3 Count: Another Front

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1: Sirius XM Sued Over Alleged Underpayment of Royalties

First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that SiriusXM has been sued by SoundExchange, over allegations that SiriusXM underpaid on royalties between 2007 and 2012.

Under U.S. law, SiriusXM can stream music over its service and pay a compulsory license fee, one that is set by the Copyright Royalty Board. That board recently issued new rates and clarifications for the 2013-2017 but SoundExchange, which receives and processes royalties on behalf of copyright holders, claims that SiruisXM deliberately underpaid royalties during the previous term, including excluding gross revenue calculations performances of pre-1972 recordings.

The lawsuit is the second time recently SiriusXM has been sued over pre-1972 sound recordings. The first was when Members of The Turtles filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Sirius for its playing of pre-1972 recordings, saying that, since pre-1972 works aren’t covered under Federal copyright law, that the statutory licenses don’t apply and Sirius lacked permission to play the songs.

2: Broadcasters up their attack on Aereo-like FilmOnX

Next up today, Ira Teinowitz at Reuters reports that broadcasters are stepping up their attack on FilmOnX, an Aereo-like service that operates out of California.

FilmOnX, formerly known as Aereokiller, follows in Aereo’s footsteps by using a series of tiny antennas (one per customer) to capture, record and stream over-the-air broadcast television to customers’ devices. The service was shuttered in Los Angeles after broadcasters won an injunction but recent court victories by Aereo in New York have given the start up hope as it tries to expand to Washington D.C.

There, broadcasters have sued it again, making many of the same arguments and citing their favorable ruling in LA (which FilmOnX is appealing). FilmOnX has responded and is citing many of the same arguments it’s made in other cases, including noting the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the broadcasters in New York.

3: Study: Piracy Actually Helps Small Films Make Money

Finally today, Caitlin Dewey at The Washington Post reports that an updated study by economists at the Munich School of management and Copenhagen Business School finds that piracy helps some smaller films at the same time it harms larger ones.

The study was conducted by looking at effect of the shutdown of Megaupload in January 2012 to see if it had a positive effect on movie sales. Large movies, such as the Harry Potter films, saw a boost with the site’s closure but some smaller ones appeared to be hurt by it.

The MPAA, however, disputes the findings, releasing a statement that says the bulk of research on piracy indicates that it does have a negative effect on films.

Suggestions

That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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