@leah_nylen & @woodruffbets: House antitrust chairman proposes merger ban during pandemic

The House’s antitrust chairman is pushing for a moratorium on mergers until the pandemic ends, warning that a “buying spree” by well-heeled companies and investors could wipe outcompetition from smaller players amid the cratering economy.

In an interview with POLITICO, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said he is pushing for the next coronavirus package to ban deals that aren’t directly related to companies about to fail.

His proposal would allow transactions only if a company is already in a bankruptcy or is otherwise about to fail. Any other deals would be on hold at least until the national pandemic declaration is lifted.

Read the post on Politico


[Editor Charlie sez: Follow the money.]

Songwriters, producers and managers are asking why ASCAP isn’t paying them just when they need income the most.

Discontent is said to be brewing among ASCAP writers who are still waiting for their promised April income distribution. The PRO has already made its latest scheduled publisher payment but a letter from CEO Elizabeth Matthews went out to writers saying their money would be delayed. ASCAP’s letter blamed the fact that it works on a “cash basis” rather than an “accrual basis,” meaning payments are based on income received in the same quarter, rather than money stored up from previous quarters. And when closed businesses declined to pay stipulated licensing fees on time (or at all), they were caught with a shortfall.

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Steven Tepp: A Legal Analysis of Making Copyrighted Works Available Online During the Coronavirus Crisis

The Internet Archive (“IA”) began operation in 1996, at first making archival copies of websites, but soon offering those to the public and then expanding to other copyrighted works including books, sound recordings, audiovisual works, graphic arts (still images), and software, without regard to their copyright status and generally without licenses. It positions itself as an online version of a library and has offered free access to the materials it copies, albeit limiting users to one-for-one use of its copies: one copy may only be used by one account at a time….

On March 24, 2020, in response to the closures associated with the coronavirus, IA announced its intention to remove all limits on the number of users who could simultaneously access the copies it possess.4It dubbed this decision, its “National Emergency Library” and announced it would operate in this fashion until at least June 30, 2020, even if the U.S. national emergency declaration concludes prior to that date.

Astute readers will quickly wonder about the copyright rights of the authors and publishers of those books and other works.

Read the post on the Hudson Institute

@overlordror: Moby Blasted for Firing the Entire Staff of His Vegan Restaurant — “My Health Care Has Been Canceled by a Multi-Millionaire.”

Little Pine closed on March 15th as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and forced store closures. But Little Pine employees have taken to social media to express their displeasure with how the situation has been handled. In a report from Eater, multiple employees say Moby is mostly unresponsive to questions about employment and issues like health insurance.

Employees say Moby only reached out to them once the social media blowback began. They say they were only told this week that the restaurant was going on “indefinite hiatus.” That’s more than a month after the restaurant closed officially, with no plans to adopt takeout or delivery. Healthcare coverage for all full-time employees was also canceled.

Read the post on Digital Music News

@Barnini: China plays victim card as lawsuits over its handling of coronavirus grow

China on Monday played the victim card, calling on the United States to stop blaming the country for the global COVID-19 crisis, as pressure increased over Beijing’s mismanagement of the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 2.4 million people worldwide….at least seven class action lawsuits [have been] filed in U.S. federal court against China related to coronavirus. Five of the lawsuits do not seek a specific amount of money or damages. One, however, wants China to fork over $20 trillion, while another wants $8 trillion.

Read the post on Fox News