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First off today, the U.S. Copyright Office is urging Congress to place sound recordings from before 1972 under Federal copyright law protection. Sound records from before that year were copyrighted under a myriad of state regimes, some without expiration. The Sound Recording Amendment of 1971 did away with this, but left works before the effective date of the act under state protection. Librarians, eager for consistent and predictable copyright systems when dealing with sound recordings favor the change through rightsholders, comfortable with the protections state law provides, are skeptical. In September Rep. Jared S. Polis introduced an act to do exactly that, with a two-year plan for implementation.
Next up today, Righthaven, which made a controversial name for itself with no-warning lawsuits over alleged abuse of content from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The Denver Post, has been rebuked by a receiver placed in charge of selling off the company’s assets to pay attorneys fees it owes a former defendant. The defendant, Wayne Hoehn, defeated Righthaven in the courts and was awarded attorney’s fees but Righthaven, unable to come up with the $63,720 in fees it owes. This has resulted in the courts ordering the auction of various Righthaven assets, including their domain and the copyrights they obtained to file their suits. However, Righthaven has been less than forthcoming with surrendering these items, claiming that it could open them up to legal action from business partners if they do. The receiver is now seeking guidance from the court.
Finally today, Wiz Khalifa has found himself the subject of a lawsuit, this one filed by a Pennsylvania songwriter who goes by the name “Maxamillion” and claims that Khalifa’s hit song “Black and Yellow” is based on his 2007 song, “Pink N Yellow”. The suit claims that the two songs are substantially similar and is seeking a portion of the profits from “Black and Yellow”. Neither side had any further comment.
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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