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First off today, Mixmag reports that a popular audio hosting site SoundCloud, in an email sent to a dissatisfied user, revealed that Universal Music (and possibly other labels) have backend access to the site and can directly remove files that they feel are infringing without going through SoundCloud at all.
The letter came after a user complained about having their account cancelled due to too many copyright strikes. A representative from the “SoundCloud Copyright Team” wrote back saying that the last takedown was from Universal and that, since Universal did it directly, they had no additional information on exactly what was infringing.
The letter has sparked controversy among SoundCloud users but the method is similar to what YouTube and even Google itself does with major copyright holders, providing direct access to remove infringing material. SoundCloud has released a follow up statement saying that they make it simple to contest erroneous takedowns.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that a New Zealand court has ruled that, if the New Zealand police are able to gain passwords to access some of Kim Dotcom’s encrypted drives, they can not pass along those keys to their counterparts in the United States.
Dotcom was arrested in January 2012 and his site, Megaupload, was shuttered in a raid that involved both authorities in the U.S. and his home country of New Zealand. Since then the U.S. has sought to extradite him but the case has dragged on over a variety of issues.
One of those issues involves a series of hard drives found in Dotcom’s home, which were confiscated, copied and sent to U.S. authorities. At least some of those drives were encrypted and Dotcom, who said he couldn’t remember the passwords now, refused to try and remember the keys if they would be sent to the U.S. A New Zealand court has ruled that, if Dotcom is able to remember the passwords, they can’t be shared with the FBI because the original sharing of the data was unlawful.
Finally today, Robert Patrick at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that members of the hip hop Christian group Flame have filed a lawsuit against pop musician Katy Perry, alleging that Perry’s song “Dark Horse” is virtually identical musically to their 2008 song “Joyful Noise”.
The lawsuit alleges that “Joyful Noise” has been “irreparably tarnished” by its use in the Perry song, saying that the Perry hit associates the work with witchcraft among other things.
Flame received a Grammy nomination for the album “Our World: Redeemed”, on which “Joyful Noise” appeared. The lawsuit also names nearly a dozen other individuals involved with “Dark Horse” and Capitol Records itself as defendants.
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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