2019 Anti-Piracy, Copyright and Trademark News


Countries in the EU Support Copyright Reforms for Facebook and Google

(Brussels) A majority of diplomats from European Union nations voiced support to overhaul copyright rules to force Facebook Inc. and Google to pay publishers for news articles and remove copyrighted content from Instagram and YouTube. Countries that refused include Italy, the Netherlands, Finland Poland and Luxembourg, with two countries abstaining. The changes were proposed to protect nations’ cultural heritage while ensuring that artists, publishers and broadcasters were fairly compensated. Opposing countries believed that the changes could hurt innovation and competitiveness. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote on this proposal. (REUTERS, February 20, 2019 (Foo Yun Chee)


Prince’s Estate Wins Legal Battle to Stop Bootlegs of the Late Artist’s Music and is Awarded $7M

A judge has ruled that Eye Records, a bootleg label that has specialized in Prince, must pay $7 million in damages to Prince’s estate and must take down all recordings from their website. The label was sued in August 2018, when it was alleged that they released 18 Prince compilations since the musician’s death, without obtaining rights. The recordings included unreleased tracks and live recordings. TMZ reports that the website has already been taken down. (DailyMail.com, July 19, 2019 (Bobbie Whiteman)


Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify—claims Copyright Breach and that Law is “Unconstitutional”

Eminem publisher Eight Mile Style, in their lawsuit, alleges that “Lose Yourself” and many other hits by the rapper aren’t licensed by the streaming service. The publisher claims that Spotify, the $26 billion streaming powerhouse, has infringed the copyrights of hundred of songs. They are also challenging the constitutionality of the Music Modernization Act, which was enacted last October. The complaint states that Spotify has only made random payments that account for a fraction of actual streams. The Hollywood Reporter, August 21, 2019 (Eriq Gardner)


Mechanical Licensing Collective Partner with Digital Services to Fund Database Mandated by Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act, voted into law in October 2018, is a landmark achievement for the music industry to solve several problems that were exacerbated in the digital age. On March 14, there was a significant step forward to fund a centralized database to match song recordings with rights holders. One of the functions that the MMA mandates, this database will help songwriters and publishers to get paid when various entities use their copyrighted works. The bill for this resource will be split among digital services like Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora. MusicLinkUp, November 15, 2019

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