Small Claims Bill Aims to Empower Copyright Owners and Creators — Kevin Madigan writes about H.R. 3945, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2017. The bill would establish a voluntary tribunal within the Copyright Office to provide streamlined resolution of copyright claims under $30,000. As Madigan notes, “The reality is that the majority of copyright owners are small businesses and individual creators who often lack the means to bring an infringement suit in federal court. According to a report by the Professional Photography Association, 70% of photographers have experienced unauthorized use of their work, but most instances of infringement are valued at less than $3,000. With relatively small sums of money and damages on the line, attorneys are reluctant to dedicate their time to representing individual artists and small businesses.”
Internet Archive Gives New Life to Old Books — “The people at the Internet Archive, a San Francisco nonprofit founded by Brewster Kahle, are relying on an important feature of the Copyright Act that allows libraries and archives to copy books for researchers and scholars in the last 20 years of the books’ copyright life, as long as they aren’t commercially available. The exception was added to Section 108, the part of the copyright law that provides special exceptions for libraries and archives, in 1998 when the copyright terms were extended by 20 years.”
NMPA Chief David Israelite on Music Licensing Issues: ‘The Value of the Song Is More Important Than the Process’ — Ed Christman at Billboard reports, “The National Music Publishers Assn., the Digital Media Assn. and various songwriter and record label groups are negotiating legislation that they hope will solve the mechanical licensing problems that have plagued digital music services, while hopefully achieving higher rates for music publishers and songwriters. It’s a proposed law that will create a mechanism and a new entity that will issue and oversee a blanket mechanical license for digital music services and record labels.”
Major Studios, Streamers Declare Legal War on TickBox — Netflix and Amazon’s content division join the six major film studios in a lawsuit filed against TickBox, one of the many fully-loaded Kodi boxes on the market that provide consumers with access to pirated works at the push of a button. The complaint alleges inducement of infringement—”With a wink and a nod, TickBox tells prospective customers they can ‘of course’ still use ‘Amazon Video, Netflix or Hulu on Tickbox TV’— but TickBox confidently predicts that, ‘within a few days of using Tickbox TV™ you will find you no longer need those subscriptions’ (because TickBox TV is intended to substitute for such services)”—and contributory infringement.