3 Count: Music Modernization

Getting modern at last...

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1: BMI and ASCAP persuade broadcasters to back Music Modernization Act

First off today, Chris Cooke at Complete Music Update reports that the Music Modernization Act (MMA) has been introduced to both the Senate and the House, but also now enjoys the support of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), making it a bill that is supported by both rightsholders and broadcasters.

The MMA seeks to modernize the way mechanical royalties are collected. Such royalties are collected on behalf of the songwriter whenever a copy of a song is made. Though such royalties are governed under a statutory license, often times streaming services can not determine who to pay the royalties to, setting up situations where these royalties often go unpaid and open up the services to legal liability.

The MMA would create a new collection society that would be responsible for receiving mechanical royalties when the songwriters or publisher is unknown and dispersing them. While this will likely result in an increase in royalties owed and paid, it would eliminate a large amount of legal liability, explaining why this bill is now being supported by NAB as well as the major music collecting societies

2: Copyright Board Ruffles AA’s Feathers by Rejecting Logo Copyright Again

Next up today, Bart Jansen at USA Today reports that U.S. Copyright Office’s Review Board has ruled against American Airlines in their bid to secure a copyright registration for their new logo.

America Airlines adopted the logo in 2013 and immediately registered a trademark for it. However, they also sought a copyright registration on the design to add additional protection to the work. However, the U.S. Copyright Office rejected their application, saying that the logo does not meet the requisite level of creativity to qualify for a copyright registration. American Airlines appealed that decision and has again been rejected.

According to the USCO, the logo “Does not contain a sufficient amount of original and creative artistic or graphic authorship to support a copyright registration.” The USCO further noted that the logo is a combination of three non-protectable elements that do not qualify for protection when combined. American Airlines has said they are examining their options in the matter.

3: Udemy Targets ‘Pirate’ Site Giving Away its Paid Courses For Free

Finally today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the online learning platform Udemy has filed a subpoena seeking information on the site FreeTutorials.us, which Udemy says is illegally distributing their paid tutorials and classes.

Udemy’s subpoena targets CloudFlare, the content delivery network that FreeTutorials uses, was filed as a Digital Millennium Copyright Act subpoena seeking all available information on the site. CloudFlare has notified FreeTutorials that it has complied with the request.

However, in a statement, FreeTutorials has said that nothing of value was likely learned through that subpoena and that they will likely be leaving CloudFlare in the near future to partner with a different content delivery network.


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.

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