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First off today, Shawn Donnan at the Financial Times reports that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is moving forward despite the United States withdrawing from it. However, with the U.S. gone, several big changes have already been made to the proposed agreement.
The TPP was a work in progress trade agreement between 12 of the biggest nations around the Pacific ocean. The nations involved included China, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and The United States. The treaty addressed a wide variety of topics including tariffs and intellectual property issues. However, when the United States pulled out of the treaty following the election of President Trump, the future of the treaty was in doubt.
However, the remaining 11 countries have decided to move forward, holding a new round of negotiations. Renaming treaty the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the negotiators have left most of the trade elements untouched but removed copyright harmonizations efforts that were demanded by the United States. This included a proposed copyright term extension from 50 to 70 years after the artist’s death. All in all, 11 of the 20 proposed amendments dealing with intellectual property were removed.
Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the two entities that currently control the estate of Prince are claiming that Tidal fabricated the equity deal that brought Prince’s music to the streaming service, the first such service that it appeared on.
In 2015 Tidal shocked the world by announcing it had reached a deal with Prince to stream his music, making them the exclusive streaming provider. However, almost immediately cracks began to show in that deal and shortly after Prince’s death in April 2016 his estate filed a lawsuit saying that the deal that brought Prince’s music to Tidal was invalid and that Tidal had committed copyright infringement.
According to the estate, Prince did sign a deal with Tidal for his most recent studio album Hit n Run but says that there was no indication that the rest of Prince’s catalogue was part of the agreement. Now the estate claims to have evidence that the deal was “fabricated and back-dated to appear authentic”, pointing to conversations that allegedly took place after the deal was to have supposedly taken effect.
Finally today, the BBC reports that Queen guitarist Brian May had his Instagram account disabled for a copyright violation and has lashed out at the photographer who made the claim.
In a posting on his Instagram account he displayed an image of the copyright notice he received with the caption “Well this is what I woke up to. How RUDE!”. The image was a photo of him taken at a concert by a photographer identified only as Barbara. May went on to say that he must have forgotten to include attribution on the photo and that it was “incredibly unfriendly” of the photographer to not contact him first about the mistake. He concluded by threatening to have the photographer thrown out of any future concerts.
Of course, what May is missing is that the photographer holds the copyright to the image and that attribution would not prevent its unlicensed use from being a copyright infringement. In short, the photographer was well within her rights.
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.