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First off today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that The New York ASCAP rate court has handed Pandora a victory against record labels, at least some of whom had tried to pull out of ASCAP licensing, in part, to keep their music off of Pandora and negotiate different terms.
Under a consent decree, when a company such as Pandora approaches ASCAP for performance rights to the ASCAP catalog, they immediately get the rights while the two parties work out the financial terms. If they can’t agree, as is the case with ASCAP and Pandora, the case goes before the ASCAP rate court to set the rate.
However, several record labels had tried to withdraw their digital distribution rights from ASCAP in favor of negotiating their own deals. However, the court ruled that they can not do that since they were included when Pandora approached ASCAP initially, meaning that their music will be licensed to Pandora through ASCAP, at whatever rate the court later decides, until the end of 2015.
Next up today, RIA Novosti reports that a bill to expand another recent anti-piracy bill in Russia has reached the Russian Parliament. The earlier bill, which dealt with film and TV piracy exclusively, required sites to remove allegedly infringing material within 24 hours of notification or face a possible blockade by ISPs in the country.
The new revision to the bill would expand that legislation to include other types of content but also make several changes to soften the bill, including banning sits by URL instead of IP address (which results in many innocent sites being banned) and reducing sanctions on intermediaries that provide access to infringing material.
Prospects for the new bill are somewhat dubious. Though drafted by two authors of the original bill, some are calling it “premature” and noting that similar changes are being proposed in different legislation.
Finally today, Jesse Brown at Macleans reports that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been promoting his company’s launch in the Netherlands. However, as part of that tour, he made a claim that, because of Netflix’s streaming video service, that BitTorrent piracy in Canada was down 50 percent compared to 3 years ago.
That claim, however, appears to not be supported by research from organizations, such as Sandvine, that track traffic levels across the Web. It is also disputed by a recently released study by NetNames, which shows an overall increase of BitTorrent piracy in North America.
Netflix has declined to cite a source for the claim. Hastings also said that piracy would help “create the demand” for better ways to legitimately watch video online and that the legitimate alternatives would largely displace the illegal ones.
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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