3 Count: Controversial Takedown

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1: Google Ordered to Take Anti-Muslim Video Off its Platforms

First off today, Maura Dolan at the LA Times reports that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Google to remove the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” film, stating that an actress in the film has a legitimate copyright claim in it and can order the takedown.

The controversial film sparked protests and riots in Muslim countries but one of the actors in the film, Cindy Lee Garcia, said that she was duped into participating in it and that her words were dubbed over. Since she claims to have not signed any waivers of her rights, she filed takedown notices with YouTube to have the film removed but that request was denied by both Google, which owns YouTube, and the District Court after she sued.

The reason was because an actor, typically, is not seen as having a copyright interest in the film he or she stars in, making the notice invalid. However, the court ruled that, in Garcia’s case, she does because the use of the film invalidated any implied license Garcia might have given. Google has called the decision “stunning” but has removed the film pending an en banc appeal to the 9th Circuit with the full court.

2: Lawmakers Propose Bill to Give Royalties to Visual Artists

Next up today, Kelly Crow at The Wall Street Journal reports that two U.S. Senators have proposed the American Royalties Too Act (ART Act), which aims to give artists a 5% royalty when their art is resold for more than $5,000 at major auction houses.

The royalty would be capped at $35,000 per work and would only apply to auction houses that do more than $1 million in art sales per year. Those art houses would be required to collect the royalties from winning bidders and then pass them on to the artist or their heirs quarterly.

The act is based on a 2011 bill that fought more many of the same things. However, that bill did not have a fee cap and set the royalty rate at 7%. The proposed system is similar to systems that exist in at least 50 other countries, including France an Britain.

3: Spotify and Ministry of Sound Settle Music Playlists Copyright Lawsuit

Finally today, Stuard Dredge at The Guardian reports that music streaming service Spotify has reached a settlement with Ministry of Sound over user-created playlists and Ministry of Sound’s efforts to remove them.

Ministry of Sound is a record label that puts out compilation CDs of popular songs. When several Spotify users used the service to recreate those lists and share them, Ministry sued claiming copyright over the playlists themselves.

Under the agreement, Spotify has said they will remove the offending playlists from its search feature and block others from “following” them, however, the lists will not be deleted. Users will be able to continue recreating Ministry of Sound playlists for personal use. The settlement also means that the copyrightability of playlists will not be tested by the court.


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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