3 Count: Sam Smith Redux

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1: SoundCloud Starts Working with YouTube’s Partner to Scan Music for Copyright Infringement

First off today, Jacob Kastrenakes at The Verge reports that music hosting/streaming site SoundCloud has announced a partnership with Zefr, the same company that scans and detects copyright audio that is uploaded to YouTube.

While SoundCloud has long had its own tool for automatically detecting copyright infringement, the partnership with Zefr may hint at a relationship between SoundCloud and the record labels, as Zefr’s previous work has focused more on monetization of copyrighted audio rather than removal.

It is unclear if and how this will play out but another hint may be in the fact that SoundCloud began serving ads last summer, opening the door to preroll ads, similar to those on YouTube.

2: Man Claims Sam Smith Ripped Him Off, Demands Grammy

Next up today, Marilyn Malara at UPI reports that songwriter Mark Halper has filed lawsuit over the Sam Smith hit song Stay with Me in which he claims the lyrics from Smith’s song are an infringement of his 1986 demo, Don’t Throw Our Love Away.

According to Halper, Smith repeatedly used the phrase “Stay with me” in his song, which also featured heavily in his track, prompting him to believe that the Smith song is an infringement. Halper is not suing Smith directly, but instead is targeting the labels and those around him. Halper is also seeking a Grammy for his “contribution” to the Grammy-winning song.

Stay with Me has come under a great deal of scrutiny after Tom Petty alleged that the chorus was extremely similar to one of his earlier works. The two sides settled without a lawsuit and Petty received a writing credit on the song.

3: NZ ISP Folds on Rights Holder Threats Over Global Mode

Finally today, Josh Taylor at ZDNet reports that New Zealand ISP Lightwire has said it will no longer offer a “global mode” virtual private network (VPN) service following threats from content creators that such services violated copyright law.

In New Zealand, several ISPs offer a “global mode” which masks the origin of the user so they can access services such as Netflix and Hulu that are normally available only users within the U.S. or other countries. However, local content providers sent ISPs letters asking them to stop offering the service as they felt it was both unfair competition and a breach of copyright.

In their blog post Lightwire said that they do not believe their VPN service is copyright infringing but are choosing to sit on the sidelines for the impending legal battle.


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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