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1: Spotify Settles Class Action Lawsuits Filed By David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick With $43.4 Million Fund
First off today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that Spotify has reached a settlement with a group of songwriters who accused the streaming service of using their music without paying mechanical royalties.
The lawsuit was spearheaded by David Lowery and Melissa Ferrick, who had originally filed two separate lawsuits that were merged last year. They had sought $150 million and $200 million respectively. They said that Spotify had failed to pay mechanical royalties, royalties owed on the sale of a composition, on their music. Spotify had said that the issue was poor metadata that prevented them from paying publishers for the use and that they had always set the funds aside.
In March of last year Spotify reached a settlement with the National Music Publishers’ Association for an estimated $30 million. The new settlement creates a $43 million fund to compensate songwriters and sets up a collaboration to identify the owners of problematic songs.
Next up today, Sameer Chhabra at MobileSyrup reports that Canada’s Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that internet service providers in the country can not charge copyright holders fees to identify suspected infringers.
The case pits film studio Voltage Pictures against Canadian provider Rogers. Voltage had sought the identity of several “John Doe” suspected BitTorrent users but Rogers said they would only provide the information if Voltage agreed to pay a $100 CAD per hour fee for labor. Voltage took the matter to court.
Now the appeals court has ruled that, unless the providers can get the government to pass legislation expressly permitting it, they can not charge a fee for identifying suspected infringers. Many worry that this could lead to a new wave of copyright trolling, where rightsholders obtain the information of suspected infringers and then turn around and hit them up directly, seeking a quick settlement.
Finally today, Ernesto at Torrentfreak writes that, in Germany, TV network Sky Deutschland has won a lawsuit against TV streaming sports site Stream4u.tv and also won a victory against the unnamed hardware provider that made the site possible.
According to Sky, the provider sold hardware to the site that made it possible for it to decode Sky’s signal and broadcast it online illegally. Though the court admits that the hardware itself is not illegal, Sky and the court felt the company knew that the technology was to be used for an infringing purpose and ordered them to pay €18,000 ($20,000) in damages.
The ruling is the first of its kind in Germany and may begin a trend of technical services providers behind held liable when they provide assistance to pirate websites.
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.