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First off today, the Associated Press is reporting that the Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear a challenge against the authority of the Copyright Royalty Board, which sets the royalty rates for the statutory licenses under the law.
Intercollegiate Broadcast System Inc. filed a petition with the court saying that, under the Constitution, the board should be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate instead of appointed by the Librarian of Congress. They were hoping to overturn a ruling that required noncommercial educational webcasters to pay a license fee of $500 per channel per year for streaming music over the Web.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had previously refused to hear the case, meaning that the group is out of options for this particular line of appeals.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that television broadcasters have filed sued Against Aereokiller in a Washington DC Federal court, hoping to obtain an injunction that prohibits it, or any similar service (notably Aereo) from operating there.
Aereokiller, much like Aereo, is a TV streaming service that lets subscribers watch and record over-the-air television on a multitude of devices. In a bid to comply with copyright law, it uses a series of tiny antenna so it does not have to copy and redistribute the signal.
The TV broadcasters successfully secured an injunction against Aereokiller in California previously but failed to do against Aereo in New York, including a failed appeal. By suing Aereokiller, Aereo’s main competitor, the TV studios are likely sending the message that they feel Aereokiller is the better target for obtaining favorable rulings.
Finally today, Lauren O’Neil at CBC News reports that, with the debut of the new seasons of Arrested Development this weekend on Netflix, it was revealed that the new season includes a gag at piracy.
When the show flashed back to the previous seasons, the video has a faint watermark over it that says “Showstealer Pro Trial Version” over it, lampooning other pirated movies have that have displayed similar watermarks for other DVD rippers.
Going along with the joke, a fake page has been set up for the “Showstealer Pro” app though at least some viewers seemed genuinely confused, wondering if Netflix, which produced the latest season, had procured the rights to the previous seasons (which it did in 2011).
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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