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First off today, Hannah Karp at The Wall Street Journal reports that music streaming and hosting service Soundcloud has released a new version of its mobile app and, with it, comes their new music subscription service dubbed Soundcloud Go.
Soundcloud has earned a name for itself as a YouTube-like site for audio, where users can upload and stream other user’s tracks. However, after signing deals with the major record labels, the service is stepping into music streaming akin to Spotify and Apple Music, offering ad-free and on-demand streaming of millions of tracks for a monthly fee.
Soundcloud is boasting a library of 125 million tracks, which is more than 4 times the number of tracks on Spotify. However, all but about 15 million of Soundcloud’s tracks are user-uploaded and several reviews have noted difficulties accessing popular artists’ music. However, Soundcloud has said it is constantly adding new tracks to the service, which costs $9.99 per month or $12.99 if you pay for it through your iOS device instead of buying it on the web.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that a court in California has ordered three file sharing websites to pay $150,000 each for their role in the 2014 leak of The Expendables 3.
In the summer of 2014, a high quality version of the film leaked onto torrent sites weeks ahead of its release in theaters. LionsGate, the company behind the film, began to take legal action against many of the sites that offered it for download. The three sites at issue in this case, LimeTorrents, Dotsemper and Swankshare, the last two of which are now defunct, were not responsible for the leak but refused to remove it when pressured by LionsGate.
Since most of the defendants did not appear in court, LionsGate has asked the judge to file a default judgment against them and the judge has done so, hitting each of the three with the largest statutory damages possible under the law, $150,000, and issued permanent injunctions against sharing the film. However, it is unlikely LionsGate will receive any funds from the judgment as the operators are mostly out of the United States and have gone to great lengths to hide their identities.
Finally today, Brent Lang at Variety reports that a new study from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University claims that nearly 30% of all copyright takedown requests have issues that raise questions about their validity.
The researchers sampled some 100 million notices sent by large media companies and found that nearly 10% of all takedown notices failed to identify the allegedly infringing material, approximately 8% raised fair use issues and another 10% either failed to identify the infringed work or the work being removed didn’t match the alleged infringed work.
Of the notices tracked some 41% came from the record industry followed by another 28% from the adult entertainment industry. Movie and television studios made up another 17% and software/video game companies made up 13%.