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First off today, Jm Rosica at Saint Peters Blog reports that members of The Turtles have filed their first brief with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in their Florida case against Sirius XM.
The appeal, filed by musicians Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, asks the court to overturn a lower court ruling in their multi-state battle against the satellite radio service. They claim that, since pre-1972 sound recordings are not protected under federal copyright but, instead state common law, that Sirius XM does not have the legal right to play their music without a license and that they have been denied royalties for the use of their music on the service.
The band filed similar lawsuits in California and New York, where they found greater success. However, the court ruled against them in Florida prompting them to file the appeal with the 11th Circuit. In their appeal, they are claiming that, under Florida common law, there is no statute that exempts broadcasters from civil liability from public performances without permission and the copyright protection is still valid. Sirius XM is expected to file a response soon.
Next up today, Patrick Evans at the BBC reports that a tweet by Donald Trump Jr. featured a photo of Skittles that was both taken by a former refugee and used without the permission of the original photographer.
The tweet compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles and asked, if you knew three were poisoned, would you take a handful? It featured a photo of a bowl of Skittles taken by photographer David Kittos, who posted the image on his Flickr account more than six years ago.
The photograph is placed under an “all rights reserved” license and has a strong warning against any use without permission. However, Kittos claims that no one contacted him about the use of the image. Also, Kittos himself says he was a refugee from Cyprus during the Turkish occupation in the 1970s. Despite the possible infringement, Kittos has not said if he will take action over the use of his photo.
Finally today, Napier Lopez at The Next Web reports that YouTube is launching a new program entitled YouTube Heroes that aims to reward community moderators that do things such as flagging content for removal, adding captions and otherwise helping the community.
In the program, users who help moderate the community earn points that can result in moving up to higher levels. At level 2, users can join exclusive workshops and participate in video chat with other heroes. At level 3, users can mass flag videos and delete user comments. Level 4 grants sneak peeks at new products and level 5, the highest level, lets you attend the Heroes Summit event and try new features before they’re available to the public.
The move is an attempt to buffer YouTube’s paid moderation team. However, the effort has not gone over particularly well with YouTubers. The video announcing the new program has some 2,000 likes compared to nearly 150,000 dislikes as of this writing.
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.