Weekly IP Buzz for week ending in September 7, 2018
Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending September 7, 2018.
Music Industry Battles Internet Service Provider (ISP) Over Copyright Infringement
A Texas internet service provider (“ISP”) has taken to federal court to complain about the increased pressure from the music industry to monitor copyright infringement. In a federal filing, Texas ISP Grande Communications (“Grande”) has complained to federal court that record companies from the music industry have attempted to increasingly shift the burden of policing copyright infringement of their copyrighted works by abusing the use of legal takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).
ISP Under Attack By Music Industry Claiming Millions of Infringements
Grande, a high-speed Internet provider, has claimed that, as the main provider of internet to several university campuses in Texas, it has come increasingly under fire and pressure from at least eighteen different music companies since April 2017. Litigants against Grande include, among others, Universal, Capitol, Warner, and Song; who have all accused Grande of allowing users to “engage in more than one million infringements of copyrighted works” due to alleged abuse by students through the use of bit-torrent services. Read more about copyright infringement.
Spotify v Pandora: Streaming Your Favorite Songs On-Demand
While brand names like Spotify and Pandora have become synonymous with music streaming on the Internet, most customers do not understand that a subtle but significant difference between the business models of Spotify and Pandora greatly impact the way licensing revenues are treated and how artists are compensated.
Traditionally, radio play has accounted for a large amount of income generated by music artists. Music artists and their publishers are generally paid a percentage of royalties each time a song is broadcast via radio waves. Naturally, because radio play constitutes public performance of a musical piece, copyright law often governs radio play as well as the streaming of songs through Internet services. As such, performance rights organizations (“PROs”) generally manage and handle the negotiation of royalties, percentages, and distribution of income to music rightsholders.
Even if you are not in the industry, most of the general public has become familiar with famous PROs such as Broadcast Music Inc. (“BMI”), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (“ASCAP”), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (“SESAC”). Read more about copyright licensing.
For more posts, see more at our intellectual property law blog.
Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.
Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.