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First off today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that Rep. Bob Goodlatte is expected to introduce the Music Modernization Act into the House of Representatives today.
The act is a combination of three previous acts including the (confusingly named) Music Modernization Act, the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act and the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, all of which have been introduced in the Senate. The new Music Modernization Act would, among other things, create a new organization to collect mechanical royalties from streaming services, require digital services to pay for pre-1972 sound recordings and codify the process through with producers and engineers are paid royalties on recordings.
The act is expected to be marked up by the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow and enjoys broad support from both parties in Congress as well as from both rightsholders and tech companies (who are happy about safe harbors that the law provides for). Despite that support, some companies, including SiriusXM, have expressed concerns about the bill saying that it is “anti-competitive” and harmful to consumers.
Next up today, Brian Ashcraft reports that, in Japan, three video game bars have been shuttered over copyright concerns.
The bars, 1Up, Catena and Clan allowed their customers to access a library of video games for free so long as they paid for their drinks. However, the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS) claimed that, since the bars did not get permission from the copyright holders, that they were infringing their work.
The owner of the three bars has decided to shutter them when their lease ends on July 29. However, many other similar bars are in operation across the country and have been an issue for the ACCS since at least 2011, when it called on them to follow copyright law.
3: Disney Tries Again To Block Redbox’s Sale Of Download Codes As It Prepares For Home Video Release of ‘Black Panther’
Finally today, Dawn Chmielewski at Deadline Hollywood reports that Disney is taking another shot at preventing Redbox from reselling its digital download codes, a move likely aimed at heading off resale of codes for Black Panther, due to be released on home video in May.
Redbox, best known for its automated DVD rental kiosks, has started a secondary business where it takes the digital download codes from the combo DVDs it buys and resells them online. Disney has an ongoing lawsuit over this issue but failed to secure an injunction with a judge deciding it wasn’t appropriate. According to Redbox, the right of first sale means that they are free to resell any legitimately-acquired copyrighted work, including the access codes.
Disney is now trying again to get that injunction by filing an amended complaint. In the amended complaint, Disney is arguing that a the code itself is not a copyright-protected work but that the work isn’t created until the user downloads the movie. As such, Disney argues that Redbox’s resale of the codes is a violation of the terms of service and an injunction is necessary. A hearing is set for June 4.
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.