The Music Modernization Act takes another step towards fair compensation for music curators

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The Music Modernization Act takes another step towards fair compensation for music curatorsJomar 271602 Unsplash

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) has passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee, taking music creators a step closer to appropriate licensing and royalty rules for the streaming era. It now has to pass a full Senate vote before hitting the president’s desk.

The music copyright overhaul essentially partners Apple Music, Spotify, and publishers under a single licensing agency, streamlining the license management process. Songwriters and accredited artists will be paid out for songs recorded before 1972, while new rights will be granted to music producers and mixers. Older musicians who missed the streaming boom and studio engineers look to benefit here in the form of royalty checks coming their way if passed.

One of the most important facets of the bill is an overall standardization of payment rates between distribution services and rights-holders. It’s about time music law addressed the streaming industry because the current system is still set up for physical music copies.

Although the MMA has received criticism for its lack of consideration towards medium-sized business, most in the industry are in favor, seeing this as a long-awaited, financial organization of the current music landscape. D.I.Y. musicians, and musicians who own their own rights might still have trouble policing ineffective or inefficient licensing practices. More established artists, publishers, studio producers, and labels labels will benefit, giving them more time to focus on creating music and less time worrying about licensing and royalty structures. It’s a step in the right direction on this long trek towards fair compensation for music creators.

H/T: Rolling Stone

Photo Credit: Jomar/Unsplash

Baauer threatens to take action against FCC for use of ‘Harlem Shake’

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Net Neutrality laws set in place by the Obama administration in 2015 have officially been repealed by the FCC, to the outrage of millions of Americans. As if to add insult to injury however, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai iced the cake with a PSA video that essentially deems the whole of humanity undeserving of the internet anyway. The video is perhaps the most cringe-worthy display of disconnectivity Generation X has ever put forward, and it’s easy to tell because it ends with the most rinsed out display of internet use of all time: a “Harlem Shake,” a la Baauer.

The PSA reassures viewers that they’ll still be able to do things like shop for Christmas presents online, “these eclipse glasses are so cheap,” howls Pai. The next solar eclipse isn’t for eight years, scumbag. In that time, under these new regulations, internet service providers are going to be able to do things like block websites or charge consumers for higher-quality content and services. But luckily, we’ll all still be able to “gram our food.” Terrific.

The legal battle over Net Neutrality is likely just beginning and Baauer is also looking to get in on the fight. It appears the use of his “Harlem Shake” was not authorized by the FCC, go figure. 

The LuckyMe producer is threatening legal action, joining dozens of other public figures from across the spectrum who are speaking out against the FCC’s 3-2 decision. Somehow “Harlem Shake” may have another day in court, though hopefully this time around the internet uses the song’s power to take Ajit Pai down. Get ’em, Harry.


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Top 5 Misconceptions About Music Copyrights

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There are a handful of misconceptions about copyrights. We’re demystifying a few of the most common.

A Court Specific to Copyright Infringement Claims May be Closer Than We Think

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The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act was recently introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Tom Marino (R-PA). Piracy may be coming to a halt soon.

Classixx are suing H&M for trademark infringement

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Los Angeles duo Classixx are suing H&M for selling sweaters with the word “Classixx” printed on the front.

The clothing store chain has reportedly been selling the shirts without the band’s consent, leading the duo to file copyright infringement complaints against H&M last week. A representative for Classixx says the store has denied any wrongdoing and claims “the use of a word as a decorative feature on an article of clothing is not trademark use.”

In a statement from the band’s attorney, H&M has “denied any liability,” “threatened Classixx with claims for costs and attorneys’ fees,” and ”referred to the band as a ‘relatively unknown DJ duo.’”

Despite these remarks, Classixx is proceeding with their complaint and is taking H&M to court. Read their statement below.

Our client attempted to resolve this amicably with H&M before going to court. But, despite H&M’s blatant infringement of Classixx’s trademark and publicity rights, it denied any liability, threatened Classixx with claims for costs and attorneys’ fees, and insultingly referred to the band as a “relatively unknown DJ duo.” Clearly, H&M, which has been known to broadcast Classixx music in its stores, is no friend to the artist. For H&M to profit by marketing and selling without consent “Classixx”-branded apparel at its stores around the world is bad, but responding in the manner it did is even worse. The band looks forward to their day in court.


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H/T: Billboard

Deadmau5 Is Petitioning A Fan For Stealing Meowingtons’ Trademark

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After an eventful tug-of-war with Disney over his iconic mau5 head, deadmau5 has become quite versed in the ways of copyright and trademark protection. So in 2015, when Zimmerman tried to file a trademark to protect the name of his beloved cat only to find out the intellectual property of “Meowingtons” had already been taken, he was far from pleased.

