3 Count: Settlers of Class Action

3 Count: Settlers of Class Action Image

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1: Rightscorp Settles Class Action Over its Phone Calls to Suspected Pirates

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that Rightscorp has settled a class action lawsuit over robocalls made as part of its copyright enforcement strategy, putting to end a potentially costly lawsuit.

Rightscorp is a copyright enforcement company that works with major copyright holders to track file sharing and then subpoena ISPs to obtain the contact information of suspected pirate. It then uses that information to try and compel the suspected pirates to settle cases for small amounts. However, as part of the company’s tactics, it used automated calls and text messages, which are a violation of the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act unless they are authorized by the recipient.

If the case had gone to trial, Rightscorp could have been forced to pay between $500 and $1500 to each member of the 2,000 person class. Instead, Rightscorp has agreed to stop the practice and is setting aside $450,000 to pay each member of the class $100 and pay the legal fees. The settlement comes on the heels of a legal victory for Rightscorp as their client BMG Music won a case against ISP Cox Communications over its failure to terminate repeat infringers.

2: TRS Apologizes to SPH for Infringing Copyright of 244 of its News Articles

Next up today, The Straits Times reports that Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has reached a settlement with the owners of the now-defunct site The Real Singapore (TRS) over what SPH claimed hundreds of articles that were reproduced on the TRS site without permission or attribution.

The settlement, which is confidential, does include a payment to SPH and an apology printed in today’s edition of The Straits Times, which SPH owns (disclosure notice for the source). The settlement brings a conclusion to a multi-year lawsuit that saw SPH claim TRS had ripped off some 244 articles on their site.

TRS had already shuttered its doors and has said that it will not commit any similar copyright infringement in the future.

3: Universal Music Sets Licensing Deal With SoundCloud

Finally today, Hannah Karp at The Wall Street Journal reports that Universal Music Group has signed a deal with SoundCLoud, an audio-sharing site, making it the second of major record labels to reach such an agreement.

The deal allows Universal to control what music is available on SoundCloud including setting the lengths of snippets that can be shared with friends. Universal also gains access to promotional tools and analytics provided by SoundCloud.

Warner Music reached a similar deal with SoundCloud last year, at which time Universal expressed doubt over the site’s business model. However, with the Universal deal and a separate earlier one with Merlin, the agency that represents independent labels, Sony is the lone holdout. Those two have been in negotiations for some time with no luck in reaching a deal.

Suggestions

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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