloads in 5 Days

Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

Netflix added 13.1 million subscribers in Q4 2023, its biggest gain in a year-end quarter, and the streamer continues to try to broaden its demographic reach by investing in new content, including a new deal for live WWE wrestling matches. The expansion into live-streaming provides an opportunity to draw regular, appointment viewers, something advertisers like. “No entertainment company has ever tried to program at this scale, and for so many tastes and cultures,” Netflix wrote in a shareholder letter that says it plans to spend up to $17 billion on content in 2024. Continue reading Netflix Adds WWE, Touts 12.5 Percent Revenue Growth in Q4

CES: Getty Rolls Out iStock Generative AI Powered by Nvidia

Getty Images and Nvidia are expanding their AI partnership with the addition of the text-to-image platform Generative AI by iStock, designed to produce stock photos that can be used by individuals or enterprise customers. Built on Nvidia Picasso, a foundry for custom AI models, and trained exclusively on data from Getty Images’ proprietary creative libraries, Generative AI by iStock “has been engineered to guard against generations of known products, people, places or other copyrighted elements,” Getty explains, adding that “any licensed visual that a customer generates comes with iStock’s standard $10,000 USD legal coverage.” Continue reading CES: Getty Rolls Out iStock Generative AI Powered by Nvidia