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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Pandora has reached a settlement with the three major record labels to settle litigation over Pandora’s playing of pre-1972 soon recordings.
Pre-1972 sound recordings are not covered under federal copyright law, but instead are protected under state law. Pandora and not been paying for pre-1972 sound recording streams (instead paying only the songwriters) feeling they weren’t required to. However, after a series of defeats in New York and California, it decided to settle the case with the RIAA, agreeing to pay $90 million as part of it.
The settlement is dwarfed by an earlier $210 settlement from SiriusXM with the same plaintiffs on the same issue. However, both of them also have a possible class action lawsuit from Flo and Eddie of The Turtles, which aims to represent artists who own their pre-1972 sound recordings.
Next up today, Ben Child at The Guardian reports that Netflix has been sued by Corinth Films, who claims the copyright to the 1948 Italian film The Bicycle Thief.
The film, long considered a classic, has a lengthy history of copyright confusion. In 1985, a U.S. court ruled that the film was in the public domain since neither of the two sides disputing ownership had bothered to re-registered its copyright. However, the judge noted that dubbed or subtitled versions may still be eligible for copyright protection.
It’s with that in mind that Corinth is suing Netflix, alleging that the company illegally streamed a subtitled version of the film. Corinth is suing for copyright infringement and false designation of origin, it is seeking damages and an injunction against further streaming of the film.
Finally today, Nitish Kulkarni at TechCrunch reports that Google has posted an open letter to the Office and Management and Budget’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) saying that it opposes removing full sites from search results for copyright reasons.
The letter comes in a response to a request from the IPEC for public input in to the country’s Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property from 2016-2019. In their recommendations, Google said it opposes any efforts to require entire sites to be removed entirely from Google for fear that the blocking would be ineffective and possibly restrict access to non-infringing material.
The letter is a response to the Motion Picture Association of America, which filed its own letter strongly recommending such whole-site delisting.
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.