Weekly Copyright Update

August 14, 2015

BMI sues Kentucky strip club for playing songs by Paul Simon without license

Editor’s Note: Church and ministry leaders often wonder if they really need performance licenses for songs they play and perform outside their religious services. There’s no question that churches should not be compared to a “Gentleman’s Club,” but a recent lawsuit by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) shows just how seriously song owners take it when organizations play music without proper licensing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) — A small Kentucky strip club is being sued by a titan in the recording industry for allegedly playing songs by Paul Simon, Amy Winehouse and others without paying a standard licensing fee.  

Broadcast Music, Inc., based in New York, filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Friday claiming Divas Gentleman’s Club in Lexington committed copyright infringement by playing Simon’s song, “You can call me Al,” among others.

What Are the Benefits in Registering Your Copyrights?

Editor’s Note: Songwriters often asks me if they really NEED to register their music with the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO). Is it really worth the effort and money? Intellectual Property Attorney John W. Mashni wrote an excellent article this week on the benefits of registering with the USCO in the Foster Swift Technology Law Blog.

While an automatic copyright protects that work, a formal registration of copyrighted materials within three months of release to the general public provides extra benefits that can prove extremely valuable to the owner. These benefits serve to not only protect the copyrighted work, but also to provide additional remedies for the author in the event of infringement.

Apple’s Hits 11 Million Trialists to Apple Music in Just 5 Weeks

By Tim Ingham: Apple’s Eddy Cue has revealed that 11 million users have signed up to Apple Music since its launch on June 30. The announcement brings to an end weeks of speculation over Apple’s official numbers, and means the Cupertino giant has attracted an average of around 315,000 sign-ups every day.

The biggest issue with the milestone is that we are talking about trialists not subscribers. So these numbers are an early indicator of likely performance rather than performance metrics in their own right.

Apple’s announcement that it hit 11 million trialists to Apple Music just 5 weeks after launching has divided opinion as to whether the milestone constitutes success or failure.  It is probably a bit of both.

RIAA says BitTorrent software accounts for 75% of piracy

By Joe Mullin: Brad Buckles, RIAA’s VP for anti-piracy, has told the CEO of BitTorrent he’s “very concerned about the overwhelming use of BitTorrent Inc. developed clients” in pirating his members’ works. BitTorrent software, including the popular uTorrent client, “facilitated approximately 75% of the over 1.6 million torrent based infringement of our members’ works last year in the US,” Buckles wrote in a letter dated July 30.

Quartz Analyzes Beats1 Tracks to Understand Apple’s Taste in Music

By Nikhil Sonnad: When Apple debuted its streaming music service in June, it launched a live radio station to go with it: Beats 1 is billed as “the world’s local station,” with DJs in London, New York, and Los Angeles. Anyone can listen 24 hours a day using iTunes or the Apple Music app.

To get a sense of the station’s tastes and habits, we analyzed data on more than 12,000 songs played on Beats 1 from early July to early August. The song data was collected by Callum Jones, a programmer at Nitrous, who has open-sourced his tool over on GitHub. Jones also has a Twitter bot that automatically tweets whatever song is playing.

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and ministries “do music right.”  CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, and  Facebook. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.


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