Archive | September 2013

Grist to the Google Mill: Calif. Judge Finds a Way to Continue Claims Against Internet Giant

by Jose Landivar, Arther Law’s Industry Insider

A judge in California refused to toss out a class action lawsuit against Google this past Thursday over allegations that the company violated a federal wiretap statute by scanning user’s emails for the purpose of targeted advertising.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, allowed the plaintiffs’ claim to proceed on the grounds that Google’s privacy policies did not provide explicit notification of email interceptions and that scanning emails to profile users in order to send out targeted ads were not “instrumental operations” for an email system or within the “ordinary course of business” exception provided under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

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iTunes Radio Enters the Streaming Radio Scene

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“iTunes Radio is free streaming radio with the best selection of music.  It builds and brings together stations you’ll love from day one. And the more you listen, the more personalized your stations become. It’s radio re-imagined.” boasts Apple in its description of iTunes Radio.

iTunes Radio gives you the ability to use the radio on iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC,  and Apple TV.  The more you use iTunes and iTunes Radio, the more the radio adapts to your personal preferences. Obviously, the unique tailoring is in place with hopes that users will be more apt and loyal to iTunes radio rather than other streaming sites.

The hurdle iTunes Radio will have to conquer is that it presently does not have all the preferences of the users, while Pandora already has this. Will users be willing to start a brand new bond with a new streaming radio site?  Read More…

Judge May Turn to DOJ In Ongoing Pandora-ASCAP Dispute

by Brian Kim, Arther Law’s Industry Insider

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U.S. District Judge Denise Cote recently stated that she might ask the U.S. Department of Justice to weigh in and clarify the terms of a consent decree dating back to 1941 which had clarified the scope of ASCAP’s licensing rights in an antitrust dispute.

The call for potential DOJ involvement came amidst an ongoing dispute between internet radio service provider, Pandora Media Inc. and the American Society of Composers Artists and Publishers (ASCAP). ASCAP licenses music and collects royalties for its members, which include large publishing companies. As an Internet radio company, Pandora is suing ASCAP because it claims it is paying royalties over four times as high as other broadcast companies.

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BlackBerry’s Valuable Patents Could Spark a Bidding War

BlackBerry has been struggling for years as other smartphone companies have been pushing it off the market. It is at a point where it is about to be bought off for around a mere $5 billion. However, an upside is that Blackberry’s patents are valued at $2-$3 billion. Chris Marlett, CEO of MDB Capital Group, an intellectual property focused investment bank, says that although there is little value for the company’s actual hardware business, its intellectual property value is substantial. Read More…

What does the Clear Channel and Warner Music Group Deal Mean For the Music Industry?

Clear Channel and Warner Music Group have partnered up bringing up issues of royalties paid to artist for radio plays. Royalties are fees paid to artists and labels for use of their product: the songs that play on the radio. Typically radio stations are only required to pay royalties for songs played on the web, not through typical radio broadcasts. The broadcast industry has long been against the practice that occurs everywhere besides the US. Digital broadcasts pay royalties at a rate of $0.0022 per son based on the per play rate per listener. This results in very unpredictable costs for the digital broadcast companies. Read More…

No Safe Harbor for Vimeo on Capital Records’ Lip Synch Lawsuit

by Jose Landivar, Arther Law’s Industry Insider

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Online video-sharing service Vimeo failed in its efforts last Wednesday to dismiss Capitol Records’ copyright suit over user-generated lip-sync videos of artists such as Radiohead and the Beatles, when a federal judge ruled that some of the videos might not qualify for safe-harbor protection and that a factual issue was presented on the grounds that the company should have known about the alleged infringement simply because its employees uploaded and commented on some of the videos. Read More…

Nicki Minaj’s Song ‘Starships’ Lands her in a Lawsuit

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‘Starships’, Nicki Minaj’s 2012 summer hit, landed the singer in a copyright infringement lawsuit Tuesday by Clive Tanaka, a Chicago musician.  ‘Starships’ set a record for its 21 week stint in Billboard’s Top 10.   Read More…

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