The “Meowingtons” name was officially filed as a trademark in 2014 by Emma Bassiri for her website which sells feline-themed apparel and accessories, but deadmau5 is now petitioning the United States Patent and Trademark Office to revoke Bassiri’s trademark on the basis of first use, as he’s been using the name since he adopted Meowingtons back in 2010. Additionally, deadmau5 says that the website has created excessive confusion between the real Meowingtons and Bassiri’s unaffiliated products, and the company’s poor reviews are tarnishing the real Meowingtons name.


Source: Billboard

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Deadmau5 Is Petitioning A Fan For Stealing Meowingtons’ Trademark

Facebook Is Cracking Down On Copyright Infringing Music

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Since the revelation that Facebook was cracking down on fake news stories, Facebook has taken another step in combating a specific type of content on its platform: copyright infringing music.

An editorial by NMPA president/CEO David Israelite in October lambasted the social media site for allowing videos with copyrighted music to exist without proper licensing and without paying the music creators. Facebook is now working on a system similar to YouTube’s Content ID system that would identify – and remove – videos and other content that contain copyrighted music.

Israelite wrote in his op-ed that 887 videos were found to be using 33 of today’s top charting songs, which amounted to over 619 million views in total; however the number was probably much greater, due to Facebook privacy settings.

One of the greatest hurdles of the streaming age is how to properly credit and pay royalties to artists for their work, and Facebook has historically been unhelpful in that regard. Now, according to Billboard, talks have even begun between Facebook and the major music labels. A source told the Financial Times that the deal would not be done before spring.

“The reality for Facebook and YouTube is that more and more they are transitioning from tech platforms to media companies,” the source says. “And the more they look like media companies, the more they are going to have to act like them and respect creators and pay for content.”


Source: Billboard

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Facebook Is Cracking Down On Copyright Infringing Music

Facebook to develop defence against unlicensed music

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In another stride towards being a reliable and trustworthy source of content, Facebook is cracking down on unlicensed music. Amidst the “fake news” outbreak, cover music is being spotlighted as well. Following in the steps of other social media websites, the social media mogul Mark Zuckerburg and his team are working to formulate “a copyright

The post Facebook to develop defence against unlicensed music appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Soundcloud Clarifies Statement On DJ Mixes, Takedowns Persist

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Earlier this week, Soundcloud co-founder Eric Wahlforss released a statement regarding the strictness of copyright-related takedowns on DJ mixes uploaded to the streaming service. After a lengthy period of fear surrounding the threat of possible account terminations, many DJs were relieved to hear that the company’s new agreements would allow for a less stringent atmosphere on the site. According to a new update, however, it appears that unlicensed content in mixes can still result in unexpected takedowns.

The new statement released by Soundcloud attempts to clarify what Wahlforss meant about the new negotiations supposedly made between Soundcloud and industry entities. Behind flowery sentences praising the community aspect of Soundcloud, a note was made that original rights holders will still have the full capability to request takedowns.

“There have been a number of incoming questions this week from our community around creativity and content on SoundCloud. Today, through a number of agreements with labels, publishers and other partners, there are far fewer takedowns of various forms of content – including DJ sets – shared on SoundCloud. It’s clear from our conversations and agreements with the industry and creative community as a whole, that enabling a place for all forms of creativity to live is important, and that SoundCloud can be that place.

With that, it’s important to note takedowns are at the request of creators. While the agreements we have in place across the industry have greatly lessened the likelihood of takedowns, as a creator driven platform, we respect all creators, and therefore we respect the rights of all creators who request to have their content removed.

As always, SoundCloud’s aim is to continue building a unique ecosystem where all forms of expression can live and thrive. The community of creators who gather, share their work and collaborate on SoundCloud is hugely important to us. Creators on SoundCloud continue to be a driving force in pushing culture forward in the world, and we are honored to be the place to help amplify the millions of creative voices who call SoundCloud home.”

Several DJs have already felt the effects of Soundcloud’s unclear, initial statement. One of them, ak9, posted to Facebook on Thursday to describe his own run-in with the still-active takedown system. According to his post, he included a rework of The Weeknd’s newest single in a mix uploaded to Soundcloud last week. An hour after posting, he received an email stating that the site had removed his mix on the grounds of copyright infringement. Because he had included a rework of the original track, he filed a dispute. After waiting an entire week with no response, he found his account to be terminated, along with his 33,000 followers.

Read ak9’s full post below.


This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Soundcloud Clarifies Statement On DJ Mixes, Takedowns Persist