Copyright & Media Update – 3/24/17

This Trial Will Determine Songwriters’ Income Over the Next 5 Years

BY ERIN M. JACOBSON: When a song has millions of streams on Spotify and views on YouTube, most people think “Wow, that artist must be making a ton of money!” It’s easy to make that assumption when music superstars are seen on television wearing designer clothing and leaving the hottest nightclubs in town, only to drive away in their Bentley to charter a private plane to their yacht. READ MORE…

Warning: Universal Music Is Ripping Down ALL Facebook Cover Videos

BY PAUL RESNIKOFF: Uploading cover song videos to Facebook?  You might want to stop doing that. Last year, Universal Music Publishing Group, the largest publisher in the world, started ripping down Facebook cover videos.  Long story short: Facebook and UMPG couldn’t agree on a royalty agreement for the songs being covered.  So the big guns were pointed at everyday Facebook fans singing songs from their favorite artists. READ MORE…

Disney Accused of Stealing ‘Zootopia’ From ‘Total Recall’ Screenwriter

BY GENE MADDAUS: A veteran screenwriter filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday accusing Disney of stealing his idea for the hit animated film “Zootopia.” Gary Goldman alleges that Disney took character designs, themes, lines of dialogue, and even the name “Zootopia” from a project that he first developed in 2000. He alleges that he twice pitched the project to Disney executives, in 2000 and 2009, and was rejected. The lawsuit accuses Disney of a long history of stealing ideas from others, and contends that “Zootopia” is only the most recent example of an embedded corporate practice. READ MORE…

Hope fades for cheap TV-over-Internet as FilmOn loses copyright fight [Updated]

BY JOE MULLIN: Remember the startup Aereo? That’s the Boston-based outfit that tried to sell TV over the Internet for $8 a month before it was stymied by the TV networks. The networks argued that Aereo’s system infringed their copyrighted programs. After years of legal battles, the Supreme Court sided with the networks in 2014. The court says that Aereo’s system of “renting” tiny antennas to each customer didn’t protect it from copyright allegations. In a 6-3 opinion, the high court held that Aereo looked like a cable system, so its users weren’t entitled to free over-the-air broadcasts. READ MORE…