3 Count: SP(P)F 10 Million

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: ASCAP Wants To Be Paid When Your Phone Rings

First off today, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers is going after the carriers, AT&T among them, seeking royalties for public performances due to cell phone ringtones, which often go off in public places.

ASCAP, which is famously aggressive in pursuing public performances of music, collects royalties on behalf of songwriters and others involved in the writing of the song. However, their argument here, is filled with holes as the EFF points out. First, there is an exception to the public performance clause for performances “without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage,” which would seem to cover end users. However, they are still going after the carriers for secondary copyright infringement since they are gaining from the use commercially.

There’s a slew of problems with that argument as well but you’ll just have to read the link for more…

2: German MP jumps ship for Pirate Party

Next up, embattled German MP Joerg Tauss has defected from the Social Democrats to Germany’s Pirate Party, giving the group a seat in the 612-member body.

Tauss made the jump not over a difference of opinion over copyright matters, but over proposed legislation in Germany that would set up a block list of sites for the prevention of child pornography. Tauss feels that this would be more to “set up a technical infrastructure of censorship,” and not for the stated goal.

However, Tauss himself is under investigation for possessing and acquiring child pornography, which he says was for legitimate research into breaking up a ring.

Nonetheless, this is the second elected official to be a member of The Pirate Party, the first the EU Parliament member that was voted into power by Sweden earlier this month.

3: France’s SPPF Sues YouTube

Finally today, just when you thought YouTube was safe from those pesky lawsuits, French music label collecting society SPPF has filed suit against for €10 million, or approximately $14 million. According to the SPPF, over 100 music videos which they had demanded removed are now available again on the site, most likely reuploaded by users.

According to YouTube, which is owned by Google, SPPF does not participate in its Content ID system, which would prevent those same files from being reuploaded.

SPPF also reported that they saw a nearly 15% increase in revenue due largely to strong demand and good licensing of music videos.


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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