3 Count: Comeback Story

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1: Sly Stone Wins $5 Million Verdict in Lawsuit Against Former Manager and Attorney

First off today, Ted Johnson at Variety reports that funk singer Sly Stone, real name Sylvester Stewart, has awarded $5 million in his lawsuit against his former manager, Gerald Goldstein, and attorney, Glenn Stone.

According to the lawsuit, originally filed in 2010, Goldstein and Stone had Stewart sign an employment and shareholder agreement with their production company, Even St. Productions, and then used that agreement to divert money away from him and making him unable to access his royalties. Stewart testified he had not received any royalty payments between 1989 and 2000 and the jury found that Stewart was underpaid by $2.5 million due to the agreement.

The jury ordered Goldstein to pay $2.5 million, Even St. Productions to pay $2.45 million and Stone to pay $50,000. However, the defendants say that Stewart was aware of the terms of the agreement and renewed it some 40 times over a fifteen year period. They have indicated they plan on appealing.

2: ESAC Wants Final Approval on $58.5 Million Settlement With TV Stations

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at Billboard reports that the performance rights organization SESAC is pushing for a judge to accept a nearly $59 million it has reached with a group of local television stations in hopes it can put the long-running dispute behind them.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2009 by Scripps Media and Meredith Corp, both of which own a variety of local TV stations. The class action suit alleged that SESAC, which controls the performance rights to a large number of compositions, attempted to force TV stations to pay high license fees by requiring that they purchase blanket licenses even when they just needed to clear a few songs.

The sides have reached a settlement that has SESAC paying $58.5 million and agreeing that, for the next 20 years, it will have to offer alternatives to blanket licenses and allow its affiliated composers to enter into direct licenses with local stations. Most of the money would go to TV stations not directly involved in the lawsuit but qualify as part of the class.

3: Music Piracy has been ‘Virtually Eliminated’ in Norway

Finally today, Music Business Worldwide reports that a new survey from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) shows that music piracy has been driven to record lows in the country of Norway, with just 4% of Norwegians under 30 using file sharing to get music.

The change from 2009 is stark as, in a similar survey, some 80% said that they used file sharing to get music. The recent survey also showed the less than 1% of Norwegians under 30 use file sharing as their primary means to get music.

The shift is attributed largely to the rise of legitimate streaming music options, such as Spotify. However, the reduction of piracy has not led to increased profits as the total market value for the country has remained largely flat when compared with 2009.


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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