3 Count: Subpeona Valve

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1: How Did Two Unknown Latin Music Operators Make $23 Million From YouTube? The IRS Says They Stole It

First off today, Kristin Robinson at Billboard reports that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is accusing two individuals, as well as a variety of co-conspirators, stole an estimated $23 million in royalties owed to a variety of other artists.

The alleged scam took place on YouTube where Jose “Chenel” Medina Teran and Webster “Yenddi” Batista Fernandez claimed royalties on songs that they did not own or have any rights to. This was done through their company, MediaMuv, which used a service named AdRev to gain access to YouTube rights management tools and take royalties for unclaimed songs without artist permission.

The scam was eventually exposed after over four years. Fernandez has already pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy, while the case against others involved is ongoing. Neither YouTube nor the IRS had any comment.

2: SC: Musicians Can Collect Royalty for Radio Play in Commercial Sites

Next up today, Tina Santos at The Inquirer reports that, in the Philippines, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Inc. (Filscap), upholding their rights to collect royalties when radio music is played in a commercial setting.

Filscap had previously targeted a restaurant chain that it claimed failed to pay royalties for music played in their businesses. However, the chain argued that they just played what was ever on the radio and were not playing the music directly.

Both the lower court and the Appeals Court sided with the restaurant, saying that playing the radio was not a performance. However, the Supreme Court has overturned those decisions, making it clear that playing the radio in a commercial setting is a performance of its own and that separate royalties need to be paid.

3: AimJunkies Subpoenas Valve to Fight Bungie Copyright Accusations

Finally today, Danielle Partis at GamesIndustry.biz reports that cheat seller Aim Junkies is trying to subpoena Valve and others in a bid to fight a lawsuit filed by Bungie over their sale of cheat software for various Bungie games.

Specifically, Bungie has been targeting AimJunkies and their parent company Phoenix Digital Group over allegations that software sold by AimJunkies infringes on the copyright to Bungie owned games, most notably Destiny 2. However, AimJunkies argue that their software doesn’t violate any of the rights of Bungie and, furthermore, that Valve, who sells the games on their online store, creates similar overlays and the only difference is that Valve’s are for non-cheating purposes.

As a result of this, AimJunkies is asking Valve for both sales information related to Destiny 2 and code for the Valve overlay. They have also filed subpoenas against both PayPal and Google requesting information on people that appear in the Valve filing, though the intent of that subpoena is less clear.

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