Archives: Intellectual Property

Subscribe to Intellectual Property RSS Feed

Limited Registration Period for .RADIO Domain Names Ends Oct.31, 2017 – The Time to Register Is Now!

Now until Oct. 31, 2017, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is offering a “Special Limited Registration Period” – a pre-launch opportunity for the registration of .RADIO domain names by radio broadcasters, radio professional, radio amateurs, Internet radios, and radio-related companies. Call letters, corporate names, on-air personality names, and even slogans can all be registered as … Continue Reading

Commercial Radio Stations Offered Opportunity to Extend Interim License with GMR

No sooner did we report an update on the dispute between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR), do we have another update to share.  Only this time, the update: (1) is less wonky/more practical, (2) is good news for commercial radio stations, and (3) requires action by affected stations.… Continue Reading

RMLC Seeks PI; Attempts to Stay in PA, Avoid CA

(As end of GMR Interim License Period Approaches, fight over GMR’s refusal to deal with Pennsylvania radio stations has implications for others around the country) We’ve written (and talked) plenty about the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) – which represents the interests of the commercial radio industry in negotiating licenses with performing … Continue Reading

Independent Decisionmakers Reduce SESAC’s Commercial Radio License Rate by Tens of Millions of Dollars

(Stations will pay 60% less than old SESAC rate card) While the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) has captured music licensing headlines in 2016 and 2017 (including here at Commlawblog), it has previously been RMLC v. SESAC which stole the show.  (Recall that until GMR came on … Continue Reading

Slants Supreme Court Case Slays Ban on Registration of Disparaging Trademarks

I am officially a big fan of The Slants.  I’ve never seen them in concert.  I don’t own any of their albums (I’ve never even downloaded any of their individual songs).  I’m actually still not entirely sure what “Chinatown Dance Rock” really is. But I will forever be indebted to Simon Shiao Tam and crew.  … Continue Reading

Countdown Clock Ticking on Digital Millennium Copyright Act Designated Agent Registrations

(Registered agent contact information must be ELECTRONICALLY filed with the Copyright Office by December 31, 2017) How much is peace of mind worth to you? Does $6.00 and less than an hour of your time sound about right? What if I told you that this alone would significantly reduce the likelihood that you will be … Continue Reading

Pre-1972 Fight with a Twist: Georgia Supreme Court Exempts Internet Streaming from State Record Piracy Statute

(Court also compares Internet Radio to Terrestrial Under State Law) A Georgia Supreme Court decision on a narrow issue relating to the use of pre-1972 sound recordings creates an interesting new topic for discussion in this area, even as the holding in this case is itself necessarily limited to Georgia. The case is iHeartMedia v.Sheridan, … Continue Reading

FilmOn X Loses in Latest Bid to be a Cable System

Ninth Circuit is the latest to say that Internet-based services are not cable systems. Remember Aereo? Sure you do, if you were a regular CommLawBlog reader pretty much anytime between 2012 and 2015. Aereo was the upstart looking to revolutionize the way cord-cutters watched TV: its dime-sized antennas were designed to receive and capture local … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Gives Belated Valentine’s Day Gift to Music Licensees by Ruling for Sirius XM Regarding Its Use of Pre-72 Sound Recordings

We previously told you about the Christmas gift that New York’s highest state court had given to licensees that play “oldies” recordings by finding that the owners of those recordings had no right to demand payment when the recordings were publicly performed in New York.  That ruling came in one of many lawsuits that Flo … Continue Reading

.RADIO Domain Names Available Soon, But Many Unanswered Questions about Availability

After many years of preparation, the roll-out of .RADIO domain names will finally be underway shortly. The news has potential for broadcasters worldwide (for example, you could have Nashvillehits.radio as your URL.) Yet there are many unanswered questions about how .RADIO domain names will be allocated and what happens when multiple parties want the same … Continue Reading

Webcaster Wake Up Call!

