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First off today, Diana Lodderhose at Variety reports that the British government has introduced its Digital Economy Bill, which could see the country take on retransmission fees similar to those in the United Satates if it becomes law.
Currently in the country, pay-TV operators such as Sky and Virgin Media have been able to retransmit the BBC, ITV and other over-the-air channels for free. This is in contrast to the United States, where networks such as NBC and CBS negotiate retransmission deals with cable and satellite providers before they can rebroadcast their signals.
In the UK, pay TV providers are, understandably, displeased with the bill while broadcasters, equally understandably, are supporting it. The bill will now begin its journey through Parliament, including debates in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Royal assent, which would bring the bill into law, may be possible in early as 2017.
Next up today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Google, not satisfied with just winning their recent trial against Oracle, is asking the court the grant them sanctions as attorneys representing Oracle disclosed a private relationship Google had with Apple by speaking about it in an open court.
Oracle sued Google alleging that Google violated their copyrights and patents when they created their Android mobile operating system. Oracle claimed that an implementation of Java in Android used code ripped from their version of the language. However, while a first trial ended in a hung jury, a second trial found that Google had not committed any copyright infringement and their use of code was a fair use.
With the trial behind them, Google is seeking sanctions claiming that Oracle’s attorneys, in open court, revealed private information about Google’s deal with Apple. Specifically, they revealed the revenue share Apple receives for keeping Google Search the default in its iOS platform. Though the judge eventually ordered the information redacted from the record, that didn’t happen until after it was widely reported on. There is no word on the amount in sanctions Google is seeking.
Finally today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Burbank Show Choirs, the real-life show choir that inspired the TV show Glee, has been sued by Tresona Multimedia for, allegedly, not paying royalties on the music it uses.
According to Tresona, it is the only authorized issuer of licenses from the major music publishing companies but says that Burbank Show Choirs is not among its customers. Despite that, the choir has performed some 89 hits from various popular artists and films.
Tresona further alleges that the group’s fame has made it exceedingly lucrative with revenues and expenses in the “mid-six figures” each year. Despite this, the group has failed to pay a license for the music it performs at its shows. Those licenses would include a custom arrangement license, grand right licenses and a mechanical licenses for each song it uses. If the choir used an audiovisual display as part of the performance, they would also need a synchronization license. The lawsuit alleges that one music arranger quit when he learned of the choir’s infringement but that they found a new one.
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.