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1: Spotify Signs Long-Term Deal With Universal to Give Artists ‘Flexible’ Releases, Opens Door on Windowing
First off today, Billboard is reporting that Universal Music Group has reached a multiple year with Spotify that opens the door to windowing, meaning that new music may be available on Premium Spotify accounts two weeks before they appear on free ones.
The new deal, which concludes lengthy negotiations between the two sides, brings an end to Spotify’s push to give free and premium users access to the same catalog of music. Record labels and musicians had long complained that royalties on the free accounts, which are ad-supported, were far too low and sought ways to limit free account’s access to music.
The new arrangement aims to give users a major reason to upgrade to a premium account on Spotify though many worry it could drive users to competitors, such as Apple Music, Google Music and Amazon, or to piracy.
Next up today, Reuters is reporting that Kim Dotcom has announced plans to launch a Bitcoin payment system that he claims will allow creators to sell file downloads and streams.
The new effort, entitled “Bitcontent” would allow users to upload a piece of content and then set a price for it. They would then be paid in Bitcoin, a virtual currency, that they would then have to convert into their local currency.
Dotcom is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. from his home in New Zealand. He was arrested in January 2012 for his role in operating the download site Megaupload, which, at the time, was the largest file sharing sites on the internet.
Finally today, Samantha Sasso at Refinery29 reports that Jeffree Star and Manny Gutierrez, two well-known makeup entrepreneurs, are being sued ahead of their much-anticipated collaboration.
The pair are being sued by Black Moon cosmetics for copyright and trademark infringement. According to the lawsuit Star and Gutierrez are using a crescent moon logo for their collaboration that bears too much resemblance to their own. They claim to be the first company to use such a mark, even though they acknowledge that Gutierrez has used a similar mark on his previous efforts, thus why they are suing over that as well.
Black Moon Cosmetics is seeking both damages and an injunction against the sale. The collaboration line is currently planned to launch on April 8th.
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.