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First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that Freeplay Music, a music licensing company that specializes in licensing soundtracks for videos, has filed lawsuits against four multichannel networks (MCNs) on YouTube.
According to the lawsuits, Maker Studios, which is owned by Disney, AwesomenessTV, Big Frame and BoradbandTV made use of Freeplay’s music without a proper license. Freeplay makes some 15,000 of its tracks available for free licensing on YouTube in exchange for the right to display and profit from ads next to the videos. That license, however, only extends to non-commercial uses of the songs and MCNs, by their nature, are making commercial use of the work.
The lawsuits follow two preemptive lawsuits by MCNs Machinima and Collective Digital Studio against Freeplay, alleging that Freeplay engaged in “bait and switch” tactics, luring MCNs with promises of free music only to demand a license. Freeplay has said it will respond to those lawsuits shortly.
Next up today, Gleam Lammi at Forbes reports that major advertising trade organizations have teamed up to launch the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), which aims to certify companies that will assist advertisers in avoiding the unwitting support of piracy by advertising on sites engaged in copyright infringement.
Companies that receive such validation will be dubbed “Digital Advertising Assurance Providers” or DAAPs. Large advertising networks and providers an self-certify as a DAAP if they have already instituted the required controls.
The program is voluntary and was developed without the aid or pressure of government regulation. Content creators hope that the effort will mean fewer advertising dollars flowing to cyberlockers and streaming media sites that regularly trade in pirated goods.
Finally today, Euro Weekly News reports that a theme park in southern Spain based on the characters from The Lord of the Rings is raising copyright questions and is reportedly being investigated by Warner Brothers.
The theme park, which name translates to “The Shire” made direct mention of JRR Tolkien when it was unveiled but representatives later stated it would be based on concepts of fantasy and magic that don’t belong to any author. However, that same presentation featured an actor dressed as Frodo from the films and other characters that resembled those from the book.
Opposition parties have expressed opposition to the park citing copyright concerns. However, the areas council has said that the design of the park and its characters was performed by municipal experts to avoid copyright infringement and having to pay license fees. The park is expected to be finished by the end of 2015 at the cost of €1.7 million ($1.93 million).
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.