3 Count: Empty Class

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1: Copyright Owners Can’t Sue Google’s YouTube as a Group – Judge

First off today, Nate Raymond at Reuters is reporting that a district court in Manhattan has denied copyright owners attempt to certify a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google as a class action suit.

The lawsuit, which was filed at about the same time as the 2007 Viacom case, was filed by the English Premier League, the French Tennis Federation and other copyright holders that alleged YouTube, in particular in the early days of the site, failed to remove their content when notified. The copyright holders had sought to make their lawsuit a class action one, making it so that other rightsholders could join in, but the judge has denied that request.

According to the judge, copyright lawsuits are typically a bad candidate for class action cases as the facts of the case can vary wildly from work to work. The proposed class would have been broken up into two parts, one for rightsholders whose allegedly infringing videos were properly removed/blocked after a DMCA notice and those who had their works remain on the site after a proper notice.

2: German online copyright law to take effect in August

Next up today, Loek Essers at PC World reports that a controversial German copyright law will be taking effect on August 1st, following its publication in Germany’s Federal Law Gazette on Tuesday, thus clearing its final legal hurdle.

The rule is aimed at giving publishers tighter control over commercial use of their work online. The original draft included snippets and even short passages but that was removed after an outcry from the public and concern it could ban search engines from indexing and linking to content.

However, some publishers say that, even with the weakened law, the bill allows them to determine the conditions search engines can use their content. This could set the stage for a legal challenge in the near future.

3: Google Launches ‘All Access’ Music Subscription Service

Finally today, Benhy Eisen at Rolling Stone reports that Google unveiled a new music subscription service that aims to compete with Spotify, Rdio and similar services.

Entitled Google Play Music, the service allows users to stream millions of songs in Google’s library for $9.99 per month. It also works with Google Play’s music locker service, which allows users to upload their tracks for easy streaming to multiple devices. This lets users easily stream tracks that that they own but are not in Google’s library.

The service was announced at Google’s I/O developers’ conference in San Francisco and is available for a free 30-day trial. Also, those who register before June 30th get a discounted rate of $7.99 per month.


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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