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Music Publishing News Roundup: Friday, September 16, 2016

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The European Commission will be reforming European copyright laws, and plan to force sites like YouTube to pay more to creators and rights holders.  The plans also call for easier access to online content across all EU countries and to reform copyright rules for research and education.  Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EC, said “I want journalists, publishers, and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or hyperlinked on the web.”

New advocacy organization SONA, Songwriters of North America, is suing the United States Department of Justice over consent decree decisions.  Songwriters Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley founded SONA in the Spring of 2015 to fight consent decrees, but their many attempts with other songwriter organizations to negotiate with the Department of Justice have mostly failed.  The organization has now filed a complaint against the government based on how individual songwriters will be adversely financially affected, how collaborative relationships will be destroyed, and the havoc that will be wreaked within the licensing ecosystem.

India’s government issued a memorandum clarifying that the internet is covered under Statutory Licensing provisions of the 2013 Copyright Act.  This has brought relief to the country’s streaming services like Gaana, Saavn, and Wynk, and encourages global services like YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora to enter the market.  The clarification makes it so music users can simply send a notice to rights holders and pay the rates set by the Copyright Board in order to use their songs, rather than being at the mercy of notoriously high rates set by the country’s societies, PPL and IPRS.

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