Month: August 2011

Partly cloudy ‘safe harbor’ tunes-storage ruling

A metaphor packs only as much power as it clarifies and makes more real and concrete an abstraction. So hold on to your hats, those of you whose minds get blown in the gusts of technology and its fanciful descriptions. Ready: A U.S. District judge in Manhattan says that, for the most part, companies that run musical locker services in the cloud act as neutral service providers, and, as such, are entitled to safe harbor protections in the Digital Copyright Milennium Act. Got that, Google and Amazon fans? The specifics of this case concern MP3tunes, its tech innovation guru founder Michael Robertson and the actions of its customers, most of whom legally uploaded music into storage spaces (those “lockers”) in the online area known as the “cloud,” aka on giant servers owned by others rather than on personal computers. Since MP3, if notified, would pull links from customers’ illegally downloaded materials( but not those files themselves), since the firm did not itself illegally upload others’ tunes and since it mostly provided just the storage service, the company largely deserved protections from copyright infringment actions, including one filed by music publisher EMI, said Judge William Pauley. While some analysts see the Tuesday decision as a boon for the likes of Google and Amazon — both of which launched “cloud”-based music storage services and did so without attempting, as subscription outfits like...

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Music publishers settle with YouTube

The National Music Publishers Association has decided at long last to dismiss its copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube and its parent company Google.   The music publishers decided to give into the reality that having its artists get paid was far better than continuing litigation with mounting attorney fees.  The group sent out a news release in which it stated: As a result of this resolution, music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a License Agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site…[t]he license opportunity will enable music publishers to grant the rights necessary for the synchronization of their musical works with videos posted by YouTube users and to receive royalties from YouTube for user-generated videos for which YouTube receives advertising revenue worldwide. An essential element in this settlement was the entry of The Harry Fox Agency, which will track and administer royalty statements for the music publishers, notwithstanding any of the publisher’s prior affiliations. While some analysts see the resolution of this dispute as evidence of how YouTube in praise worthy fashion has worked to clear away litigation, others have their doubts, especially about Google-related technology concerns that underlie this deal. And not all is fine and dandy for YouTube now since this class-action lawsuit is separate from legal moves by Viacom; courts had heard the music publishers’ and...

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A copyright conflict over U.S., foreign markets

Can those holding copyrights gain more control over materials simply by dint of where they’re made, in the U.S. versus abroad? That’s the curious conundrum that now confronts the intellectual property world now that the Second U.S. Court of Appeals has weighed in with its thinking about the “first sale” doctrine in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng,  in which analysts say the appellate court expanded the rights of copyright owners. The court examined whether purchasers of many items get certain legal protections from claims of copyright infringement when they sell their items — the “first sale doctrine,” finding this longstanding notion rooted in common law is inapplicable to copies imported and manufactured abroad. This would make first sale apply only to domestically made items. The case before the court concerned the actions of Supap Kirtsaeng, a graduate mathematics student who bought books overseas, lesser quality texts (e.g. with different paper stock, soft covers) published by John Wiley & Sons. He then resold them in the U.S. without the publisher’s permission.  The language regarding the first sale doctrine states that: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(3), the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord. While that language would seem...

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Welcome, Class of 2014, and updates….

The summer and the sort-of-vacation at Southwestern officially ends at the law school Monday morning, as the Class of 2014 descends on campus and gets to business. To all the newcomers, Welcome, 1Ls, and don’t forget to read our blog regularly and to join us on Facebook and Twitter (@Biedermanblog). So this isn’t just the Department of Shameless Self-Promotion, a couple of updates on items previously noted on the blog: THR Esq informs that the legal battling between the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and Dick Clark Productions will result in a September hearing before a U.S. District judge — not before a jury. The scribes see the trial phase of the case, viewed as the more key, as it will determine the fate of the January, 2012, Golden Globes telecast, taking eight days instead of roughly three weeks were jurors involved. Here’s an earlier post from the blog detailing this dispute. The Supremes almost sneaked away for the summer before handing down several key decisions, including the much-awaited ruling that tossed California’s attempt to bar the sale to minors of video games deemed excessively violent. The case generated considerable attention stateside but our British and Continental pals greeted the whole issue with not much more than a pish-posh and a yawn, according to an intriguing post at Gamer/Law. A running lawsuit involving the family of comic book legend Jack...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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