@copyright4u: The BIG Deal About Copyright Small Claims

On September 21st, the Copyright Society of the USA, the Congressional Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention, and the Copyright Alliance co-sponsored The Big Deal About Copyright Small Claims — a discussion on the role of a small claims process as a possible alternative for certain types of copyright litigation….

Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) delivered the opening remarks. Both lawmakers highlighted a few key points: (1) protecting intellectual property is a bipartisan issue and (2) “middle class” creators rely on copyright to protect their work and to earn a living, but (3) the current legal framework leaves individual creators, who often lack the financial resources to sue in federal court, devoid of an effective remedy for infringement. The solution? In July, Rep. Jeffries, along with Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced H.R. 5757, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2016, which proposes, as an alternative to federal court, a voluntary small claims process where damages would be capped at $30,000. Rep. Chu said in her remarks that she is also working on legislation and hopes to share draft language in the near future….

Rick Carnes, a songwriter out of Nashville and President of the Songwriters Guild of America, has had plenty of experience with the misperception that creative works are free for the taking. He explained that although it’s frustrating to see his work constantly infringed online, the cost and complexity of litigation under the current system “just doesn’t work” for individual artists like himself. He believes that “a simplified system that will solve these problems is in everybody’s best interest.”

Nancy Wolff, partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, added that in the UK, which has its own copyright small claims system, the process gets used less than one might think. Why? The easier it is for creators to protect their work, the more careful people are about how they use others’ content, and the simple fact that such a streamlined process exists encourages parties on both sides to come to an agreement.

Read the post on Medium.

 

@tedstew: BREAKING: FCC Pulls Set-Top Box Plan From Meeting Agenda

The FCC has called off a planned Thursday vote on a proposal that would require that cable and satellite operators offer a free app so subscribers could forgo the rental of a set-top box.

“We are still working to resolve the remaining technical and legal issues and we are committed to unlocking the set-top box for consumers across this country,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Commission Mignon Clyburn and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement released about a half an hour before the meeting.

Read the post on Variety

pk-google-shills

The copyright-destroying proposal was backed by Google Shill Lister Public Knowledge, whose co-founder and revolving door person, Gigi B. Sohn, now works as consigliere for Obama bundler Tom Wheeler.

4264850232_bfe5b39b93_z
Gigi B. Sohn

Big Tech’s Latest Artist Relations Debacle: Mass Filings of NOIs to Avoid Paying Statutory Royalties (Part 1) — Music Tech Solutions

Google, Amazon and MRI are reportedly filing “millions” of NOIs with the Copyright Office after buying data out the back door of the Library of Congress–all to avoid paying statutory royalties.

via Big Tech’s Latest Artist Relations Debacle: Mass Filings of NOIs to Avoid Paying Statutory Royalties (Part 1) — Music Tech Solutions

@IFPI_org: World’s Largest Stream Ripping Site Faces International Legal Action

[Editor Charlie sez: Thanks to YouTube, stream ripping is the latest tool of bootleggers and pirates.  Here’s how it works:  YouTube allows live shows to be posted as videos, stream rippers grab the audio files and then upload those files as bootlegs to be sold as mp3s or monetized as “lyric videos”.  Google then serves “address unknown” NOIs on those bootleg recordings with the Copyright Office to avoid paying mechanical royalties to songwriters OR being audited.  More racketeering from Google, that purposely launches products they can’t control that create harm Google can predict. Maybe the Department of Justice could spend more time prosecuting criminals than harassing songwriters with their rogue antitrust division.  Every time the recording industry has to bring these lawsuits instead of the government bringing criminal prosecutions, it just means that the government avoids having do do actual work.]

London and Washington, DC, 26th September 2016 – Organisations representing record companies in the US and UK took legal action today against Youtube-mp3.org, the world’s largest site dedicated to offering illegally “stream ripped” music.  Both the site and its operator have generated millions of dollars without paying any remuneration to artists and rights holders. The activities also breach YouTube’s Terms of Service [that YouTube does nothing to stop].

Stream ripping is the process of ‘ripping’ or creating a downloadable file from content that is available to stream online.  It is often done with music videos, to create copies of tracks that can be downloaded and listened to offline or on other devices.

IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore said:

“This is a coordinated action to protect the rights of artists and labels from the blatant infringements of YouTube-mp3, the world’s single-largest ‘stream ripping’ site.

“Music companies and digital services today offer fans more options than ever before to listen to music legally, when and where they want to do so – over hundreds of services with scores of millions of tracks – all while compensating artists and labels. Stream ripping sites should not be allowed jeopardise this.”

Cary Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said:

“This site is raking in millions on the backs of artists, songwriters and labels.  We are doing our part, but everyone in the music ecosystem who says they believe that artists should be compensated for their work has a role to play.  It should not be so easy to engage in this activity in the first place, and no stream ripping site should appear at the top of any search result or app chart.”

Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said:

“It’s time to stop illegal sites like this building huge fortunes by ripping off artists and labels.  Fans have access now to a fantastic range of legal music streaming services, but they can only exist if we take action to tackle the online black market.  We hope that responsible advertisers, search engines and hosting providers will also reflect on the ethics of supporting sites that enrich themselves by defrauding creators.”

