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First off today, Rory Carroll at The Guardian reports that Jay Z has emerged victorious in a the trial over his hit song Big Pimpin’ after the judge unexpected dismissed the lawsuit saying that the plaintiff did not have standing to sue.
Jay Z was sued by heirs to Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, who claimed that he did not have permission to sample his composition Khosara Khosara in Big Pimpin’. Jay Z claimed that he had obtained the rights to use the song but the heirs claimed not only that they obtained the rights from the wrong source, but that the offensive nature of Big Pimpin’ made the use a violation of their moral rights.
The case had been ongoing of almost a decade and had finally reached a trial this month. However, just before the case was to be handed to a jury, the judge ruled that the rights to the song had been transferred away from the family and the heirs lacked the standing to sue. As such, the judge said there was no need for the jury to rule and dismissed the case. The heirs have vowed an appeal.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that an Illinois couple have filed a pair of lawsuits over the use of pre-1972 sound recordings claiming that a catalog of recordings they own have been widely misused.
The couple, Arthur and Barbara Sheridan previously owned several record companies and continue to own a library of songs. The filed two lawsuits in New Jersey, the first targeting Pandora and SiriusXM with the second targeting iHeartmedia, alleging that they are misusing the recordings under the state’s common law.
Pre-1972 sound recordings are not protected by federal copyright law and, instead, are covered under state law. Similar lawsuits have been filed by the RIAA and the band The Turtles against Sirius and Pandora. The RIAA recently settled their case with Sirius to the tune of $210 million but the case against Pandora is ongoing. However, where the previous cases against the two have taken place in New York and California, the filing in New Jersey raises questions about the success the new lawsuit will likely have.
Finally today, Kory Grow at Rolling Stone reports that YouTube has announced a new premium service entitled YouTube Red, which will allow users to pay a monthly fee in order to use YouTube without ads and enjoy music videos on their phones in the background.
The service will cost $9.99 a month though Apple users will be charged $12.99 to cover the costs of Apple’s in-app purchase fees. The service is a separate one from Google Play though a subscription to YouTube Red includes a Google Play subscription and vice versa.
The move has not been without controversy as YouTube is requiring its partners to agree to be a part of YouTube Red or have all of their videos removed from public viewing.
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.