Australian broadcasters see the potential for significant cost savings in the current year, if major sports events are canceled and remain off air. Nine Entertainment said that it would save $80 million (A$130 million) of broadcast rights costs in the calendar year to December 2020, if the National Rugby League season is scrapped.
For years, U.S. television networks have spent increasing amounts of money on “sports packages,” paying billions of dollars for the rights to show baseball, basketball and other sports exclusively. The exorbitant fees were justified because live contests offered a unique asset — unskippable real-time drama in the age of DVR. But that major virtue of immediacy is now proving to be sports-television’s great weakness.
One of the casualties of coronavirus-related social distancing measures has been public libraries, which are shut down in many communities around the world. This week, the Internet Archive, an online library best known for running the Internet’s Wayback Machine, announced a new initiative to expand access to digital books during the pandemic.
As libraries around the U.S. shutter their physical locations to battle the outbreak of Covid-19, they are rapidly transferring budget dollars to e-books, digital audio, and other digital media to serve their communities. And the shift could prove to be a watershed moment for a digital library market where the major publishers have so far proceeded cautiously—and sometimes contentiously.
The Authors Guild is appalled by the Internet Archive’s (IA) announcement that it is now making millions of in-copyright books freely available online without restriction on its Open Library site under the guise of a National Emergency Library. IA has no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author.
Independent distributors across Europe, reeling from the cinema closures and government stay-at-home orders, have begun violating the prime directive of Euro art house cinema: They’ve broken the theatrical window. As they do so, they are creating new models for independent distribution that could outlast the current crisis.
That case and others raised serious questions about the legal protections available for music: When does homage become plagiarism? When does a common chord progression become one songwriter’s property? Songwriters and producers worried that their next hit could make them the target of a lawsuit. But the tide may be changing, after two court decisions this month addressed important aspects of how copyright applies to music.
The postponement means NBCU won’t have the Olympics to help it market its Peacock service this summer, and this is a big blow for a new service that would have benefitted from reaching an audience as big as the Olympics’. In January 2020, Comcast described the Tokyo Olympics as a “massive promotional opportunity.”
In the U.S. digital subscriptions rose 63% in the past week compared with the same period the year before, according to subscription technology platform Piano. “Right now, what we’re seeing is a surge in acquisitions and no evidence of any change in either active cancellations or credit card failure,” said Michael Silberman, SVP strategy, Piano. “The data suggests it’s OK to still be keeping some content behind the paywall and that readers will respond and pay for content.”
Over the past several days, educators across the U.S. have contacted CCC with questions about using copyrighted content and materials in innovative new ways to support distance learning. In response, CCC is coordinating with its community of rightsholders to authorize the use of their materials at no cost by educators as required by the pandemic during this time of emergency.