3 Count: Lawsuit Liberation

3 Count: Lawsuit Liberation Image

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1: Liberation Resolves Copyright Issue with Lawrence Lessig, Admit ‘Mistakes’ Were Made

First off today, Lars Brandle at Billboard reports that Liberation Music and Professor Lawrence Lessig have reached a settlement in their copyright dispute, one that has the record label paying for Lessig’s costs and admitting that it made a mistake.

The dispute began after Lessig posted a video of a 2010 lecture entitled “Open”, which included short clips of the song “Lisztomania”, which is performed by the band Phoenix, which in turn is represented by Liberation. The label issued a DMCA takedown notice against the video, prompting Lessig to file suit against the label, alleging that it was an improper notice.

The label has said that it was a mistake made by a member of the label’s staff without a proper review. Liberation says that it regrets the mistake and has worked with Lessig to try and resolve the issue and that they restored the video as soon as they became aware of the problem. They have agreed to pay any damages Lessig incurred and have admitted that the video was likely a fair use under U.S. law and fair dealing under Australian law, where the label is based.

2: Glasgow Bar Guilty of Sky Sports Copyright Breach

Next up today, Noil Dinkovski at The Morning Advertiser reports that Sarah McIntosh, the manager of Alavon Bar in Glasgow, Scotland, has been found by a local court to have infringed the copyright of Sky Sports events in the bar without a proper license.

Sky investigated the bar and discovered that they were showing various sporting matches on TV without a proper license from Sky. The bar was also found in contempt of court after it continued to air matches after an interim interdict order (temporary injunction) was handed down by the court barring them from airing further matches.

Sky has been very aggressive in enforcing its copyright with bars and restaurants. However, only recently have they begun being so aggressive in Scotland, which has a separate court system from the rest of the UK.

3: Spa Guests Not “Patients” in EU Royalties Snafu

Finally today, William Doting at Courhouse News Service reports that a Czech spa has lost their bid to avoid paying royalties on music piped into guest rooms, even though the court has expressed some skepticism at the licensing body.

The spa’s owner, Lecebne Iazne, installed radios and TVs in the guest rooms of the spa. She did so without a license from the OSA, the only copyright collection society in the Czech Republic. However, the spa claimed that it was a healthcare establishment, which is exempt from paying royalties under Czech law.

Howver, the EU court ruled that Iazne did owe royalties as the broadcasting did constitute a public performance and there was no exemption for commercial enterprises, such as what they ruled the spa to be. However, the court did question whether OSA was abusing its position and charing too high of a royalty rate.


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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