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First off today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that musician Mandy Jiroux has filed a counter lawsuit against the band Blind Melon, saying that her song Insane was properly licensed and that the band’s lawsuit is frivolous.
The case began in August when members of the band sued Jiroux for copyright infringement. They claimed That Jiroux’s song Insane was based on their hit 1990s song No Rain. Jiroux does not deny the origin of the song but says that she, through her manager, obtained permission to create the new song.
Blind Melon, however, says that they gave no such permission and that their representative believed Jiroux was creating a cover, which didn’t require permission. Nonetheless, Jiroux is countersuing Blind Melon, alleging that the band is going back on its permission grant and harming her ability to exploit her song.
Next up today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that the U.S. government has responded to a motion to dismiss in the KickassTorrents case, comparing the site to a piracy flea market and saying that it shouldn’t be able to shirk legal responsibility just because the Torrent files themselves are not infringing.
In June, Artem Vaulin, a Ukrainian, was arrested in Poland for criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was accused of operating the website KickassTorrents, at the time one of the largest pirate websites.
However, in a motion to dismiss filed in Illinois, Vaulin made the claim that the Torrent files offered on the site do not contain any copyrighted material and, as such, he should not be held liable. The U.S. government has responded alleging that Vaulin is “downplaying” the significance of his site and notes several features and tools that the site had specifically to promote and encourage copyright infringement. The government claims these features make Vaulin criminally liable for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.
Finally today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that groups that represent European songwriters have conducted a study that found a public performance exemption in the United States is costing songwriters more than $150 million per year.
In 1998 Congress passed the Fairness in Music Licensing Act, which exempted many bars and restaurants less than 3,750 square feet from paying public performance royalties for music played. This law immediately sparked a dipute with the World Trade Organization, with the European Commission claiming that the law was a violation of treaties the U.S. was a signatory to.
The WTO sided with the European Commission and the U.S. paid into a fund to benefit songwriters. However, the country has not done so since 2004 and the law remains unchanged in the U.S. According to the study, that law is costing U.S.-based rightsholders $109 million per year and European ones $44 million per year
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.