Maybe it was in celebration of International Happiness Day, or maybe it was just coincidence, but this week saw three high-profile copyright cases all resolved through out-of-court settlements.
First, upstart toy company GoldieBloxsettled with Beastie Boys over the unauthorized use of a version of the Beasties song “Girls” with altered lyrics in an online ad video. As we reported in December, the case was framed initially as a question of whether the video qualified as fair use, but it also raised issues of trademark infringement, false endorsement, unfair competition, and misappropriation of publicity rights. In the end, the Beasties got what The Hollywood Reporteroriginally reported that they were after: a donation by Goldieblox to a charity of the Beasties’ choice, based on a percentage of revenue, and a more substantive apology:
Earlier today, major companies Conde Nast, AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and others committed to a set of best practices aimed at reducing so-called “ad-supported piracy” online. The White House Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released best practices guidelines that aim to reduce the flow of advertising revenue to operators of sites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright infringement.
Washington, D.C.— Today, the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the United States (IPEC), announced the “Best Practices Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting,” a joint effort to reduce the flow of ad revenue to infringing websites. The initiative is supported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, along with 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, AOL, Condé Nast, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and SpotXchange.
The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, Interim Executive Director for the Future of Music Coalition (FMC). read more
If you’re tuned into the music-tech-policy punditsphere, you’ve probably come across debates about “brand-supported piracy.” Put simply, this is when major corporations have their products advertised on sites that offer music, movies and TV shows to which they don’t have the rights. This doesn’t sit well with creators and content companies, who are frustrated at third parties making money from unauthorized access to their works.
As longtime champions of a legitimate digital marketplace where artists are compensated and fans can easily find lawful content, we understand the concerns. read more
Last Friday, Google announced a major update to its search engine algorithm that will lower the ranking of sites hosting unauthorized content. We at FMC think this is a good thing: why should musicians and independent labels have their official pages show up lower in search returns than those offering illegitimate wares? There are, however, some legitimate questions about how this new search rubric will be managed, and to which sites and services it will apply. read more
[This post was authored by FMC intern Danny Weiss]
In a December 9 blog post, YouTube Product Manager David King announced Google’s acquisition of licensing and royalty service provider, RightsFlow. YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, will combine “RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform (and) hope to more rapidly license music on YouTube…” read more
I believe the music industry - and specifically the indie music industry - ignores net neutrality at its peril. Losing net neutrality means losing the so-called equal playing field on the internet. What happens to the independent industry is barriers to entry go digital? In any case, Future of Music Coalition does an excellent job of breaking down the Google-Verizon proposal, especially the possibility of tiered internet service in the mobile realm - check it out.