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First off today, a company representing rapper Eminem, F.B.T., won a silent victory as the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in their ongoing royalty dispute with Universal Music. At issue is the royalty rate over digital downloads, which were not an explicit part of Eminem’s original contract. According to the labels, the royalty rate should have been the same for other sales, 18% but F.B.T. said that it was a licensing issue, thus driving the royalty up to 50%. The lower court agreed with Universal but the Appeals Court reversed that ruling, siding with F.B.T. The Supreme Court, by refusing to hear the appeal, is allowing the Appeals Court ruling to stand.
Next up today, even as the Digital Economy Act in the UK faces legal challenges from ISPs, the movie industry is ramping up its preparations to block specific “pirate” websites. Ofcom, the regulatory organization handling much of the rulemaking for the Digital Economy Act, has been asked to do a feasibility study on the issue of blocking domains but the movie industry isn’t waiting for a favorable report and has already prepared a list of 100 domains they want blocked. According to the movie studios, they would prefer to block domains rather than warn suspected file sharers as the latter process is more drawn out and expensive.
Finally today, the Ipswich Evening Star has found itself in a bizarre copyright dispute with photographer Robert Johns. The paper had printed an piece claiming that the Suffolk county council had paid Johns £1,475 to take photos of the council’s chief executive, Andrea Hill for publicity purposes. However, when the paper used at least one of the photos as part of their coverage of the matter, Johns posted a comment to the article claiming the use to be copyright infringing. No lawsuit has been filed but Johns has also taken the matter to his site, pointing out what he says is inaccuracies in the story.
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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