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First off today, Duncan Robinson and Madhumita Murgia at the Financial Times reports that the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, has submitted copyright reform legislation in the bloc’s Parliament and it comes with potential new restrictions on Google, Facebook and others that host content from third parties.
Under the new rules, copyright holders would be able require sites that package and promote content online would have to either obtain a license from copyright holders or use technology to filter out potentially infringing works. This could have an impact on news aggregators, such as Google News, but also on video hosts such as YouTube and Facebook.
YouTube currently does use such technology but there are fears that smaller and newer sites might not have the resources needed to comply. There are also fears that it could force Google News to pay publishers for the right to display snippets of their work. When Spain attempted this on the national level, Google shuttered Google News in the country.
Next up today, John Eggerton at Multichannel News reports that various organizations including, SAG-AFTRA, RIAA, DBA, along with the Motion Picture Association have voiced concerns about an FTC proposal that would require cable and satellite networks to provide access to app developers and manufacturers to create third-party set-top boxes for their networks.
The groups outright reject the proposal saying that, while they support competition in the set-top box market, that the proposal fails to address copyright and other concerns from creators and that it creates a compulsory licensing scheme that requires video content creators to license their work across multiple platforms.
App developers have also voiced similar concerns and ISPs have also said that the proposal needs revisions before it can be made law. The proposal is scheduled for a Federal Communications Commission vote on September 29th.
Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the lawsuit against VidAngel is stepping into some strange territory as the video streaming service attempts to defend itself against allegations of of operating an illegal video on demand service.
VidAngel is a streaming film service that, through a proprietary player, attempts to remove adult or otherwise unwanted content from Hollywood films. However, it works by buying DVDs and then having users pay $20 to “buy” them for streaming, only to receive $19 back when they “return” it. Three studios have sued VidAngel claiming a variety of copyright infringement, including circumventing digital rights management, operating an unauthorized streaming service and creating derivative works.
However, VidAngel, in a response, has claimed that Disney, because it has not taken control of a Disney pornography site, it thinks that pornography is “wholesome.” The response goes on to say that the studios are being “disingenuous” with the lawsuit because of a private agreement the studios had to limit Google’s ability to make deletions or alterations to Sony’s content.
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.