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First off today, music streaming service Pandora, which has become extremely popular in the United States, has announced it will not be expanding into Canada. The reason, according to the company’s founder Tim Westergren, is that the royalty rates in Canada are simply too high. According to him, Re:Sound, the group that collects royalties on behalf of record companies and performing artists, wants a royalty payment of 45% of the site’s revenue on top of other royalties. As a result, Pandora is scuttling any short-term expansion plans in Canada to see if the Copyright Royalty Board approves the rate.
Adult film producer Mick Haig’s lawsuit against 670 suspected file sharers seems to have hit a landmine. Haig, who sued over illegal downloads of his film Der Gute Onkel never registered the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, making it so that the court does not have jurisdiction over the issue. Haig could go back and file the registration but would only be eligible for actual damages, not the high statutory damages awards.
Finally today, a Manhattan judge ruled Stephen King’s movie “Disturbia” did not infringe upon the Cornell Woolrich short story “It Had to Be Murder,” which was published in 1942 and was the basis of the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Rear Window”. The Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, which holds the right to the short story, had sued King and others involved with “Disturbia” saying that it copied the story however the judge found that the only elements that were the same were not copyrightable and no infringement took place. There is no word on the possibility of an appeal.
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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