Weekly Copyright News Update

August 7, 2015

How to Officially Register Your Photos with the US Copyright Office By Michael Archambault – PetaPixel

When your finger presses down on a camera’s shutter button and captures a photograph, that photo is instantly copyrighted with you as the rightful owner. However, there are benefits to formally registering your work with the United States Copyright Office. Today, we are going to take a look at the process involved in registering your visual artwork, along with the benefits of doing so and why you may want to consider it for photos you value.

Open the Music Industry’s Black Box by David Byrne – New York Times

It’s easy to blame new technologies like streaming services for the drastic reduction in musicians’ income. But on closer inspection we see that it is a bit more complicated. Even as the musical audience has grown, ways have been found to siphon off a greater percentage than ever of the money that customers and music fans pay for recorded music. Many streaming services are at the mercy of the record labels (especially the big three: Sony, Universal and Warner), and nondisclosure agreements keep all parties from being more transparent.

Fashion Designers Face Lawsuit for Allegedly Copying Giant Graffiti Mural

Can fashion design be copyrighted? Yes it can, and the graffiti, or the visual image that is used to inspire a clothing collections can be copyrighted as well.

Moschino SpA and Jeremy Scott are facing a copyright lawsuit, WWD reported on Wednesday. Street artist Joseph Tierney—known as Rime—is claiming that the brand copied his work and signature.

Tierney’s lawyers at the Los Angeles-based Erikson Law Group claim that Moschino’s fall/winter 2015 collection used designs that were exact copies of a giant mural called “Vandal Eyes,” which Rime was commissioned to do on the side of a building in Detroit and completed in 2012.

YouTube Games Copyright Law to Avoid License Fees, Says IFPITorrrentFreak

Music industry group International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) says that artists are not being paid fairly for the use of their music and the blame for that can be laid at the feet of services such as YouTube and Soundcloud. IFPI says that instead of buying licenses such as those obtained by Spotify, these services effectively game copyright law to gain an unfair commercial advantage.

Pandora denied lower royalty rate to BMI after buying radio station by Brad Hill Rain News

A federal judge has denied Pandora’s request to reverse an earlier rate-setting ruling, which would have allowed Pandora to pay lower music royalties to BMI.

U.S. District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton denied Pandora’s request for a lower royalty rate paid by traditional radio to performance rights organizations (PROs) that collect and distribute music license fees to composers, songwriters, and publishers. In this case, the argument was limited to Pandora’s business relationship with BMI.

Human Music Interaction: We Shape Our Tools By Andrew Dubber Music ThinkTank

When it comes to studies of music and culture, I tend to start with Christopher Small’s idea of ‘musicking’ – that music is a human activity and not an artefact or acoustic phenomenon. It’s a useful idea and a step in the right direction, but it is far from the whole story.

What Human Music Interaction (HMI) investigates is the notion that music is a human activity that operates at the point of connection with technologies – and that those technologies are themselves human creations. Marshall McLuhan said “We shape our tools and they, in turn, shape us” – and people tend to read quite a bit of technological determinism into that line, but they’re overlooking the first part of that provocation: WE shape our tools.


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