High court declines digital downloading case

The Supreme Court recently has denied certiorari in American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) v. United States, reinforcing the notion that public performance royalties will not be paid to artists when their music is digitally downloaded from internet companies such as Yahoo!, which did not want to pay the 2.5% royalty rate that ASCAP sought to impose on each song that was downloaded. The justices let stand the New York appeals court ruling that a digital download of a musical work does not fall under the Copyright Act’s definition of a public performance, and, therefore, copyright owners have no right to be compensated. (more…)

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Beware, trademark owners: .xxx domains ahead

Imagine owning the restaurant chain ‘Pink Taco,’ with a website domain name of www.pinktaco.com. Customers obviously would understand this site belongs to your franchise. In the next month, though, the release of the .xxx domain, available to adult entertainment companies, could create considerable confusion — and consternation for those already holding .coms. Fortunately, starting this week, trademark owners have options and time to protect their brand from potential negative associations with .xxx domain names. (more…)

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A copyright conflict over U.S., foreign markets

Can those holding copyrights gain more control over materials simply by dint of where they’re made, in the U.S. versus abroad? That’s the curious conundrum that now confronts the intellectual property world now that the Second U.S. Court of Appeals has weighed in with its thinking about the “first sale” doctrine in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng,  in which analysts say the appellate court expanded the rights of copyright owners. The court examined whether purchasers of many items get certain legal protections from claims of copyright infringement when they sell their items — the “first sale doctrine,” finding this longstanding notion rooted in common law is inapplicable to copies imported and manufactured abroad. This would make first sale apply only to domestically made items. (more…)

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SWCast shut down by SoundExchange over complaint

SoundExchange — a nonprofit performance rights organization that collects digital performance royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), Internet radio (like Pandora), cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings — has disabled a music web-casting ISP SWCast.net. Although the site seems to have been launched again, several of the services of SWCast are still shut down.

(more…)

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Entertainment law programs set nationwide

For those who follow Entertainment Law, there’s a full docket of events or sessions. These are duly noted on our Event Calendar tab (see above), as well as described more fully as follows. For general info about the site’s event listings, see this post’s end.  This week:

  • From Thursday to Sunday, Turner will host the TCM 2011 Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. This event will be packed with more than 70 screenings, as well as special introductions, guest appearances, panel discussions and more. Time Warner Cable joins as an official partner, and Vanity Fair once again will be TCM ‘s festival partner. The magazine will produce the exclusive, opening-night after-party that will follow the red-carpet gala screening of “An American in Paris. “
  • On Saturday, entertainment attorney Jonathan Handel will host a book party and signing for his new book “Hollywood on Strike!”  from 1:00pm-3:00pm, at the Showbiz Store and Cafe, located at 500 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Handel will discuss current guild and union developments. Click here to RSVP (requested but not required) for this free event.

About the Biedermanblog events calendar and listings: Events of interest to entertainment law professionals will be listed on our calendar, which you a may wish to subscribe to through your favorite feed reader or any calendar application that supports the iCal format. To let us know about programs or events for publication consideration on this site, please e-mail: events@biedermanblog.com. We cannot guarantee that we will publish calendar listings. We encourage you get us your information on a given event as early as possible. Please provide some requisite information: the day, date, time and place of an event; what it will cost and if there are varying charges for students, lawyers, other legal practitioners and members of the general public. Is CLE credit available for attendance? You must include a person we may contact (including e-mail and phone number) for more information or to verify what we receive. All materials received will be subject to editing.

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Britain’s ‘digital economy’ law survives test

The British music industry got reason to cheer recently when Justice Kenneth Parker of the High Court rejected four arguments suggesting the nation’s Digital Economy Act could not stand because it was out of sync with European law; those arguments were unsuccessfully advanced by the Internet service providers  BT and TalkTalk, the latter which is known to have customers who used their service with the company to perform acts of copyright infringement.

TalkTalk,  in 2010, openly talked about its refusal to adhere to Britain’s digital laws, saying, “Unless we are served with a court order, we will never surrender a customer’s details to rights holders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it. If we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement, we will refuse to do so and tell the rights holders we’ll see them in court.” The firm also balked at Section 3 of the DEA, which obliges ISPs to notify subscribers of possible copyright infringement.

The judge’s ruling keeps the DEA in place, which is good news for the music industry in its fight to stop Internet piracy.

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Musicians, record industry say ‘no’ to FM chips

In a fight to protect a potentially huge revenue source, musicians have joined the Recording Industry Association of America, the Wireless Association, the Consumer Electronics Association  and others to lobby against  possible government rules requiring that FM chips be installed  in the future in various mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets. The disparate parties also announced this week that they would partner to support House Continuing Resolution 42 — dubbed the “Creativity and Innovation Resolution” sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) That measure specifically opposes the requirement for manufacturers to include FM chips when they build or distribute wireless mobile devices in the future.

What’s the huge concern about broadcast tuners in wireless mobile devices? Opponents fear they will pave the way for more FM radio broadcasting, which, they contend, inadequately pays artists for their works. They also worry broadcast growth will hinder and undercut those new devices and technologies that compensate musicians and performers through an array of revenue sources. The current congressional resolution endorses “creativity and innovation.” It opposes allowing individuals to create and promote technology that fails to both benefit consumers and the U.S. economy but also provides compensation to “artists, creators, and innovators.”

 

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On the docket: The skinny on child actors

For those who follow Entertainment Law, there’s a full docket of events or sessions. These are duly noted on our Event Calendar tab (see above), as well as described more fully as follows. For general info about the site’s event listings, see this post’s end.  This week:

On Wednesday,  the Beverly Hills Bar Association will host a seminar on “Child Actors – What’s All the Fuss? A Look at the current state of Laws and Regulations.”  This session will cover latest developments and interpretations of  statutes and practices that govern the unique aspects of employing children in the film and television industry; besides hearing topical experts on an intriguing panel, participants also may earn 1.5CLE credit hours.

 

About the Biedermanblog events calendar and listings: Events of interest to entertainment law professionals will be listed on our calendar, which you a may wish to subscribe to through your favorite feed reader or any calendar application that supports the iCal format. To let us know about programs or events for publication consideration on this site, please e-mail: events@biedermanblog.com. We cannot guarantee that we will publish calendar listings. We encourage you get us your information on a given event as early as possible. Please provide some requisite information: the day, date, time and place of an event; what it will cost and if there are varying charges for students, lawyers, other legal practitioners and members of the general public. Is CLE credit available for attendance? You must include a person we may contact (including e-mail and phone number) for more information or to verify what we receive. All materials received will be subject to editing.

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