Texas-based Internet provider Grande Communications wants to address the business practices and financial situation of anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp at its upcoming piracy liability trial. The music companies that sued the ISP for failing to terminate accounts of repeat infringers asked the court to exclude this information. However, Grande says that it is essential to assess the credibility of key witnesses.
Lawmakers have noted that much has changed since the DMCA was passed, when the internet was in its infancy. Many of these same lawmakers believe that the time has come for a comprehensive retooling of America’s digital copyright policy. Preliminary hearings began this past week, and suggested changes to DMCA are expected to be drafted and submitted by the end of 2020.
Google is in talks with publishers about paying a licensing fee for content in a news product, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that would mark a shift in the search giant’s relationship with news organizations. Talks are early, and it isn’t known if agreements will be reached. Most of the publishers in talks with Google are outside the U.S., including in France and elsewhere in Europe, one of the people said.
Justin Bieber recently dropped his latest album, Changes, and it took less than 24 hours before the pop star was accused of stealing the melody used in one of its songs. Indie artist Asher Monroe pointed out that the soft and plucky hook in his 2019 song “Synergy” is the same as the one in Bieber’s “Running Over.” However, it turned out no one stole anything because the melody isn’t by either artist.
UK music group BPI has joined the RIAA in its effort to wipe YouTube download and ripping sites from Google’s search results. Using language inspired by its US counterpart, BPI repeatedly argues that Mpgun.com violates the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provision. While the search engine has complied with the requests, the site remains easy to find.
By the end of the year, Tillis — who chairs the Senate’s intellectual property subcommittee — plans to draft changes to the DMCA. He and co-chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) kicked off the process this week with an introductory hearing, speaking to eight legal experts and former congressional staffers. The hearing helped set the stage to re-fight some long-running battles over the balance between protecting copyrighted content and keeping the internet open — but at a time where internet companies are already facing a large-scale backlash.
Global tech firms including Google, Twitter, and Facebook, are warning the U.S. Government against the threat of mandatory upload filters. Industry groups believe that the requirements mandated by the EU copyright directive harm the interests of US companies. In addition, tech companies are concerned about pirate site blocking developments in several EU countries.
Audible has agreed not to include the copyrighted works of AAP publishers in its “Captions” program without permission. Audible said it has no plan to move forward with Captions beyond its limited pilot with public domain works for students.
Rights management agency SoundExchange is asking the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to help American music creators get paid fairly for the use of their work abroad. SoundExchange — which is designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute performance royalties for non-interactive digital music streams — provides equal treatment to music creators, regardless of nationality, in the distribution of royalties.
SaaS-based payments processing firm Exactuals has acquired Backlash Solutions, a digital music company that specializes in helping industry professionals organize data and more efficiently calculate royalties. As part of the deal, Backlash President and CEO Joe DeCanio and his current employees are in the process of opening a new office in New York City, which will remain in contact with Exactuals’ existing branches in Nashville and Los Angeles.