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First off today, Julia Fioretti at Reuters reports that the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has unveiled it’s new copyright proposals and in addition to previously-discussed requirements for aggregators to obtain licenses from news sites, will also require video hosting platforms, such as YouTube, to pay or otherwise strike agreements with record labels.
The move comes amid an ongoing battle between musicians, labels and YouTube. YouTube says that it’s Content ID system works to find matches of unauthorized music uploads and then either remove them or monetize them. Most labels, according to YouTube, opt to monetize. However, record labels claim that YouTube pays far less than competing platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, despite the fact it has a much larger audience.
Under the new proposal in the EU, video sites would have to enter into some kind of agreement, whether it’s a licensing or revenue sharing agreement. Record labels hope that, by making such an agreement a requirement, they can close the “value gap” between YouTube and other services. Google, the owners of YouTube, had no comment about the proposal.
Next up today, Eleanor Ainge Roy at The Guardian reports that Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing was live streamed as planned, but the stream was plagued by technical issues and low viewership, likely due in part to what was described as “tedious” legal arguments.
Dotcom and his co-defendants were arrested in January 2012 for operating the file sharing site Megaupload. He is currently facing extradition from New Zealand, where he resides, to the United States on charges of racketeering, criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. Dotcom denies the charges and has been fighting extradition. However, a lower court has already approved the extradition with the appeals court taking it up now.
However, interest in the live stream was fairly light. Though 800 viewers were on the stream at one point, the number dwindled to 400 as it dragged on. Still, some law professors encouraged their students to watch the proceedings, if nothing else than to dispel the image of glamor that sometimes surrounds the legal field.
3: Publisher Takes Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Author to Court for Appropriating 120-Year-Old Work
Finally today, David Ferguson at Raw Story reports that publisher Hachette has filed a lawsuit against author Seth Grahame-Smith, best known for his works Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
According to the lawsuit, Grahame-Smith has failed to deliver on the terms of a contract he signed with them. The $4 million deal required him to delivery two books and, while the first was delivered successfully, the second has not.
Hachette claims that they not only greatly extended the deadline on the second book but, when Grahame-Smith did submit something, it followed too closely to a public domain work and didn’t meet the length requirements they set forth in the deal. As a result, they are seeking $500,000 (half the advance they paid) plus interest for alleged breach of contract.
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.