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First off today, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) announced their plans to collect more royalties for authors and composers, but at least one of the sources is causing a great deal of controversy.
The groups wish to force iTunes, as well as other online music retailers, to pay for the 30-second samples that are provided free with most songs to help encourage sales. This would work by charing Apple a “performance” fee for every time the sample is played.
Such a plan would almost certainly lead to rate hikes within the iTunes store, which is still somewhat reeling from its recent price increases.
The groups also plan to go after downloads of movies and TV shows, which currently pay no performance or mechanical royalties, and purchases from iTunes itself, which don’t pay performance royalties either.
Needless to say, this will be a tough sell to the public, which is already wary of the music industry.
Next up today, Time Warner Cable and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association both met with the FCC to throw their support behind the MPAA’s plan for selective output control (SOC), which would allow the movie studios to disable certain outputs on consumer equipment, thus, according to them, reducing the risk of piracy.
The movie studios hope this will enable them to distribute movies before they are released on DVD and the cable companies, obviously, would like to distribute those movies for them, likely for a fee.
Concerns have been raised by many advocacy groups that SOC could cripple existing TV hardware and cause headaches for consumers. The FCC has, in the past, rejected bids to implement SOC though clearly both the MPAA and cable companies are hoping for a change of heart.
Finally today, an update to the South Korean porn filings. Earlier U.S. and Japanese porn studios filed some 65,000 complaints with South Korean prosecutors alleging that their copyright was being violated and that the content was being distributed to inappropriate audiences. This, in turn, followed a similar filing of 10,000 complaints, only 10 of which were acted upon.
Prosecutors did say that they would target several of the uploaders for the distribution of pornography, but not the copyright infringement issues. Prosecutors have said that this is to avoid putting juveniles in jail and, for that reason, the law firm representing the studios has said they will not appeal the decision.
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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