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First off today, a whistleblower has come forward saying that she quit her job at MediaCAT, the copyright protection service that formerly partnered with the UK law firm ACS:Law to send thousands of threatening letters to suspected file sharers, after the company continued to target people that they knew were innocent. The release comes as ACS:Law is facing disciplinary hearings and an ongoing legal case, despite having ceased operations last month.
Next up today, Pandora has filed documents for its upcoming IPO and, along the way, has given an inside look at how the streaming radio service has dealt with copyright and licensing issues. According to their filing, Pandora spends a full 50% of its revenues on licensing, including $45 million in the 2010 fiscal year. The company has also had a falling out with one of the licensing agencies, ASCAP, and is poised for a bitter legal fight over its royalty rates. Finally, Pandora says it wants to expand internationally but can’t because their presence in the U.S. depends on statutory licensing, which prevents them from having to negotiate with labels individually, something not available in other countries.
Finally today, Oklahoma University is facing a copyright challenge as students are using the school’s library scanners to copy entire textbooks and save them to flash drives. The library has a long-standing copyright and fair use policy for the scanners, including having students agree to it before using them, but it seems many students are ignoring the warnings and raising questions about the school’s responsibility in enforcing copyright law when students use its equipment.
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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