3 Count: 2 Years Later

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: Webcasters, Copyright Holders Reach Royalty Agreement

First off today, after over two years of wrangling, webcasters and rightsholders have reached an agreement for royalties to be paid on music played over the Internet. The new rate, which is schedule to be 0.097 cent per song, per person, in 2010 is less than half of the rate proposed by the Copyright Royalty Board in 2007, which was 0.19 cent.

Under this agreement webcasters will pay either the flat rate or 25% of revenue, whichever is higher. Though this new proposal should keep most webcasters from going out of business, at least one, Live365, is opposed to the plan saying that it is unfavorable to smaller stations.

The good news is that most larger webcasters seem to feel they can live with the agreement at this time and it doesn’t seem that any stations will be closing their doors in the immediate future…

2: Judge rules Warner Bros. paid ‘fair-market value’ for ‘Superman’ rights

Next up, the heirs of Superman co-creator Jerome Siegel suffered a minor setback in their ongoing case against DC Comics, ruling that DC paid a fair market value on the royalties and that Siegel was not given less than his share.

This comes one year after the heirs won half interest in the character of Superman, meaning that, begininning in 2013, the Siegels, along with the estate of Joe Shuster, the other co-creator, will have the sole right to license Superman for movies, comic books, TV, etc.

The accounting phase of the trial, which will determine how much back royalties the Siegel’s are owed, will begin in December.

3: Copyright laws threaten our online freedom

Finally today, Christian Engström, the Pirate Party MP to the EU Parliament, has penned an op-ed piece for the Financial Times calling copyright a threat to online freedom saying that copyright enforcement could become a mechanism for the creation of a “big brother” society.

Engström, instead calls for greater securities of users privacy and severe limitations on copyright law. He sites examples such as Wikipedia, where no audio is available on the pages of famous artists, and YouTube, where mashups are often taken down, as examples of the problem.

Whether you agree with him or not, it is an important op-ed to read and think about.


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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