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1: Copyright Royalty Board Asked to Approve 32% Increase on Mechanical Royalties for Physical Products, Downloads
First off today, Shirley Halperin and Jem Aswad at Variety reports that the major record labels have teamed up with the National Music Publishers Association and the Nashville Songwriters Association International to petition the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to raise the mechanical royalty rate some 32%, from 9.1 cents to 12 cents per track.
The motion, though far from an actual ruling by the CRB, indicates a very important consensus between the three parties and one that aims to help songwriters and publishers earn significantly more money from mechanical royalties. Rightsholders and trade groups were aiming for 15 cents, but were deadlocked on the amount. This agreement represents a new deal between the parties involved and still a significant increase for rightsholders.
The CRB is tasked with determining what the new royalty rate should be for 2023-2027. The 9.1 cents rate was set in 2008 and covers money due to a songwriter when a third party reproduces or streams a music composition.
Next up today, Blake Brittain at Reuters reports that Pandora has responded to a lawsuit filed by comedians and affiliated performing rights organizations over the use of their routines without paying royalties on the compositions of those performances.
When a song or comedy performance is streamed, there are two copyrights to consider: The copyright in the audio work and the written version of that work. Comedians, realizing that they were not being paid on their composition, filed a lawsuit behind the new performing rights organization Word Collections, which represents many of the world’s most famous comedians.
However, Pandora has hit back, referring to Word Collections as a “cartel” and are attempting to monopolize the space. Further, it said that, since Word Collections holds the rights to many famous comedians, they may have to remove all comedy from their channel unless they can get a blanket license.
Finally today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that the RIAA has obtained a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) subpoena in a bid to unmask alleged pirates on the service Discord.
The subpoena was filed at a federal court in the District of Columbia and asked Discord to unmask a series of alleged pirates operating on their service. DMCA subpoenas do not required the oversight of a judge and, instead, are signed off on by court clerks. They ask Discord to turn over any information they have including name, physical address IP address and contact info on the alleged pirates to them.
It is unknown whether Discord has compiled with the subpoena yet. The subpoena itself only lists three URLs but seem to be targeting user(s) that engaged in a much broader pattern of piracy.