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First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Japan is said to be considering an extension of its copyright term, adding 20 years to its current term of life of the author plus 50 years.
The move would bring the country in line with the United States and other nations, which have pressured Japan to extend its copyright term accordingly. It’s unclear if the extension would also impact its term on songs (not recordings) which is currently 50 years compared to 95 in the U.S.
The move is rumored to come as Japan wants to take a larger role in negotiations of the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, which deals heavily with copyright matters. The United States, also involved in negotiations, has been rumored to be pushing other Pacific rim nations to strengthen their intellectual property laws as part of the process.
Next up today, Kansas City Infozine writes that the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (SMACNA) has said it will stop using copyright claims to prevent the website Public Resource from publishing safety standards that were eventually written into the law.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a lawsuit against the trade group alleging that they were using questionable copyright arguments to prevent the site from publicly providing the information. SMACNA had helped to draft the standards but they became incorporated into the law and the EFF argued that made it public domain.
After an initial attempt to avoid the lawsuit, SMACNA agreed to allow public use of the law, despite its role in drafting it.
Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Playlist.com, formerly known as Project Playlist, has killed its music on demand service in favor of a radio option after nearly six years of battles and deals with the record labels.
The site began in 2006 and provided streaming music to social networks. The record labels sued the company saying that it was reproducing and publicly performing their material but Project Playlist claimed that they were not hosting any infringing material, merely streaming it from third parties. However, by 2010 the company had reached deals with all of the major record labels but has suffered declining listenership, in part due to efforts by Facebook and Myspace to keep the service off their sites.
On July 1st, the service relaunched as a radio service without individual track selection. When users decried the change, they admitted that the record labels forced them to shut down the original playlist service. They said they are now being “forced to play by Internet radio rules.”
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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