Alison Wenham, CEO of WIN (Worldwide Independent Network) & AIM (Association for Independent Music) endorsed the action, adding:

“Stream ripping is not a victimless crime, it involves ripping off the artists and companies who invest their time and money into making music for the public to enjoy.  The more stream ripping takes place, the less investment into music will be made to the ultimate detriment of music fans.”

Richard Burgess, CEO of A2IM, representing US independent record labels said:

“Stream ripping is yet another illegal activity that deprives artists, songwriters, publishers, and labels of their rightful revenues and their ability to make a living. It must be stopped immediately.”

In the US, legal proceedings were filed in federal court in California against the site and its operator, Philip Matesanz, for flagrantly violating copyrights.  In the UK, the BPI, representing UK record labels, put the stream ripping site on formal notice of intended legal action if it does not cease infringing.

Stream ripping is the fastest growing form of music piracy globally and has now replaced other forms of downloading as the most prevalent form of online music piracy.  Research published earlier this month by IFPI and Ipsos finds that stream ripping sites are operating on a massive scale, with 49 per cent of all 16-24 year olds engaged in the activity, according to Ipsos.

YouTube-mp3.org is the largest stream-ripping site with more than 60 million unique users per month.  Based in Germany, the site has a global user base and provides a simple way of creating an audio file from a YouTube video.

Despite paying no money to the creators or owners of music, stream ripping sites are using the high levels of traffic they generate to make money from advertising.  The prominently placed adverts on YouTube-MP3, often from major brands, are estimated to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per month for YouTube-mp3.

-Ends-

For further information please contact:

IFPI:  Adrian Strain Adrian.strain@ifpi.org, John Blewett john.blewett@ifpi.org +44 (0)20 7878 7939 / 7935

 BPI: Gennaro Castaldo, gennaro.castaldo@bpi.co.uk +44 (0)20 7803 1326 / +44 (0)7801 194 139

RIAA:  Jonathan Lamy, jlamy@riaa.com, Cara Duckworth, cduckworth@riaa.com +1 202 857 9627

Notes to editors:

About IFPI

IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,300 major and independent companies in 60 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 57 countries.  IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.

About RIAA

The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world, investing in great artists to help them reach their potential and connect to their fans. Nearly 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States is created, manufactured or distributed by RIAA members.

About the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) Promoting British Music

The BPI was formed in 1973 as a representative voice of the UK recorded music business.  As a trade association it promotes recorded music in the UK and worldwide, including through its overseas trade missions and the Music Export Growth Scheme, and also champions the rights and interests of a broad range of members through its content protection work.  Its membership is made up of over 370 independent music labels and the UK’s three major record companies, which in 2015 collectively accounted for over 80 per cent of the recorded music consumed in the UK – the world’s third largest music market – and whose artists claimed around one in every six albums sold around the world.

T Bone Burnett on Google’s Nashville Charm Offensive Coming Soon to a City Near You

Google seems to know it has a problem here in Tennessee. That’s why it’s out in the community sponsoring musicians’ workshops, funding “digital inclusion fellowships,” and making big promises about wiring the city with low cost internet – even as local pastors question whether all of our citizens including those in minority communities will get access.  And unions question the company’s push for shortcuts and special rules for its projects that will cost us local jobs.

But for music creators, this is all a sideshow, a corporate feel good effort designed to yank our gaze away from the basic facts – Google is putting all its power and might into killing legal reforms artists and songwriters need to survive.

But we still have a voice.

We must continue to urge Congress to reform the DMCA so the next generation of songwriters, artists, and performers can thrive. We must continue to look skeptically at Google’s effort to paper over issues and distract our institutions and communities from its unfair exploitation of our work.

And we must pursue all avenues and remedies in Congress and the courts – like the landmark win on songwriter royalties that rejected the Google-friendly DOJ’s bogus ruling on “fractional” licensing of our work.

Read the post in The Tennesseean

Must Read: T Bone Burnett’s Keynote Address at AmericanaFest — The Trichordist

T-Bone Burnett’s keynote at Americana Fest Nashville TN Thursday Sept 22nd. Reprinted with permission of the author. Technology is turning over every ten years. Their technologies don’t and won’t last. Our art-if we do it right- will. I have come here today first to bring you love. I have come here to express my deep […]

via Must Read: T Bone Burnett’s Keynote Address at AmericanaFest — The Trichordist

@jjvelasquez: Mayor announces plan to protect Austin music venues through $10M fund

Iconic Austin music venues will be purchased and preserved through a city trust, which Mayor Steve Adler’s office announced today has been made possible after the city won a national contest.

The city was among five public entities announced today as winners of the Neighborly Bonds Challenge. Winning the contest provides the city with legal, administrative, marketing and other support services for free or at reduced rates. These services would have cost $100,000.

“This is going to give us an opportunity to try something that really has never been tried anywhere else,” Adler said. “This is going to give us the support we need to try to crowdsource in our community a $10 million fund to … help preserve some of our music venues.”

Read the post on Community Impact.