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First off today, Hannah Karp at the Wall Street Journal reports that the Copyright Royalty Board ruling has come down and Internet radio companies, most prominently Pandora, will be paying more for the music they stream if they rely on the compulsory license rate.
Pandora, iHeartMedia and others take advantage of a compulsory license system that makes it legal for them to stream music to listeners provided they pay a royalty determined by the Copyright Royalty Board. That board, which is a group of three judges, sets those rates every five years and the new rates are a marked increase, at least for most listeners.
The new rate for free listeners, which make up the majority of listeners, is 17 cents per 100 plays, up from 14 cents. For paying subscribers the new rate is 22 cents per 100 plays, which is down slightly from 23 cents. Despite the overall increase, Pandora is considering the new royalties to be a victory, having feared a much higher bump. Likewise, SoundExchange, which collects the royalties for musicians, said that the new rates “do not reflect a market price for music and will erode the value of music.”
Next up today, Eric Goldman at Forbes reports that Google has emerged victorious in a copyright lawsuit over its Waze navigation service, one that accused it of infringing a database of points of interest.
The lawsuit was filed by PhantomALERT, a company that compiles a database of points of interest to market to GPS providers. However, the company noticed that its data was being used by Waze, highlighted by fake places PhantomALERT put in its database that appeared in the Waze app.
However, the court ruled that PhantomALERT’s points of interest were factual information and did not qualify for copyright protection. In short, copyright protects works of creative expression and not enough creativity went into compiling and displaying the points of interest, prompting the case’s dismissal. The judge has given PhantomALERT the chance to refile the case to better address this issue.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that one of the heads of the German BitTorrent site Kinox.to has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for his role in the site.
Kinox.to is the largest torrent site in the country and one of the 50 most popular sites in Germany. However, least year police carried out raids against the site seeking to arrest the operators. Two of the operators have not been captured but a third, Arvit O, who goes by the name “Pedro” was arrested.
In addition to serving forty months in prison, Pedro must also pay 20,420 Euros ($22,000) in profits he made. However, with the other two admins not in custody, the site is still operating.
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.