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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that CBS is making the argument that remastered versions of classic songs qualify for copyright protection, meaning that pre-1972 recordings, after remastering, may be protected under federal copyright law.
CBS is being sued by ABS entertainment, the company that owns the rights to various recordings by Al Green. They are suing in state court since pre-1972 sound recordings are covered under state common law rather than federal copyright law. However, with judges in New York and California ruling that their state’s laws grant them public performance rights, ABS seemed to have a decent case.
But CBS is arguing that the recordings it played were not pre-1972 recordings but, instead, were remasters of those recordings created more recently. As a result, they believe that the rules of federal copyright law applies, which includes a more limited public performance right for digital streaming. ABS argues, however, that remastering a work does not involve enough creativity to qualify for creativity and that remastering is more of a reformatting of the song for new media.
Next up today, Glenn Peoples at Billboard reports that musician David Lowery has filed a motion against Spotify demanding that the music streaming service turn over the details of a class action settlement in another lawsuit and correct any “misleading statements” that it may have made when dealing with the punitive class in it.
Lowery filed the lawsuit claiming that Spotify was not fulfilling its obligations when it came to paying songwriters’ mechanical royalties, which are royalties owed when a song is sold or streamed on demand. However, the National Music Publishers Association, a trade group that represents music publishers and songwriters, filed a separate lawsuit against Spotify that was quickly settled.
However, Lowery is claiming that Spotify has repeatedly refused to turn over the details of that settlement and may have made misrepresentations to the punitive class in it. As such, he’s calling on the court to compel Spotify to turn over the details, correct any erroneous statements and prevent any future ones.
Finally today, Lara Kolodny at TechCrunch reports that the celebrity gossip site The Shade Room was temporarily taken down from Facebook due to copyright violations but has since been restored, but under a new name.
The page had amassed over 4 million likes but disappeared suddenly from Facebook due to repeated notices of copyright infringement being filed against it. Now relaunched under a new name, shaderoominc, the new page, as of this writing, has just under 4,000 likes.
The Shade Room claims that they were not adequately warned that their page was in danger of closure. While they had received copyright notices, they claimed that there was no indication that more serious action was on the horizon. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires hosts, like Facebook, to disable accounts of repeated infringers, which is likely why the account was disabled.
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.