3 Count: Sugar Man

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1: Joseph Biden Promotes Trade Pacts As a Way to Curb Piracy

First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at the Creativity Conference, lashed out at international copyright piracy and touted the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as two potential steps at protecting U.S. rights abroad.

Biden’s speech comes as a final push is underway to finish the negotiations on the TPP, which has drawn criticism for its secrecy and its strong intellectual property protections.

However, Biden says that the two partnerships will cover about 2/3 of the world’s economy and will not only help U.S. works thrive abroad, but also help other nations create an environment of innovation at home.

2: Online Piracy Crackdown Looms

Next up today, Madeleine Heffernan at The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, in Australia, media industry lobbying is intensifying as expectations are growing that the government is preparing to make a push to clamp down on piracy in the country.

According to reports, the federal cabinet will consider two proposals for tackling illegal downloads, one will require Internet service providers (ISPs) to send out warning letters to suspected infringers while another will require ISPs to block infringing sites.

The move follows warnings that the government could legislate a solution should a voluntary agreement fail to be reached. However, ISPs worry that such moves are ineffective at reducing piracy and it is unclear who will pay for the initiatives.

3: Now That ‘Sugar Man’ Is Found, Lawsuit Focuses on Missing Royalties

Finally today. the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” told the story of Sixto Rodriguez, a singer/songwriter in the 60s and 70s who, though a commercial flop in the U.S., found great success in South Africa. However, Rodriguez was completely unaware of his success until the filmmakers found him.

Rodriguez is now looking for his share of the royalties in the estimated half million album sales. Though he is not directly involved in the lawsuit, Goomba Music, founded by the man who originally signed Rodriguez, is suing Interior Music and its owner Clarence Avant of copyright infringement and interference with Rodriguez’ contract.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify the damages it wants, but accuses Avant of altering Rodriguez’ name to avoid paying songwriter royalties to him. As for Rodriguez, he has been going on arena tours and selling hundreds of thousands of reissued copies of his albums. However, the original royalty issues remain unresolved.


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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