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First off today Tamlin Bason at Bloomberg BNA reports that tv streaming service FilmOn has been hit with a $90,000 contempt of court judgment for failing to suspend its operations after the Supreme Court ruled against its competitor Aereo.
FilmOn, like Aereo, was a TV streaming service that used a series of tiny antennas, one per customer, to capture and stream over-the-air broadcast television to customers. On July 25th, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was an infringement of broadcaster’s copyrights and, on the 28th, Aereo paused its service to find a path to legality. However, FilmOn continued for over a week.
The amount is $10,000 for each of the 9 days that FilmOn continued streaming broadcaster signals. FilmOn has said that it plans on appealing the contempt ruling but the judge notes that FilmOn may also be liable for attorneys fees and other damages related to the finding of contempt.
Next up today, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has filed a lawsuit against two lyrics sites, SeekLyrics and LyiricsTime for copyright infringement.
In November, the NMPA identified 50 lyrics sites that it said were hosting infringing material. It offered those sites a chance to obtain licenses or close down to avoid legal issues. According to the NMPA, 11 of those sites have obtained licensing deals, including RapGenius (now Genius), and another 11 removed the infringing lyrics. The remaining sites on the list are negotiating with the NMPA.
However, SeekLyrics and LyricsTime failed to take any action and are now being sued by the NMPA. The group says that litigation is the last step and and that they prefer negotiations and licensing arrangements, but are prepared to take legal action if necessary.
Finally today, Michael van Blommestein at ZDNet reports that ZAiKS, a society that represents Polish authors and composers, has put forth a proposal to expand the country’s copyright levy to include phones and tablets.
The current system places a levy on blank media, including CDs, DVDs and USB drives to compensate copyright holders for anticipated infringements. However, under the ZAiKS proposal, the system would be expanded to include phones, tablets and other personal electronic devices, including some TVs and digital cameras.
The copyright levy system has come under fire in the EU, with the European Court of Justice calling the system, sometimes referred to as a “piracy tax” flawed, causing many to expect the system to be phased out.
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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