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First off today, Variety reports that the United States House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously (32-0) to approve the Music Modernization Act and send it to the full house for a vote.
The act combines three separate Senate bills that represent a major overhaul of music licensing including establishing a new royalty collection society for performers when their work is used on digital services, ensure that pre-1972 sound recordings are paid the same royalties as later ones and switch to market-based rates for composers and publishers.
The move appears to indicate that the legislation is on a fast track as the combined Senate version is expected to be introduced next month. The bill enjoys broad support among both creators and tech companies, who are happy about the safe harbor protections the law provides.
Next up today, Anniee Ellingson at L.A. Biz Journal reports that Disney’s battle with Redbox is taking another turn as Redbox has amended its lawsuit and added both a new defendant and new allegations.
Disney sued Redbox in December alleging that Redbox was committing copyright infringement for reselling digital download codes to their movies. Redbox would do this by purchasing DVD combo packs, renting the DVDs at its kiosks and selling the download codes online. Disney argued that this is a violation of both their copyright and their terms of service. Redbox countersued claiming that Disney was attempting to stifle competition.
Disney’s attempt to get an injunction against Redbox failed when the judge ruled that the terms written on the packaging did not constitute a contract. However, Disney has refiled its claim and request for injunction with arguments around copyright infringement. Redbox has followed suit and refiled its countersuit, claiming that Disney-employed Anderson Merchandisers, a company that helps place products inside stores, has worked to limit Redbox from legally purchasing Disney films and has even harassed Redbox employees. Anderson Merchandisers has also been added as a defendant to Redbox’s claims.
Finally today, Christine Hauser at The New York Times reports that a California woman, identified only as Jane Doe, has won a $6.4 million judgment from her former boyfriend, David K. Elam II, over his posting of non-consensual pornography of her.
Doe filed the lawsuit in 2014 alleging that Elam was posting images she had taken of herself for private viewing on the public internet. Represented by the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project. Since Doe had taken the images herself, she held the copyright int he work and registered them with the U.S. Copyright Office to file her lawsuit.
The judge awarded Doe $450,000 for copyright infringement, $3 million for severe emotional distress and $3 million in other damages. The lawyers for Elam withdrew in 2015 leaving him without representation. The $6.4 million judgment represents one of the largest judgments in a non-consensual pornography case.
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.