SoundExchange reports, payments due soon On February 2nd the groundhog best known as “Punxsutawney Phil” will be plucked from the comfort of his underground lair and ceremoniously asked to “predict” the end of winter.  Of course, this tradition was memorably portrayed in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray’s Phil Connors relives a … Continue Reading

Radio Music License Committee and Global Music Rights Reach Interim License Agreement

(Stations Fearing a Difficult Choice Before January 1 now have until January 31 to opt in to an interim license agreement and continue playing GMR songs through September.) If you are a radio station, especially a commercial radio station primarily playing music, you are probably aware of the dueling lawsuits filed by the Radio Music … Continue Reading

Merry Christmas to the Licensee Community from New York! Appeals Court Holds No New York Performance Right in Sound Recordings

In what comes as an early Christmas gift for those who play “oldies” music – think Sirius XM Radio, radio broadcasters, and webcasters – and coal in the stockings of the owners of those recordings, New York’s highest state court ruled today that New York does not recognize a public performance right in sound recordings. … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Broadcasters Receive Welcome Reporting News

Copyright Royalty Judges Reinstate Reporting Relief for Most Noncommercial Broadcasters You may recall that in August 2016, we reported that the Copyright Royalty Judges had proposed to modify the rules governing how noncommercial broadcasters are supposed to report the sound recordings that they stream to SoundExchange. That proposal was published at the urging of the … Continue Reading

Copyright Office DMCA Proceeding Asks: It’s 2016, so why are we Copyrighting Like It’s 1999?

(Notice of Inquiry latest opportunity to weigh in on the future of the DMCA Safe Harbor) “I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast…” Those are lyrics from the dearly beloved and extremely talented musician Prince’s epic 1982 hit “1999” from the album of the same name.  He … Continue Reading

NAB Announces Waiver Agreements with Sony and Warner Affecting Non-Royalty Aspects of Webcasting

On October 26, 2016, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced agreements it had reached with two major record labels that relieve radio broadcasters from certain compliance conditions associated with the sound recording streaming statutory license that are inconsistent with traditional broadcasting practices.  They do not, however, alter radio broadcasters’ royalty payment obligations under the … Continue Reading

Redskins “Offensive” Line May be Tested by Supreme Court

By agreeing to hear “The Slants” case, Court may decide whether USPTO can cancel “Redskins” trademark registrations. [Blogmeister’s Note: To say our blogger, Kevin “The Swami” Goldberg, is opinionated is something of an understatement. One particular bug up his butt: the NFL team which is titularly Washington, D.C.’s, even though it practices in Virginia and … Continue Reading

ASNE “Legal Hotline” Features FHH’s Kevin Goldberg

News Editors’ website highlights post addressing permissible media use of “user-generated” photo/video content obtained from social media and other Internet sources. I’m fortunate to represent a number of press-related trade associations. As part of my work for them, I provide a “Legal Hotline” service through which association members get to ask me questions without incurring massive … Continue Reading

Copyright Royalty Judges Propose To Clarify Streaming Reporting Rules for Noncommercial Broadcasters

Proposed change would include noncommercial broadcasters among “Eligible Minimum Fee Webcasters.” It looks like noncommercial broadcasters who stream may be in for a little more clarity in their reporting responsibilities. The Copyright Royalty Judges (we’ll call them “Judges” here) have proposed to modify the rules governing how those broadcasters are supposed to report the sound … Continue Reading

DOJ Makes it Official: No Change to ASCAP/BMI Consent Decrees

Siding with music users, DOJ concludes that Decrees call for “full-work” – rather than “fractional” – music licensing; ASCAP and BMI head to court and Congress.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally closed its two-year-long review of the decades-old ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees. Those Decrees mandate federal court oversight of the rates … Continue Reading

Student Discount: FOIA “Educational Institution” Fee Exemption Available to Students

D.C. Circuit reverses longstanding – if illogical – policy of many agencies. The federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its state equivalents remain a useful tool for anyone wishing to keep an eye on our governments’ activities. FOIA requests have led to the exposure of waste, fraud and abuse in government programs. Such revelations, … Continue Reading
LexBlog