Weekly Copyright Update

September 25, 2015

Revealing YouTube’s Biggest Threat to the Music Industry

BY MARK MULLIGAN: YouTube’s disruptive commercial impact on the music industry is well documented but the real threat to music is far more fundamental and can’t be ‘fixed,’ not even by the world’s best lawyers. This is because the most important impact YouTube is having on music is not commercial, it is cultural.  While the music industry is grappling with how to deal with the premium revenue that YouTube appears to be sucking away, a whole generation of (largely non-music) creators native to YouTube have quickly learned how to build highly profitable careers and businesses solely on YouTube.


Do You Really Need a Music Publisher?

BY ERIN M. JACOBSON, ESQ: Some musicians have music publishing deals, some musicians have their own publishing companies, and some have both. For many independent musicians, owning their own publishing companies often means nothing more than just having name for publishing matters rather than a fully functioning entity.


Stock Photos May Still Require Licensing for Your Website Designs

BY KIMBERLY BUFFINGTON, CAROLYN TOTO: Most stock photography agencies such as Getty Images and Corbis Images require anyone who uses their images to obtain a license for the content. Usually, such licenses are not transferable, meaning that even if your web designer paid the license fee to obtain a right to use the stock images, he or she cannot confer that right to you even though you may have hired the designer to design your website. To be sure, one should ask to see the license agreement to determine the license terms and whether the license is transferable.


Lessig Defends DotCom as Extradition Hearing Begins

BY TERRY HART: Nearly four years ago, the US Justice Department indicted Kim Dotcom (née Kim Schmidt)—along with six other individuals and two corporations—on a number of charges related to the operation of Megaupload and alleged “massive worldwide online piracy.” 1 Since then, Dotcom has consistently questioned the charges, claiming not innocence but a lack of legal basis for the charges themselves—that is, that his conduct in creating and operating Megaupload does not make him criminally liable for copyright infringement and related charges. His defense team even took the highly unusual step of publishing a “white paper” that explores its arguments against the criminal charges. 2

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