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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, June 24, 2016

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Over 500 creators and 20 organizations have signed a letter to US Congress calling for reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The biggest grievance is with the DMCA’s “safe harbor” protections, which allow platforms such as YouTube to avoid legal liability for copyright infringement taking place on its platform.  Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, Irving Azoff, organized the letter, and said “the entire industry is united and committed to pursuing a fair resolution. We are fighting for the future.”

58 members of European Parliament have penned a letter urging the European Commission to clarify the status of YouTube under copyright law.  The letter discusses the “non-comparable increase in revenues from the increase in consumption” from platforms that host UGC and content aggregation services.  Meanwhile, the International Artist Organisation (IAO) has also written to the EC, asking to ensure it’s not just the major labels’ interests that are served in any possible safe harbor reforms.

Vimeo has won an appeals court decision on copyright disputes against Capitol Records and others.  The 2nd Circuit ruled that though sound recordings created before 1972 are protected by state law, federal law can still provide immunity on infringement of copyright to digital services.  It also overturned the decision to deny Vimeo a safe harbor defence because certain employees were allegedly aware of such infringement, the opinion stating that “protecting service providers from the expense of monitoring was an important part of the compromise embodied in the safe harbor.”

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