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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the MPAA, Kickstarter and other companies have filed briefs in a case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over photos of Katy Perry and Beyonce posted on LiveJournal.
The case centers around Marvix Photographs, a paparazzi photography company, which sued LiveJournal after several of its photos appeared on the Oh No They Didn’t! LiveJournal blog. Marvix didn’t file for a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown and skipped straight to a lawsuit, prompting the lower court to rule that LiveJournal, as merely the host of the blog, to rule that the site was protected under the DMCA and that they had no knowledge of the infringement.
However, the MPAA, which filed a brief in the case, joined Marvix in saying that, if it can be shown LiveJournal curated posts for the purpose of adding, rather than removing, content from third parties, the safe harbor would not apply. However, others, including Tumblr, Kickstarter, Easy and Pinterest, filed briefs of their own arguing such a standard would discourage content moderation and force sites to either over or under moderate their sites to avoid copyright liability.
Next up today, Hugh Morris at the Telegraph in the UK reports that a new EU proposal to harmonize copyright could cause changes in the country’s copyright that would make it illegal to upload or publish photographs of many popular monuments and buildings.
The issue is the “freedom of panorama”, which is a right to publish photographs of modern buildings and public art without it being an infringement of copyright. The UK, along with Spain and Germany, have such a right already. However, other countries in the EU, including France, Belgium and Italy, do not and a recent proposal headed to the European Parliament would provide for such a right across the entire bloc, but only for non-commercial purposes.
The proposal stems from the German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda, who had called for a freedom of panorama in the whole of the EU. However, as her report has made its rounds, others MEPs have sought to add amendments, including the non-commercial one to the freedom of panorama. As the UK is noting, that could lead to copyright restrictions in many countries that did not exist previously.
Finally today, Shirley Halperin and Lars Brandle at Billboard report that, following Apple’s announcement that it would pay royalties during the free trial phase of Apple Music, both Merlin and Beggars Group, two organizations representing various independent record labels, have announced they will join the service after all.
Earlier this month, Apple announced its Apple Music service, due to launch on June 30th. The music streaming service aims to compete with Spotify and Pandora by offering unlimited streaming of the music in the iTunes library. However, after it was announced Apple planned on paying no royalties during the three-month free trial period, independent labels, including those represented by Beggars Group and Merlin, began to decry the terms of the service. However, after Taylor Swift posted a highly-publicized open letter criticizing the policy, Apple reversed course.
The move great bolsters the number of artists and tracks that will be available on Apple Music at launch. Many of the labels and artists had threatened to withhold their songs from Apple Music if no royalties were to be paid. However, many of those artists accused Apple of playing hardball, threatening to remove their music from iTunes if they didn’t permit it to be streamed in Apple Music. This deal seems to head off that potential conflict.
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.