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First off today, Ben Sisario at the New York Times reports that satellite radio provider SiriusXM has reached a settlement with the major record labels in their lawsuit over copyright royalties allegedly owed over pre-1972 sound recordings.
Due to a quirk in the law, pre-1972 sound recordings are not protected federally. Instead, they are protected under state laws. SiriusXM, and many others, had not paid royalties for the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings, instead only paying royalties to songwriters, initially prompting a lawsuit from members of the band The Turtles but shortly after the major record labels, who sued in California state court.
The Turtles won an early round in the same state and SiriusXM has now revealed in its securities filing that it’s reached an agreement with the record labels that will not only cover it for the past uses of the songs, but also allowed SiriusXM to use the music through 2017. However, a similar lawsuit against Pandora is still ongoing.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the lawsuit pitting BMG Music and Rightscorp against U.S. ISP Cox is ongoing and is focusing on disputes over discovery and the turning over the identities of suspected copyright infringers on the Cox service.
Rightscorp is best known for sending copyright notices to ISPs for forwarding on to suspected infringers. Those notices contain demands for settlement, usually around $20 per work infringed. Though many ISPs forward the notice on without editing, Cox has removed the demand, prompting Righscorp and BMG music, one of its clients, to file a lawsuit. As part of that lawsuit, the Rightscorp was demanding the identities of some 500 “top infringers” on the Cox network, however, 49 objected and Cox refused to turn their information over.
Of the 451 subscribers that remain, some 338 had their identities turned over, the remainder either couldn’t be identified or, in one case, were overlooked. The court also released redacted copies of the letters sent by those who objected, showing the various reasons for the objection including claims they had insecure wifi or were not physical able to have committed the infringement.
Finally today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that Marvel has hit back in a lawsuit over the Iron Man armor, asking that it either be dismissed or, barring that, be moved to a different jurisdiction.
The lawsuit was filed by owners of Horizon Comics, Ben and Ray Lai, who allege that Disney’s version of the Iron Man armor from the recent films was lifted from their Radix comics. However, Marvel has replied to the lawsuit saying that Iron Man had worn similar armor to the one featured in the movie long before the Radix comics existed and that there is now way the film or comic books infringed upon the plaintiffs.
Marvel also asked the court that, if it opts not to dismiss the case, to move it from Massachusetts, where it was filed, to New York, out of which Marvel is based.
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.