Copyright & Media Update

At Last, Judge Approves Settlement to Put “Happy Birthday to You” in Public Domain

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS: A judge has approved a settlement that will put ‘Happy Birthday to You’ in the public domain and ordered the companies that collected royalties on the song for years to pay back $14million.

U.S. District Judge George King approved the agreement on Monday.  It ends the ownership claims of Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing company that has been collecting royalties on the song for more than 20 years. The company has agreed to pay back $14 million to those who have paid licensing fees to use the song. Last year, King ruled that the company didn’t own the lyrics to the ditty, one of the best-known and most beloved songs in the world. READ MORE…

Google Partners with LyricFind to Deliver More Lyrics in Search

HYPEBOT.COM: Google Search and Google Play Music are diving more deeply into song lyrics via a deal with LyricFind. Lyrics as an add-on  have been getting attention lately.  Apple Music is adding them.  Spotify offered lyrics and recently dropped them, but insists they’re coming back. Google has  partnered with LyricFind to expand its lyric offerings. Adding lyrics from over 4,000 publishers to Google’s search results and within Google Play Music, LyricFind now provides licensing for lyrics displayed in Google’s search results as well as in the music app. READ MORE…

Finally USCO Allows Digital Filing of Compulsory Licensing

BY ED CHRISTMAN: Music publishing is currently mired in legal battles, settlements and public debates over whether on-demand streaming services are correctly licensing songs and properly compensating rights owners. The U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) has taken an important step, finally making it possible to file compulsory licenses digitally. Late last year, after artist advocate and songwriter David Lowery filed suit against Spotify following the company’s admission of this massive blind spot (after being called out by Victory Records and Audiam), the music publishing and digital services community reached out to the Copyright Office, saying it needed the compulsory license process digitized in order to clean up the mess going forward and make sure songwriters and publishers get proper compensation. READ MORE…

Music Industry Out of Harmony with YouTube Music Tracking

BY HANNAH KARP: The music industry is locked in an epic battle with YouTube, the most popular on-demand service, over the declining royalty rates the site pays per stream as it grows, and the difficulty in detecting copyrighted material from the mass of videos uploaded on the site. The site voluntarily offers record labels a system to automatically block, monetize or mute their music on the site, matching audio files with 99.7% precision, the service says, and a chance for labels to cash in on user-uploaded content instead of merely resorting to sending takedown notices. But many music rights holders say the YouTube system isn’t foolproof and requires them to conduct a laborious, manual search daily to track content and collect royalties. READ MORE…

About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian 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, Facebook and Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.