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First off today, Matthew Leimkuehler at Forbes reports that President Trump has signed the Music Modernization Act into law, effectively overhauling music licensing.
The act, which was a combination of several acts, aims to streamline music licensing my creating an organization to handle mechanical royalties (including those paid by digital streaming services), guaranteeing royalties on pre-1972 sound recordings and creating a simplified royalty payment process for users and rightsholders alike.
The act was passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate and was signed by President Trump. The act is being celebrated both by rightsholders, who are applauding the new royalties it will help generate, and by music licensees, who get greater legal certainty and a simplified process for licensing music.
Next up today, Holly Else at Nature reports that academic publishers Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have filed a lawsuit against the academic-networking site ResearchGate for alleged copyright infringement.
According to the lawsuit, the site enables and even encourages widespread piracy of research publication articles. The lawsuit cites a recent study that found some 40% of the articles available on the service infringed copyright in one way or another.
The lawsuit follows a similar one filed in ResearchGate’s native Germany that prompted the site to disable access to some 1.7 million articles. That case is still ongoing.
Finally today, Reuters reports that the Chinese chat app Bullet Messenger has been removed from the Apple App Store following a copyright complaint.
Though the service is seen as a competitor to China’s WeChat, the copyright takedown, according to a post by Bullet Messenger, appears to be related to images used in the app. The company has said it’s working with its partner to resolve the copyright issues and get the app restored.
In the meantime, the app remains available in the Android store, including an app store owned by WeChat’s holding company, Tencent.