3 Count: Groovy Baby

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1: EMI Drops Suit Against Grooveshark Music Service, Licenses It Instead

First off today, what started as a negotiation and then turned into a lawsuit has now been resolved as a license agreement. Earlier this year, EMI sued music-streaming service Grooveshark for copyright infringement. This came after the two had been in negotiations to license EMI’s catalog only to have talks break down.

However, the two have now reached a licensing deal, the terms of which are undisclosed, but does give EMI at least some equity in Grooveshark.

All of this comes as European startup Spotify is aiming to open its doors in the U.S. sometime in early 2010. Both offer similar MP3 player-like interfaces though Spotify has a deal with all four of the major record labels in its countries of operation, where Grooveshark currently is only licensed to carry EMI’s music.

2: Europe Urged to Hasten Book Digitization

Next up today, book digitization is at the forefront of the minds of the European Commission as they have encourage Europe and its nations to step up their efforts on the front. This comes as the Google Book Search settlement is being redrafted and rewritten and various heads of state in the EU have attacked it as unfair.

Google’s deal, which would allow the company to scan, display and sell copies of in-copyright but out-of-print works has come under heavy attack in Europe. Google had already agreed to remove foreign works from its database but many still felt works originally published outside the U.S. might not receive adequate protection.

Google’s settlement is being revised to appease the Department of Justice, which cited antitrust among other concerns for the deal.

3: Nicolas “Copyright” Sarkozy Gets Caught Pirating His Own Documentary

Finally today, another copyright-related embarrassment for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. His audiovisual services team is reported to have reproduced some 400 unauthorized copies of a short documentary about the President though only 50 had been printed.

Though Sarkozy himself doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with the copying, it is an embarrassment for the administration, which has been one of the staunchest supporters of strict copyright law in the world, including pushing for a “three strikes” regime in the country to disconnect alleged file sharers.

This also follows a different copyright faux pas where the band MGMT sued him for using one of their songs at a rally without permission. The band received a €30,000 settlement.


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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