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First off today, Ashly Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Flo & Eddie of The Turtles have reached a settlement with SiriusXM in their lawsuit over pre-1972 sound recordings.
The settlement, which comes on the eve of a trial in California, looked at whether pre-1972 sound recordings had a public performance right. Since such sound recordings are not protected under federal law, instead protected under state common law, Sirius XM and others did not pay public performance royalties for them. Flo & Eddie sued Sirius XM for royalties in several state courts, securing victories in California and New York.
As the California case was set to go to trial to determine damages, the two parties reached a settlement, bringing the long-running case to a close. However, details of the settlement are not available though upcoming conferences and court appearances may provide additional information.
Next up today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the band Duran Duran is heading to court in London to test how U.S. copyright termination, sometimes called copyright reversion, works for UK songwriters.
Under U.S. law, original creators can reclaim the copyright to their work after a period of time. Members of Duran Duran filed a notice of intent to do exactly over the band’s first three albums that and their publisher, Gloucester Place Music sued, alleging that the contract the band signed in the UK forbade the band from exploiting copyright reversion.
However, the band says that the reversion rights are inalienable and, if a UK court refuses to allow them to reclaim their U.S. rights, labels and publishers could “offshore” their contracts to avoid copyright reversion in the future. The case could have major impacts on UK musicians and songwriters that were popular in the late 70s and early 80s as they may seek to file their own termination notices.
Finally today, Michael Cieply at Deadline Hollywood reports that a judge has, for the moment, declined to issue an injunction against movie streaming service VidAngel, saying that he is undecided and needs more time to review the case.
VidAngel is a movie streaming service that allows users to “purchase” a film for $20. Then, using their software, they can stream those films and filter out content that they might see as offensive. The user can then resell the video for $19, essentially making the stream cost only $1.
VidAngel claims that they are legal under the Family Movies Act, which allows individuals to filter out content they see as inappropriate. However, several movie studios claim that VidAngel is essentially offering an illegal film streaming service and is doing so without permission or paying royalties to the movie studios.
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.