3 Count: Back in Black

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1: Lofi Girl Disappeared from YouTube and Reignited Debate Over Bogus Copyright Claims

First off today, Kai Mcnamee and Michael Levitt at NPR reports that the popular YouTube channel Lofi Girl was briefly taken offline due to what is being described as false copyright claims.

Lofi Girl is a popular YouTube Channel that provides a livestream of low-fidelity, or lofi, beats for users to study, relax or sleep to. It is set against a looping animation of a girl with headphones studying. Though the channel is very popular, with over 11 million subscribers, it briefly disappeared, and the streams were stopped due to a fake copyright claim.

The operators were able to get the channel restored and YouTube apologized for the mistake. However, it was down for approximately two days, leaving many of the channel’s most dedicated listeners confused about what was going on.

2: Court Orders PayPal & Alipay to Freeze VPN Company’s Funds in Piracy Lawsuit

Next up today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that a federal court in Virginia has issued a temporary restraining order that resulted in several payment providers, including PayPal and Alipay, to freeze the assets of virtual private network (VPN) provider VeePN.

Normally, such lawsuits against VPN services are rare and don’t produce such action. However, VeePN distinguished itself by actively promoting the use of its services for the purpose of piracy, including promoting the use of Popcorn Time in a blog post. This caused a group of rightsholders, including the individual who registered the trademarks for Popcorn Time, to file a lawsuit.

VeePN, for their part, has not participated in the lawsuit, requiring the judge to issue the order ex parte. The company has removed the “Popcorn Time VPN” blog post from its site, but still lists PayPal and Alipay as payment options.

3: Lewis Black sues Pandora for $10 Million Over Copyright Infringement

Finally today, Ariel Shapiro at The Verge reports that comedian Lewis black has followed in the footsteps of many of his colleagues and filed a lawsuit against Pandora over alleged unpaid royalties over the streaming of his comedy albums.

The issue is that, according to Black, recorded comedy is similar to music in that it has two copyrights, one on the composition and one on the recording. However, with comedy, Pandora has only been paying for the rights on the recording, not the composition. This prompted many other comedians and their estate to file lawsuits against Pandora, as well as other streaming services, while new performing rights organizations have sprung up to try and serve as middlemen between streamers and comedians.

Though this is Black’s first lawsuit over these issues, it’s not his first involvement. Back in December, Black joined other comedians in removing their albums from Spotify, saying that the service should treat comedy the same way it treats music.

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