This week: Copyright Office symposium on unclaimed royalties

The U.S. Copyright Office will convene a day-long symposium in Washington, DC, on Friday, Dec. 6 to examine the problem of unclaimed royalties in the music industry. The meeting is part of a study mandated by the Music Modernization Act to evaluate steps the newly created Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) should take to identify and locate rights owners entitled to the unclaimed royalties and to reduce the incidence of non-payment by better matching data on sound recordings with data on their underlying music works.

EU Study Shows Online Piracy is Complex and Not Easy to Grasp

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released a new study which suggests that piracy is dropping in Europe. While the research is limited to site-based piracy, it has some interesting findings. Countries with a lower average income per person visit pirate sites more often, for example. In addition, the study shows that awareness of legal options doesn’t always decrease piracy.

Source: EU Study Shows Online Piracy is Complex and Not Easy to Grasp – TorrentFreak

Controversy over ALI ‘Restatement of Copyright’ rumbles on in the US 

The American Law Institute has been working on a restatement of copyright for several years, but controversy around it re-emerged this week with a letter to its director co-signed by five US politicians: senator Thom Tillis and representatives Ben Cline, Martha Roby, Theodore Deutch and Harley Rouda. They claimed that two sections of the proposed restatement were recently approved by the ALI’s council, and if now approved by its membership “will be made publicly available and may then be cited by federal courts”.

Source: Row over ALI ‘Restatement of Copyright’ rumbles on in the US – Music Ally

Bright Lines: Musicologists Police the Boundaries of Copyright Law

Ever since the “Blurred Lines” verdict in 2015, artists have been fearful of getting hit with a frivolous infringement suit. In that case, a jury found that Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke had stolen elements of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and Gaye’s family was awarded more than $5 million in damages.

Source: Bright Lines: Musicologists Police the Boundaries of Copyright Law

BMG Enters Artist Management Biz in New Deal With Shelter Music Group

On Thursday (Dec. 5), the music publishing and recording giant announced it has partnered with music manager Carl Stubner’s Shelter Music Group, effectively adding another service option for BMG clients. Under the deal, Shelter will retain the freedom to sign artists to other labels and music publishers but will now enjoy access to BMG’s far-reaching resources and networks through the company’s 15 offices globally.

Source: BMG Enters Artist Management Biz in New Deal With Shelter Music Group

German PRO GEMA buys majority stake in digital distributor Zebralution 

GEMA said that its majority-acquisition of the company, for an undisclosed fee, strengthens its position in the growing digital market for music, podcasts and audio books. “By acquiring a stake in Zebralution, GEMA becomes one of the first collective management organisations in the world to secure commercial participation in a growth segment of the music market,” said a media release.

Source: German PRO GEMA buys majority stake in digital distributor Zebralution that ‘secures our future viability’

Genius Media Sues Google, Alleging Anticompetitive Use of Lyrics

Music website Genius Media is suing Google, alleging the search company engaged in anticompetitive behavior related to posting song lyrics online. The case puts a spotlight on growing concerns that big tech companies like Google, can stifle smaller competitors through some of their business practices.

Source: Genius Media Sues Google, Alleging Anticompetitive Use of Lyrics

Plex Launches Free, Ad-Supported Video Service in 200-Plus Countries, Territories

Media center app maker Plex officially launched its ad-supported video service Wednesday in more than 200 countries and territories, making it the first ad-supported video service with a nearly global reach. Getting the rights to launch in so many countries was key to bringing ad-supported video to Plex, said CEO Keith Valory in a recent interview with Variety.

Source: Plex Launches Free, Ad-Supported Video Service in 200-Plus Countries, Territories

NFL Heads to the Supreme Court In TV Rights Case

On Feb. 2, the NFL will showcase Super Bowl LIV in Miami. But those looking for an even more ferocious competition may look past the big game to something that’s coming just a few days later. On Feb. 7, the NFL is set to file a high-stakes petition to the U.S. Supreme Court with major implications for the television industry.

Source: NFL Heads to the Supreme Court In TV Rights Case

Get the latest RightsTech news and analysis delivered directly in your inbox every week
We respect your privacy.