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First off today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that Rhapsody now joins the list of music streaming services sued over mechanical royalties as David Lowery, who also filed a similar lawsuit against Spotify.
Lowery, best known for playing Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, alleges that Rhapsody has failed to comply with the terms of mechanical royalties. While mechanical royalties, which cover the sale of recorded versions of musical compositions, are a compulsory license, the law requires that users provide notice and make payments, both of which Lowery says Rhapsody has failed to do.
Rhapsody had been previously sued by publisher Yesh Music, which is currently suing Google for Google Play and Tidal. That case was settled. The new lawsuit against Rhapsody, unlike the previous, is seeking class action status so it can bring in other songwriters and composers that may also be impacted.
Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that videojournalist and photographer Pal Adao is suing ABC News alleging that it aired a clip he recorded of former Congressman and New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner without obtaining a license.
The video, which was recording during Weiner’s 2013 campaign to become New York mayor, featured Adao asking Weiner about whether his press secretary was still with his campaign. This followed a controversy where the press secretary went on an expletive-filled tirade over an intern working for Weiner. In the video, Weiner simply said “You bet.”
According to Adao, he licensed the video to the New York Post, which featured it in an online article. However, Adao claims that, on or about July 31, 2013, ABC News aired the clip without obtaining a license. That’s prompted Adao to sue for statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringement.
Finally today, Lance Whitney at CNet reports that Google has updated its transparency report and indicated that it now receives more than 76 million copyright removal requests per month.
The requests are filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which requires search providers, such as Google to remove links to infringing material if they are properly notified. In recent years, Google has expanded us of a “backend” system, which makes it easier for larger rightsholders to send longer lists of DMCA notices.
The number represents more than double the removal requests sent during the same time last year, more than 34 million and more than 15 times the amount it received in 2013.