Archives: Intellectual Property

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Webcaster Wake-Up Call! SoundExchange Reports and Payments Due Soon

Same as it ever was: as they start in on the next five-year period with new rates and terms announced in Webcasting IV, webcasters must again attend to annual SoundExchange homework. It’s been a month since I wrote about Webcasting IV, the decision of the Copyright Royalty Board that set webcasting rates and terms for … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit, “Slant”(ing) Toward “Redskins”?

Appeals court tosses “disparagement” bar against registration of “offensive” trademarks Last May, our colleague Kevin “the Swami” Goldberg called readers’ attention to an interesting case wending its way through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It involves the rejection, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), of an application for federal … Continue Reading

Meanwhile, on the East Coast: D.C. Court Rejects FilmOn X Claim to Compulsory License

But District Court decision could be key to a return to the Supreme Court for Aereo-related issues FilmOn X’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse. But for FilmOn X, that might not be a totally bad thing. Longtime readers will be familiar with FilmOn X, the Aereo doppelganger. When Aereo burst on the … Continue Reading

SESAC Seeks to Sidestep Settlement

Dueling letters from SESAC and RMLC offer distinct alternatives for radio stations in their dealings with SESAC As we reported several months ago, in July the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) reached a settlement agreement with SESAC that resolved RMLC’s antitrust lawsuit against SESAC and brought some measure of certainty and stability to the license … Continue Reading

Librarian of Congress (Who?) Okays Widespread Hacking of Electronic Devices

You can now unlock or get access to tablets, vehicle software, video games, and more – and stay within the law. Following congressional approval last year for the unlocking of cell phones, the Librarian of Congress has now adopted a broad exemption that permits the unlocking of all wireless handsets, including smart phones and “phablets.” … Continue Reading

Dancing Baby in the Ninth Circuit: A Twist on Takedowns

DMCA requires consideration of “fair use” before infringement can be alleged. Thanks to digital technology, copyright infringement is easier than ever – and the Internet provides a tempting place to display infringing uses of copyrighted material. Recognizing that, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), creating a simple mechanism by which copyright owners could … Continue Reading

Broadcasters Now in the Sights of Pre-1972 Performance Right Holders

Expanding “Flo and Eddie” theory beyond Sirius XM and Pandora, suits seek state-created performance rights royalties from broadcasters. For the last year or so I’ve reported on efforts being made by some recording artists and record labels to assert performance right interests in recordings made prior to February, 1972. (Why February, 1972? Take a minute … Continue Reading

FilmOn Takes a Big Step Closer to Section 111 Eligibility

Federal judge in California declares Aereo clone potentially eligible for compulsory copyright license. Sometimes, getting there first doesn’t mean that you’re the winner. Just look at Aereo, whose innovative technology was going to revolutionize the delivery of video programming. Although supposedly embraced by the consuming public, Aereo was sued for copyright infringement by lots of … Continue Reading

SESAC Suit Settled

Props to Bill Velez for striking a good deal for the radio industry! Bill Velez and the gang at the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have struck again. Having targeted SESAC in an antitrust suit in 2012, they have now used the leverage of that suit to gain a settlement with SESAC that should prove … Continue Reading

Sirius Waves a $210 Million White Flag

Settlement wraps up record labels’ lawsuit re pre-1972 performance rights They’re rejoicing in the Home for Old Musicians (not to mention the Home for Companies That Own Old Musicians’ Performance Copyrights). Sirius XM and several major record labels have settled one of the “Pre-1972” lawsuits that we’ve written about in the past. The result: Sirius … Continue Reading
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