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First off today, CNBC reports that the U.S. Copyright Office have told Aereo that they do not consider it to be a cable company and the company does not qualify for a statutory license to retransmit broadcaster signals.
Aereo, a TV streaming service that used a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture, record and stream over-the-air broadcast TV to users lost its Supreme Court battle after the court ruled its broadcasts were public performances and were infringements of broadcaster rights. Aereo then announced it would ask to be treated like a cable company and apply for a statutory license.
The Copyright Office said it would not outright refuse Aereo’s filing but would accept it provisionally pending the resolution of its ongoing court case.
Next up today, Tamlin Bason at Bloomberg BNA reports that a July 15th hearing before the House Judiciary Committee looked at a wide variety of copyright issues including copyright terms, termination rights, moral rights, resale royalties and more.
A key issue before the committee was resale royalties and the pending ART Act, which would give visual artists, in some situations, a royalty when their work is resold. It was noted at the hearing that, while the Copyright Office did not find there to be enough reason to pass such legislation, there has been a strong international trend toward giving artists such rights.
The term of copyright, currently the life of the author plus 70 years in the U.S., was also debated with some advocating for a shorter term and others arguing for the status quo, saying that there are much more productive areas to focus on when looking at copyright reform.
Finally today, Laura Owen at GigaOm reports that Amazon is testing a new “Kindle Unlimited” service that will give subscribers unlimited access to over 600,000 titles.
After observers found the test pages on Amazon’s site, many of them came down after being discovered though most remained available through Google’s cache. The service has been rumored for months and would enter a market currently occupied by Oyster and Scribd, both of which offer unlimited reading services.
The service does not appear to be bundled with Amazon Prime, Amazon’s $99 per year free shipping membership that also offers free video and music streaming. Also, none of the major publishers appear to be participating yet, though the advertisements for the service indicate that it has all of the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series among many others. The pages also advertise the presence of thousands of audiobook titles, which is something competitors do not provide.
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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