3 Count: Pandora’s Box

3 Count: Pandora's Box Image

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1: Pandora Faces Setback As Judge Rules Blanket License Doesn’t Include Songs of Publishers Leaving BMI

First off today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that Pandora has suffered a setback as the BMI/Pandora rate court has ruled that the streaming music service will likely lose access to several publishers, including Universal Music Group and BMG, who are planning to leave the licensing agency BMI January 1st.

The decision means that Pandora will either have to strike agreements with the publishers, stop playing their songs or face lawsuits. However, the ruling was the opposite of a similar lawsuit involving Pandora and the rival licensing agency ASCAP, where the judge ruled that the licenses would remain valid until the agreement with ASCAP expired.

The difference was that BMI had already changed its rules to allow publishers to withdraw starting in January of this year. However, the ruling did find that publishers need to either withdraw all of their licenses or none of them. Publishers had desired to only withdraw their streaming licensing rights from BMI but now they may be forced to either choose to allow BMI to handle all of their rights, including streaming, or perform their own licensing and collections.

2: Web Textbook Firm, Publishers End Copyright Suit

Next up today, Michael Farrell at the Boston Globe reports that Boundless Learning, an online startup that aims to create free textbooks, has settled its lawsuit with several major textbook publishers, which had accused it of infringing their textbooks by using them as the basis for free knockoffs.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed but Boundless said that it “now has a clear path for building and marketing” and the publishers have said that they are comfortable that the rights to their work will be respected.

Boundless creates its versions o textbooks using freely available content and posts the material online. However, in recent months, it’s transitioned its textbooks to look less like textbooks and make them more mobile-friendly. The company has also scaled back on its free offerings and now charges $20 for most of its works.

3: Pirate Bay Back in Sweden’s Calm Waters After .GY Suspension

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that The Pirate Bay has moved domains one more time, now returning to its .SE domain after losing four domains in a little over a week.

Last week the site lost its .SX domain, which it had used for a long time, due to legal pressure from the Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN. It then moved to the .AC extension, for the Ascension Islands, .PE for Peru and then .GY for Guyana but lost each of those in succession.

Now the site is back on its .SE domain, which is based in Sweden, the site’s home country. However, the .SE domain could also be at risk as, earlier this year, a Swedish prosecutor has filed to have the domain revoked. Those filings where why The Pirate Bay started moving to other domains and it eventually led to the recent spate of seizures.


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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