3 Count: License Fight

This is daily column on Plagiarism Today where the site brings you three of the days biggest, most important copyright and plagiarism news links. If you want to offer your feedback on the column, use the contact form or just follow me on Twitter at @plagiarismtoday.

1: Music industry: licensing is a problem, but how to fix it?

First off this week, Ars Technica reports from Digital Music Forum: East, which was held last week, and covers the growing disagreement in the music community on how to handle the music licensing crisis.

Though it is clear that music licensing is far too complex to be practical, Real saying they had to negotiate contracts with over 300 entities just to stay safe in the current legal climate, there is much disagreement about exactly how to fix it. This disagreement spilled out in two different sessions, the first on copyright reform and the second on “licensing 2.0”.

It’s good to hear the music industry admit that the licensing scheme not only harms their business but encourages companies that seek forgiveness rather than ask permission, but it seems they have a long way to go before they resolve these problems.

2: Supreme Court to hear freelance writers’ settlement

Second, the U.S. Supreme Court is to take up a case between freelance writers and a collection of newspapers and database services over electronic publication rights. At the heart of the case is that the companies involved published the works of the freelance authors on the Web though they did not have electronic publication rights.

The companies agreed to pay roughly $18 million in a settlement and the settlement was approved by one court. However, a small group of authors, upset at the size of the settlement, managed to get it through out on a jurisdictional issue (one involving the unregistered works) on appeal. The SCOTUS will now weigh in on that technicality, possibly reinstating the original settlement.

3: Neil Young: Failed Warner/YouTube Negotiations ‘Penalized’ Artists

Finally today, legendary singer/songwriter and Warner Music artist Neil Young has weighed in on the ongoing YouTube/Warner dispute that has left so many videos muted. Young supports his label in their actions but faults the company for rushing into an agreement with YouTube, causing it to sigh a deal worth less money than the other labels.

Young hopes for a “strong industry standard” on this issue so that royalties can be standardized across the board.


That’s it for the three count today, we’ll 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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