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First off today, Ellen Huet at Forbes reports that YouTube has announced its new music streaming service, entitled YouTube Music Key, which is currently in beta and is invite-only.
The new service no only includes a free subscription to Google Play Music, Google’s Spotify competitor, but also improves the music listening experience on YouTube offering background playing on mobile devices, better organization of music on YouTube and higher-quality audio.
The announcement comes shortly after YouTube announced it had secured a deal with Merlin, the body that negotiates on behalf of independent record labels. It had previously secured deals with the major three labels but the independents were slow to sign up, concerned that the deal was unfair to them.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the controversial Innocence of Muslims ruling will be reheard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, this time en banc, meaning that the entire court of appeals, not just a three-judge panel, will hear the case.
The case centers around the controversial short film Innocence of Muslims, which caused outrage in the muslim community and is connected with riots. One of the actors in the film, Cindy Lee Garcia, claimed she was tricked into appearing in the movie, told it was a different film and had her audio overdubbed. She sought removal of the film from YouTube on copyright grounds but a lower court held that an actor, even if they never waived their rights, can’t claim copyright interest in a film. However, that decision was overturned on appeal at the 9th Circuit, bringing the video down.
However, that court will rehear the case, now with all 9 judges. The original ruling had drawn a great deal of controversy and many had sided with Google in asking the court to revisit the case.
Finally today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that is aimed at ensuring spouses in same-sex couples have the same copyright inheritance rights as other married couples.
At issue specifically is a “loophole” in the law which affects couples that get married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal but move to a state where it is not. In those cases the ability of the surviving spouse to inherit the copyright is in doubt.
Leahy hopes that the law, dubbed The Copyright and Marriage Equality Act, would extend such benefits to all legally married couples.
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.