3 Count: Careful, Hotplate!

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1: Court Allows the Ray Charles Foundation to Challenge Termination Claims of Charles’ Heirs

First off today, Andrew Flanagan at Billboard reports that an appeals court has awarded the Ray Charles Foundation the right to challenge a copyright termination filed by 7 of the singer’s 12 children, the first time a “beneficial owner” has been allowed to challenge a copyright termination claim.

The copyright act allows creators or their heirs to “terminate” licenses and grants after a certain number of years. Charles, before his death sought to will the royalties to all of his songs to his non-profit, the Ray Charles Foundation. His heirs, however, filed copyright termination notices with his publisher, Warner/Chappell Music, to terminate their publishing arrangement and, by proxy, being receiving the royalties themselves.

The Ray Charles Foundation sought to challenge the terminations but was told that they couldn’t since they were not the party the termination was filed with. However, the appeals court has overturned that and is allowing the foundation to fight the terminations in court in hopes of maintaining both Warner/Chappell’s representation and their stream of royalties.

2: The Hotplate: Channel 7 takes Nine to court over ‘rip off’ of My Kitchen Rules

Next up today, Amanda Meade at The Guardian reports that, in Australia, Channel 7 has filed a lawsuit against Channel Nine alleging that Channel Nine ripped off the Channel 7 show My Kitchen Rules to make their new reality show The Hotplate.

According to the lawsuit, Channel 7 believes that The Hotplate is virtually identical to My Kitchen Rules both in format and in promotion. Channel Nine, however, has stated publicly that it feels The Hotplate is original work and that Channel 7 is only filing suit because The Hotplate has turned out to be a success.

My Kitchen Rules, when it was launched, was widely seen as a copy of a different cooking show, MasterChef Australia, though others in the industry said it was a combination of MasterChef and a British cooking show Come Dine with Me.

3: IFPI Head Defends Labels’ Streaming Payments While Firing Shots at SoundCloud and YouTube

Finally today, Eamonn Forde at Music Ally reports that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an organization that represents the interests of record labels, has published a blog post defending record labels handling of artist royalties saying that, while artist royalties have dropped, they’ve dropped slower than record label revenue, meaning artists are paid more as a percentage than ever.

The letter also targets SoundCloud and YouTube, two sites that the IFPI believes are not paying record labels adequately, instead using copyright laws that protect user-generated content to host and stream recorded music without paying.

The report comes not he heels of a Berklee/Rethink Music report that called for greater transparency in the music industry. The IFPI had previously responded that report, claiming it to be inaccurate.


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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