3 Count: Berlin Wall

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1: Germans Can’t See Meteorite YouTube Videos Due to Copyright Dispute

First off today, Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reports that German YouTube users hoping to see videos of the meteorite that struck in Russia have been disappointed due to copyright laws.

Many of the videos of the meteorite were shot from dashcams and had a radio playing in the background. GEMA, the main German performance rights organization, is in an ongoing dispute with YouTube over streaming royalties in the country and has ordered those videos blocked.

Germany does not have a fair use provision similar to that of the US meaning that even the short snippets would likely have to be licensed. However, GEMA says that the blocks placed on the meteorite videos are “arbitrary” and that the text Google uses on the videos it blocks is “misleading”.

2: Posting RSS Feed Items not Copyright Infringement

Next up today, an Israeli court has ruled that the scraping and republishing of full RSS feeds is legal under certain conditions.

The case involved Tomer Ofaldorf, who accused the News1 website of violating his copyright by republishing his RSS feed. The court, however, ruled that by publishing an RSS feed, Ofaldorf provided an implied license for the agency the use his work and, since the agency attributed every post and removed the content when asked, it was not an infringement.

The issue is still very much open for debate in most countries though legal decisions and settlements have tended to favor copyright holders. It is unclear what long-term impact this decision will have on the global debate about RSS scraping.

3: Spotify Pushing Labels to Lower Costs, Open up Free Service to Phones

Finally today, Greg Sandoval at The Verge reports that the music streaming service Spotify is meeting with record labels to seek a price cut on the royalties it pays and attempt to bring its free option to mobile devices.

According to Spotify, they currently spend 70 percent of their revenue on licensing fees, an amount that they say is making it difficult to create a profitable business. However, record labels and artists, already upset about what they see as low payouts from Spotify, may be reluctant to agree to additional cuts.

Spotify is already in negotiations with Warner and is set to begin similar talks with Sony and Universal soon.


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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