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First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports a United Kingdom chancery court has ordered all major Internet service providers in the country to block access to four Popcorn Time variants.
Popcorn Time is an open source project to emulate the ease of search and streaming found in products like Netflix and Hulu for BitTorrent, making it easy to locate and stream copyright infringing films and TV shows. The project is open source and has spawned a series of forks, making it difficult to shut down.
The ruling will require local ISPs to block access to those particular variants, making it more difficult for users in the U.K. to access and stream content from them. However, other variants, including new ones that pop up, will likely be unaffected.
Next up today, Vladimir Kozlova at Billboard reports that tomorrow new amendments to Russia’s copyright law will take effect and will expand copyright protection measures previously available only to films to music.
Those protections will make it easier for rights holders to get sites that host infringing audio blocked in the country. They will be able to do so without a court order and, while site owners will have the right to defend themselves after the fact, if they lose two cases the website is permanently shuttered.
The law has already begun bearing fruit with Russian social network VKontakte having already removed a feature to stream user-uploaded audio files and is entering negotiations with rights labels to create a legitimate music streaming service. The previous changes regarding movies is attributed with doubling the online sales of TV shows and movies.
Finally today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Amazon, Google, Pandora, radio broadcasters and others have formed the MIC Coalition in an effort to represent the interests of broadcasters over a series of royalty and licensing-related issues.
Currently music licensing reform is a major topic as the Department of Justice looks to revisit the consent decrees that govern performing rights organizations, the Copyright Royalty Board is preparing its regular analysis of webmaster royalty rates and the U.S. Congress is looking at legislative reform of music licensing.
MIC, which is not an acronym and is pronounced “Mike”, says that this is a critical time for music but that the dialog has been dominated by record labels and music publishers. Organizations for musicians, however, criticize MIC as being a trade organization for many of the largest corporations on earth.
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.