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First off today, Martin Macias Jr. at Courthouse News Service reports that Sirius XM is asking the Ninth Circuit to overturn a lower court verdict that would see them pay royalties on pre-1972 sound recordings.
The case began all the way back in 2013 when members of the band The Turtles filed a lawsuit against Sirius XM saying that they had an obligation to pay royalties for the use of their sound recordings. Historically, there was no public performance right for sound recordings but federal law does not cover pre-1972 recordings, leading to the dispute.
The Turtles won in a lower court and the two sides reached a $25 million settlement over the issue. However, the settlement did not end the litigation and was, in fact, contingent on the appeal and similar cases in other districts. Now the case is before the Ninth Circuit where the two sides are arguing whether a 1982 California copyright law grants them such a right over their music.
Next up today, Rory O’Neill at the World Intellectual Property Review reports that Singapore has published a draft bill that would replace their current copyright act and introduce a general fair use exception to the country for the first time.
The fair use exemption is one of the major policy changes, it would bring a more U.S.-style fair use regime that is “more open-ended” and no longer be limited to certain organizations.
The bill would also grant creators automatic ownership of commissioned works. Currently, whoever commissions the work is presumed to be the copyright holder. However, it would also grant employers ownership over works created by their employees over the course of their work.
Finally today, Avior Abou at CTech reports that an Israeli court has ordered the online communication service Telegram to to block the sharing and distribution of copyright infringing content including TV shows, movies and songs.
The lawsuit was filed by ZIRA, an Israeli consortium that represents a variety of rightsholders within the country. They objected to the fact that Telegram, in addition to their private chat features, also hosts public channels and groups where the sharing of such content is common.
Telegram, for their part, has said that they agree to remove reported content, but ZIRA felt that their actions were inadequate. Telegram did not respond to the lawsuit and, in addition to the blocking order, the court ruled that Telegram must pay damages totaling NIS 100,000 ($30,600) and NIS 60,000 ($18,450) in legal costs.