soundcloudhq

As PRS battles SoundCloud, what does it mean for your own music?

PRS for Music, a UK performing rights organization, at the end of last month sued SoundCloud for copyright infringement on behalf of its members. The action may prove a decisive moment for the Berlin-based streaming service. It represents a collision between SoundCloud’s approach and the organizations involved in administering copyright, and more broadly, between the conventional models for sharing and monetizing music and those evolving on the Internet. I spoke to representatives from PRS and SoundCloud to try to get greater clarity. Those responses were naturally a bit guarded, as the two are actively engaged in legal action. However, there’s …

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blurredlines

Robin Thicke Judgment: The Day Copyright Law Died, Again [Opinion]

You may not like the song “Blurred Lines” much. But if you find that tune grating, you may find the inability of US copyright law to differentiate degrees of copying even more painful. Here’s the latest strangeness. When we last joined the American courts finding extreme interpretations of copyright, an appeals court decided to blow away the de minimis doctrine for sampling. That’s “de minimis” (Latin), as in “size matters not” (um… Yoda). The idea was, there was no need to measure the significance or size of a sample in the N.W.A. song “100 Miles and Runnin’.” The court helpfully …

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sopa

Opponents of US SOPA Legislation Gaining Momentum on Blackout Day; Musicians Have a Stake

Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Dawn Loh. It’s been called, bluntly, “Internet censorship” by opponents. And now, US legislation that claims to curb piracy faces mounting challenges as that opposition grows, particularly as the White House warns it will block the bills. Today, even as a flood of delightful new music toys become available, it’s worth pausing to consider why this matters – and, if you vote in the United States, to call your Senators and Representatives (again, if needed). Many of us who create music believe the dynamic, user-driven nature of the Web is our best chance at a bright future. Free …

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wtf

Opinion: US Internet Censorship Could Cripple Online Music Web; Where to Find Out More, Where to Act

If you haven’t been following the (excellent) coverage elsewhere, just how bad is the “Firewall of the United States,” the draconian Internet dystopia misguided legislation in the US proposes to create? That legislation is so vague, so far-reaching, so poorly-designed, that it potentially threatens all kinds of sites musicians regularly use. And little wonder: a backwards legislation process in the US has locked out the very Internet and tech companies that have until now been glimmers of hope in a stagnant US economy. The crux of this issue is the impact on legal sites, and democracy and speech online. For …

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Editorial: MPEG LA Extends Royalty-Free License for H.264, Sorta – But Not Much Changes

The good news: a lot of “broadcast” Internet video is free forever on AVC and H.264. The bad news: everything else still costs money, not much else changes, and you can expect the next battle will be a protracted patent debate. Whee! Photo (CC-BY) Bill Jacobus. MPEG LA, the group that holds the patent pool for AVC (best known for the H.264 codec) and licenses said pool to third parties, has extended its royalty-free license for free, end-user playback of its video. That extends a deadline from what had been December 15, 2015 to an indefinite date, and it removes …

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Help EFF Save Web Content: Prove Podcasting and Media Patent is Wrong

Act now, or this puppy is in grave danger. Podcasting pug photograph (CC) zoomar. Patenting the use of all episodic media on the Web might sound absurd, but the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted just such a patent, to a company called VoloMedia. It’s a significant issue, one that could threaten the freedom of all media distribution online. Wherever you are in the world, you can help. Intellectual property law was created in order to protect genuine inventions and innovation from exploitation. But predatory patents, based on bogus claims and attempting to stake out broad rights, threaten to …

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Judge to Record Industry: Lay off Mom and Dad’s Computer, For Now

Harvard’s Legion of Legal Super-Heroes. They can lock arms and emit a powerful beam of Legal Logic that can defeat any foe. Yeah, okay, I’m glad I’m not in law; these look like the sorts of people who would beat me. What happens when people targeted by record industry legal intimidation fight back? What if they not only defend themselves, but go on the offensive, counterclaiming the industry is abusing the law and legal process? What if courts decide the industry really can’t hijack an unrelated PC belonging to someone’s Mom and Dad? That’s what’s at stake in a case …

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Harvard Students Defend Privacy Against RIAA; Industry Pushing Campus Licenses?

Reflecting Harvard: a bike passes through Cambridge. Photo (CC) sandcastlematt. Music DRM may be a thing of the past, online sales may be growing, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. record industry has missed a beat in its ongoing legal and lobbying campaign against music piracy online. The latest battle starts today in Rhode Island federal court. The difference this time: the RIAA and record companies will have to face a Harvard Law prof and his students. Prof. Charles Nesson and his team allege the industry is abusing the court system, unfairly making “examples” out of the people they’re suing, …

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