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First off today, Gregg Keizer at Computerworld reports that Microsoft has filed a motion in a Seattle federal court to ask permission to subpoena Comcast for information on a suspected pirate who has allegedly activated thousands of copies of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2013 illegally.
According to Microsoft, the owner of a single IP address on Comcast’s network is using activation keys obtained from the Microsoft supply chain to illegally activate pirated Microsoft products. This includes using keys more times than authorized, outside of the geographic boundaries for the key or keys intended for someone else.
Product activation is a key tool in Microsoft’s anti-piracy software, locking the product to a 25-character code that must be verified online. Microsoft says that, despite reasonable attempts, it’s been unable to determine who is committing the infringement and it needs Comcast’s help in finding out.
Next up today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) proposed settlement with Spotify will include some $5 million in damages on top of repayment of between $16-$25 million Spotify allegedly owes publishers.
The NMPA sued Spotify over allegedly unpaid mechanical royalties, the royalties that are paid to songwriters when their music is sold or streamed on demand. Spotify claimed that it was inadequate data that led to the lack of payment and they had set aside the royalties. However, many publishers and songwriters claimed that it was Spotify’s responsibility to fix such issues.
The current proposed settlement, which is widely reported but not confirmed, would add $5 million in damages on top of the back royalties owed. Spotify would also start a collaborative effort with publishers to fix the metadata issues and ensure proper royalty payments in the future. If this settlement is proposed and accepted, songwriters and publishers will have to choose either to opt out or accept the settlement.
Finally today, Jack Marshall at the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has teamed up with the Automattic, the owners of WordPress.com, to create a WordPress plugin that will enable WordPress users to publish Facebook Instant Articles.
Facebook recently launched its Instant Articles feature as a way for publishers to feature their content directly on Facebook’s site rather than simply posting links. The feature was originally limited to a small collection of major publishers but Facebook recently announced that, on April 12th, it will be opening up the platform to all publishers, regardless of size.
However, implementing Instant Articles on site, previously, required technical expertise likely out of reach to most bloggers. As such, Facebook is working with Automattic to produce a simple plugin that, according to Facebook, should require only 30 seconds to install and set up.
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.