First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has heard arguments from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Google and Viacom over 100 percent licensing of song compositions.
Currently, ASCAP and BMI, the two largest performing rights organizations, are under consent decrees from the DOJ. Those decrees place stern regulations on how they can do business and negotiate licenses. However, recently the DOJ argued that both ASCAP and BMI should be forced to provide 100 percent licensing, meaning that if a song has authors represented by multiple PROs, each should be forced to license the entire song.
Though the DOJ, as well as Google and Viacom, claim that this would greatly simplify music licensing. However, the PROs claim that this is a violation of the rights of the composers to choose who handles their licensing. The lower court sided with BMI, prompting the DOJ to appeal. Google and Viacom are now supporting the DOJ in its arguments via amicus briefs.
Next up today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Food Network has been sued by Elizabeth LaBau over a video the network posted showing how to make edible snow globes.
Labau runes the website SugarHero.com, which posted her video on the topic during the 2014 holiday season. She claims that the recipe wen’t “viral” and that Food Network later copied her video shot for shot on their page a mere three weeks later.
To be clear, copyright law does not protect a recipe, either the ingredients or the basic steps. However, LaBau is claiming copyright infringement of the video she created to show off the recipe.
Finally today, Ashlee Kieler at the Consumerist reports that photographer Danny Clinch has filed a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 claiming that they used his photos of rapper Tupac Shakur on shirts without his permission.
The photographs in quesiton were featured on the cover of Rolling Sone magazine in 1993 and again in 1996. Clinch registered the copyright in the photos in 2002, and he claims that he has total control over those images.
However, he claims two of the other defendants entered into a licensing agreement with each other with one authorizing the other to produce the shirts that went on to be sold at the retailers. Clinch is seeking $600,000 in damages and the destruction of any remaining inventory of the shirts.
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.