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First off today, Tim Ingham at Music Business Worldwide reports that music streaming service Spotify has been operating without a long-term contract from any of the three major record labels for some time and that Spotify is pushing to pay less for the music it streams.
According to reports, Universal Music Group’s contract expired over a year ago, Warner Music had their deal expire in early 2016 and Sony’s deal ran out a few months ago. However, all three have continued to license their music to Spotify on rolling month-to-month contracts while both sides negotiate.
At the core of the issue is the percentage of revenue Spotify pays to the labels. Currently, it pays 55% to the labels (publishers are paid separately). The labels are seeking to raise that to 58%, an amount that matches Apple Music but Spotify is looking to push it lower. Most consider it unlikely that the major record labels will pull their catalogs but the labels have expressed frustration that Spotify has launched new promotions, such as a new family plan, without having a long-term deal in place.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that adult entertainment company ALS Scan has filed a lawsuit against CloudFlare for vicarious and contributory copyright infringement claiming that the company fails to take adequate action to stop piracy.
CloudFlare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that sits between sites and the Internet providing caching and protection against bots. However, CloudFlare has come under fire as being a service that works with The Pirate Bay and many other copyright-infringing sites. According to the lawsuit, CloudFlare fails to terminate the accounts of those who receive repeated takedown notices and, as such, shares responsibility for the infringement.
The lawsuit also targets an ad network, Juicy Ads, and various John Doe defendants. The lawsuit is seeking actual damages of no less than $10 million, attorneys’ fees and an injunction against further infringement.
Finally today, Eileen Yu at ZDNet reports that Singapore has issued a consultation paper with the hopes of getting public feedback on possible changes to its copyright law, with one of the focuses being tools aimed at helping users circumvent geo-blocking.
The consultation paper indicates that the government will be looking at a wide variety of issues including the permitted circumventions of technological protection and permitting the use of copyrighted works for data analysis even if the copyright holder can not be identified.
However, the element that is getting the most attention is the government’s focus on virtual private networks (VPNs). VPNs are a security tool that are used to protect connections but also are routinely used to circumvent geo-blocking efforts. VPNs are not illegal in Singapore though they are widely used there to access content from the U.S. and Europe that is not currently available legally in the country.
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.