3 Count: Midnight Syndicate

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1: “YODA law” Would Ensure Devices Can be Resold Free of Copyright

First off today, Jeff John Roberts at GigaOn reports that two representatives, Blake Farenthold (R-Tx) and Jared Polis (D-Co), have proposed the “You Own Devices Act” or YODA that would ensure copyright could not be used to prevent customers from selling or giving away legally-purchased devices.

At issue is specifically devices that are powered, in whole or in part, by copyrighted software. Since that software is, generally, licensed rather than sold, it’s possible for the creators to make the license non-transferrable and prevent the owner of the device from selling or giving it away. However, YODA aims to add a paragraph to the Copyright Act that would expressly entitle the owner of the product to transfer an authorized copy of the software to whoever they sell it to.

Examples of such devices include a variety of “smart” gadgets such as phones and watches, but also cars, appliances and virtually anything else that runs software as part of its operation.

2: Insane Clown Posse’s record label faces federal copyright lawsuit in Cleveland

Next up today, Eric Heisig at Cleveland.com reports that the company representing the band Midnight Syndicate has filed a lawsuit against Psychopathic Records, the label owned and operated by Insane Clown Posse, over what they say is unlicensed samples of their music in a CD they released.

Midnight Syndicate is well known for their gothic and Halloween-themed music and, through their licensing program, is often featured as the background music for haunted attractions. However, the band, through their label, Entity Productions, alleges that rapper Jumpsteady, whose real name is Robert Bruce, used samples of some 31 Midnight Syndicate songs in his 2013 spoken word album “The Road and Other True Stories”, which was released by Psychotic Records.

According to the lawsuit, nearly all of the music from the 65 minute CD was unauthorized samples. In addition to releasing the album, the lawsuit says that Bruce is the brother of ICP member “Violent J”, who is mostly responsible for the music on the album. In 2011, Midnight Syndicate sued Insane Clown Posse directly for copyright infringement but the case was settled out of court.

3: YouTube Flags Cat Purring as Copyright Infringing Music

Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that YouTube’s Content ID system made an error and flagged a one-hour loop of a cat purring as copyrighted audio, causing the owner of the video to briefly be unable to monetize the content.

The video was uploaded by the YouTube user Digihaven, which featured his cat, Phantom, purring. However, after nearly a year online, YouTube’s Content ID system flagged the video, which is just a 12-second loop repeated, as being from the composition “Focus”, owned by EMI.

Digihaven challenged the claim, which didn’t remove the video but did take away his ability to monetize it. EMI lifted the claim shortly after it was protested but, according to Digihaven, Phantom is wanting damages in the form of 10 pounds of catnip.


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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