3 Count: Royalty Raise

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1: Copyright Royalty Board Confirms Streaming Royalty Raise for Publishers and Songwriters

First off today, Jem Aswad at Variety reports that, in the United States, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has reaffirmed the 15.1% headline rate for the 2018-2022 period.

The rate was originally decided in 2018 but all the major streamers, barring Apple, appealed it saying that the increase was too great. The number had leapt from 11.4% to 15.1%. The royalty rate is paid by streaming services to songwriters and music publishers, and streamers had argued that such a stark increase could hurt their business models.

However, the court has now reaffirmed that rate, leaving it in effect. That said, streamers did get some minor victories, as other royalty rates have been capped and the definition of “family plans” has reverted to an earlier definition that was more favorable to them.

2: Emily Ratajkowski Sued by NYC Photographer in Federal Court

Next up today, Dean Balsamini at the New York Post reports that model Emily Ratajkowski is being sued by photographer Edward Opinaldo over allegations she infringed his copyright by using a photo he took of her on her Instagram account.

According to the lawsuit, Opinaldo took the photo of her in June 2019 and quickly registered the image with the U.S. Copyright Office. He then noticed the image on her Instagram story in September 2019, prompting him to file the lawsuit.

Ratajkowski has faced at least one similar lawsuit, but managed to win that one when the plaintiff conceded that she did not infringe any copyright. However, similar celebrities have been forced to settle such cases

3: Dua Lipa Sued (Again) for Posting Paparazzi Photos of Herself to Instagram

Finally today, Chris Eggertsen at Billboard reports that British musician Dua Lipa is facing a lawsuit of her own, once again over her allegedly publishing an image of herself on her Instagram account.

The lawsuit was filed by photographer Robert Barbera, who claims that Dua Lipa took photos he captured of her in July 2018 and published them to her Instagram account, where he discovered them in June 2019. He claims he attempted to resolve the matter out of court, but that communication slowed and eventually stopped.

This is Lipa’s second such lawsuit, with the previous one being filed by Integral Images last year. That case was dismissed with prejudice in October. This also isn’t the first such lawsuit for Barbera, who has sued both Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber under similar circumstances. Though the Bieber lawsuit was settled, the Ariana Grande lawsuit was dismissed, then refiled and dismissed again.

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