3 Count: Consent Decree

3 Count: Consent Decree Image

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1: Internet Users Cannot be Sued for Browsing the Web, ECJ Rules

First off today, Alex Harn at The Guardian reports that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that temporary caches of Internet sites stored in user computers do not infringe copyright and can be made without authorization from copyright holders.

The ruling is a part of the fight between the PR industry in Britain and the Newspaper Licensing Authority (NLA) against the new aggregation service Meltwater. Meltwater was accused of violating newspaper copyright and one of the angles of attack was that they didn’t have a license to form local caches of NLA content.

However, the ECJ ruled that such copies do not require authorization. That overturns one victory for the NLA but another, ruling that headlines are copyrightable even if they are linked back to the source article, still stands, meaning Meltwater has not emerged victorious completely.

2: Justice Department to Review Music Royalties Decrees

Next up today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that the Department of Justice has announced it will conduct a review of the consent decrees that govern ASCAP and BMI, the two organizations that represent songwriters and license musical compositions.

The review comes as ASCAP is in an ongoing dispute with Internet radio service Pandora. The decrees currently require rights agencies to offer licenses to such companies and the rates, if one can’t be reached through an agreement, is set via a rate court. However, the DOJ is now looking whether to amend or even end those consent decrees.

The last time the consent decrees were reviewed was in 2001, 13 years ago. ASCAP welcomes the review noting that the way users listen to music has changed a great deal since then.

3: Beastie Boys Seek $2 million from Monster for Copyright Infringement

Finally today, Nate Raymond at Reuters is reporting that closing arguments have been heard in the case between the surviving members of The Beastie Boys and Monster Energy with the lawyer for the band asking the jury to return a verdict for $2 million for the unlicensed use of the band’s music in a Monster promotional video.

It is the first time that the band had placed a dollar amount on the infringement. Monster admits that it infringed the band’s copyright when it used three of their songs for a promotional video for a snowboarding competition, however, they claim that it was a mistake and that they amount they should have to pay should be no more than $125,000.

One of the band’s members, Adam Yauch, died the day before the competition was to start and left in his will that he didn’t want the band’s music used for any promotional material, continuing the group’s longstanding opposition to use of their music in advertising.


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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Tune in every Wednesday evening at 5 PM ET for the live recording of the Copyright 2.0 Show or wait and get the edited version Friday right here on Plagiarism Today.

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