3 Count: Rate Hike

Is 44% too much?

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1: Spotify, Amazon to Argue Against Songwriter Rate Hike in Court of Appeals

First off today, Jem Aswad at Variety reports that Spotify, Amazon, Google and Pandora went before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit yesterday in a bid to overturn a decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that would see a significant pay rate for songwriters.

In January 2018 the CRB sided with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International and agreed to raise the rates songwriters get paid for interactive streaming by 44%. However, most of the major streaming services decided to appeal that decision, arguing that the rate increase was too high.

That case made it before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday where the streaming platform argued for lower rates. A ruling is expected shortly. Noticeably absent from the appeal is Apple Music, the second-largest streaming service, which has said it is fine with and willing to pay the increased royalties.

2: Dior is Being Sued for Allegedly Jacking Instagram Photos for its Lookbooks

Next up today, The Fashion Law reports that the fashion brand Christian Dior is facing a lawsuit filed by Swedishandstylish LLC, the company behind the popular @Swedishandstylish Instagram account.

The Swedishandstylish Instagram channel is a fashion-oriented channel that features products of multiple luxury brands, including Christian Dior. However, they allege that Dior took at least two photos from the channel and used them in their own marketing material, all without permission.

The plaintiffs are asking for monetary damages as well as an injunction barring Dior from using the images in the future. Dior has not responded to the lawsuit in court and did not comment on the case.

3: ASCAP sues Tequilas Night Club for Not Paying Music License Fee

Finally today, Laura Gutschke at the Abilene Reporter-News reports that Tequilas Night Club, based in Abilene, Texas, has been sued by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for allegedly playing music that it did not have a license for.

ASCAP is a performing rights organization that represents composers and music publishers by licensing their music for public performance in bars, restaurants and other businesses. The lawsuit against Tequilas is part of a larger litigation campaign that sees it filing lawsuits against some 15 businesses across the country.

However, Tequilas said that it repeatedly attempted to obtain a license for its business and correct its past mistakes but could never get a response from the organization. ASCAP did not respond to Tequilas’ claims.

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