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First off today, AP News is reporting that a judge has ordered Monster Energy to pay some $668,000 of the Beastie Boys’ legal fees in their lawsuit over Monster’s use of five of the band’s songs in a promotional video.
Monster used the tracks in a video intended to promote an extreme sports event. The band, or rather the two surviving members and the wife of the deceased lead singer, Adam “MCA” Yauch, sued for copyright infringement. Monster admitted to the infringement but disagreed on the damages. The jury, however, largely sided with the band ordering Monster to pay some $1.7 million in damages.
However, according to the band, they had racked up over $2 million in legal bills, making the lawsuit a net loss. The judge agreed to award attorneys fees but reduced the amount to $668,000, saying that the band opted for more expensive representation than necessary.
Next up today, Chris Duckett at ZDNet reports that an Australian bill that would require local ISPs to block access to sites that primarily exist for copyright infringement has passed The House of Representatives, paving the way for the bill to be signed by the Governor and become law.
The passage of the bill was virtually guaranteed after the Labor party supported it. However, even as it was passed, the government sought to soothe concerns over the bill, saying explicitly it would not be used to target virtual private networks (VPNs) as they are not primarily for copyright infringement and that the costs to ISPs would be modest.
The bill previously passed the Senate with some amendments. The House of Representatives has now approved those amendments and now the bill is sent to the Governor for signing.
Finally today, Jessica Mendoza at the Christian Science Monitor reports that musician Neil Young is protesting Donald Trump’s use of his song Rockin’ in the Free World when he announced his campaign seeking the Republican nomination for President.
According to Young, Trump did not have his permission to use the song and, though he is a Canadian, considers himself a supporter of Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate. Trump’s campaign said that they had a license to use the song from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), but the organization notes that, when campaigns use music in a way that may be seen as an endorsement, they may need to get additional permission.
The case mirrors similar musician/candidate battles including a battle between Tom Petty and George W. Bush in 2000 and the 2008 conflict between the band Barracuda and the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign.
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.