A British lawmaker has stated that artists fear retribution if they participate in the government’s ongoing inquiry into streaming royalties. The House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee announced the high-profile probe of streaming royalties last month. The comprehensive analysis aims to identify streaming’s impact on all relevant stakeholders, as well as its long-term effects concerning “the sustainability of the wider music industry.”
Yesterday, Authors Alliance responded to questions from Senator Thom Tillis about reforming copyright law to better encourage the creation of copyrightable works and to protect those who make lawful uses of copyrighted works. As a threshold matter, our letter emphasizes that the goal of copyright reform efforts should be to appropriately align the interests of individual creators with the interests of the public for whom they create.
Google News Showcase visitors will soon be able to read select paywalled articles at no extra charge. That’s one of several announcements that the search giant made today about News Showcase, the program where it pays publishers (with $1 billion committed initially) to license their content for a new format in Google News.
Several RIAA labels have secured a major win in their court battle against the popular hip-hop mixtape service Spinrilla. A federal court in Atlanta has ruled that the company is liable for direct copyright infringement after it streamed thousands of infringing works. In addition, the mixtape service can’t rely on the DMCA’s safe harbor since it failed to register an official agent.
Twitch, which describes itself as “the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and the things we love,” is full of music. From talk shows to concerts, music is essential to its platform, and increasingly important to its business model. But tragically, Twitch has aimed to allow music on its service, while not fully licensing it, leaving its users in the lurch.
Facebook is to pay mainstream UK news outlets millions of pounds a year to license their articles, as the social network faces the threat of a government crackdown over its dominance of online advertising. Most British newspaper groups have signed up to the programme, under which their articles will appear in a dedicated news section on the site that is due to launch in January.
Copyright lawyer Richard Liebowitz has been repeatedly sanctioned by federal courts. The controversial attorney has a long track record of disregarding court orders. To protect the public from future missteps, the grievance committee of the Southern District of New York decided to suspend Liebowitz until further order.
European Union lawmakers are considering whether current rules aimed at limiting the practice of geoblocking across the bloc should be extended to cover access to streaming audio-visual content. Access to services like Netflix tends to be gated to individual EU Member States, meaning Europeans can be barred from accessing libraries of content offered elsewhere in the region.
The EU Commission is calling for the capacity of law enforcement agencies around Europe to be “substantially strengthened” to fight piracy and other IP crimes. Promising to reinforce cooperation between rightsholders, intermediaries, police and prosecutors, the Commission says that dealing with these threats must become a higher priority.
Pan-European licensing hub ICE and TikTok have agreed a multi-year licensing deal for the musical works represented by the ICE Core. Today’s news follows the announcement at the beginning of the month that the viral app has struck a deal with Sony Music Entertainment, marking the first time that TikTok has announced a licensing agreement with one of the three major recorded music companies.