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First off today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that Aerosmith ldead singer Steven Tyler and prominent music attorney Dina LaPolt have sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Tardemark Office (USPTO) stating their opposition to a proposed compulsory license that would allow anyone to legally create derivative works without explicit permission.
The letter comes after the U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force issued a green paper that said the creation of licensed remixes is too difficult and that they should explore alternatives, including a compulsory license that would enable others to create new work without permission. Tyler and LaPolt have written the USPTO, a part of the Department of Commerce, saying that such a license is unacceptable and would impede the artist’s ability to choose how their work is used.
They were supported by a group of other artists including Sting, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears and Deadmau5. Various rights groups also spoke up including the Copyright Alliance, ASCAP, BMI, NMPA and SESAC to name a few. Other topics being discussed include expansion of the first sale doctrine to digital good, thus allowing the resale of digital works, improvements to the DMCA’s notice and takedown system and more.
Next up today, Sarah Perez at TechCrunch reports that Themer, a customization app for the Android mobile operating system, has been uplled from Google’s App Store after a copyright complaint from Apple.
Themer worked by providing themes, or visualization changes to make Android look significantly different. However, Apple discovered that one of the themes, “Seven”, used several icons from its iOS mobile operating system. The theme was one of the many user-created themes in the app and MyColorScreen, the team behind Themer, says that they have removed the infringing theme but the app has not yet been returned to the App Store.
Themer raised $500,000 in seed funding and has already been downloaded over 1 million times in over four months. The app went down on February 2nd and is still not back online as of this writing. However, Google has posted an update saying that the app has been reinstated and should be back in a few hours.
Finally today, Jason Newman at Rolling Stone reports that the record label TufAmerica has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group over the Frank Ocean song “Super Rich Kids”.
However, what makes the lawsuit unusual is that the suit has less to do with a sample in the song itself. According to the lawsuit, Ocean sampled Mary J Blige’s “Real Love”, which in turn they claim sampled the Honeydrippers’ 1973 song “Impeach the President”.
The label has not said how much it is suing for but claims that it owns 3.15% of “Real Love” due to previous agreements. TufAmerica has also famously sued Jay Z and The Beastie Boys over what they consider illegal samples.
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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