3 Count: Broken and Arcane

3 Count: Broken and Arcane Image

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1: US Music Licensing Laws ‘Arcane and Dysfunctional,’ Says RIAA Chairman

First off today, Amanda Holpuch at The Guardian reports that various music industry leaders testified before Congress that music licensing is “arcane” and overly complicated, making it difficult musicians and record labels to build new services in the digital age and maximize revenue from licensed music services.

The hearing, which is part of the House Judiciary Committee’s ongoing review of copyright in the United States, brought together nine individuals from the music industry including Cary Sherman, the chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and representatives from the National Association of Broadcasters, Radio Music License Committee and the American Society of Composers among others.

Sherman described the current system as “broken” and there was widespread criticism for the current model, including concerns that AM/FM radio is not required to pay for recorded music and that Internet radio providers do not have to pay for recordings made before 1972.

2: “Failed” Piracy Letters Should Escalate to Fines & Jail, MP Says

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that, as the UK’s Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP) is about to come online, at least one MP is weighing in on what should happen with the copyright alerts fail to sway some away from downloading illegal content.

The VCAP program is a cooperative effort between ISPs and copyright holders in the UK and will send education alerts to those who are found to have been sharing copyright infringing material. However, after four alerts, no further alerts are sent and one MP, Mike Weatherly, would like to see punitive action taken after the education alerts fail.

According to Weatherly’s report, punitive measures need to be taken after the alerts fail including, possibly, fines, blocking of Internet access and even jail for “persistent and damaging” infringers. Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will “closely consider” the report.

3: Pitbull’s Smash Hit ‘Timber’ at Center of $3 million Copyright Infringement Suit

Finally today, Dareh Gregorian at The New York Daily News reports that Pitbull’s song “Timber” is at the center of a $3 million copyright infringement lawsuit.

Harmonicist Lee Oskar alleges that a riff from “Timber” is nearly identical to a 1978 song of his entitled “San Francisco Bay”. Though neither Pitbull nor “Timber” collaborator Ke$ha is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, it alleges that a harmonica player was told to “emulate” Oskar’s performance in the original song.

“Timber” became a number one hit in the United States and has sold over 4 million copies.


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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