Sunday, May 07, 2017

All For Nothing

Another week, another slew of bad news for creative people...

By nature, this "alien romance" author is a cup's-half-full type. However, am I alone in thinking that 50% royalties would be a fair deal for the person who puts the time, energy, expertise and talent into creating entertaining works. Works that middlemen call "content"!  After all, what would content distribution sites do, if there was no "content" for them to distribute?

A Bad Week For The Warners Of This World

Warner Musicians got screwed last week, mostly because the DMCA protects piracy by proxy. Can one really be called "a willing seller" (of one's work) if one's choice is to agree to accept crumbs for the legal exploitation ones work by others or refuse to agree to the exploiter's terms and get nothing, and still have one's work exploited?

".... compensation and control for our songwriters and artists continues to be hindered by the leverage that 'safe harbor' laws provide... user-uploaded services.  There's no getting around the fact that, even if YouTube doesn't have licenses, our music will still be available, but not monetized at all...."

Another perspective on the same leaked internal email.

Meanwhile, Huffington post blogger Brooke Warner sheds light on something similar taking place on Amazon, where used books can be sold "in new condition" by third party sellers, and these "in new condition" books can bump in-print, genuinely new and never-before-sold books made available by the authors and publishers so far down the page, they might as well be off the site.

Authors are not paid royalties for books sold "in new condition" by third parties. Authors are also not paid for "lends".

When Is Safe Harbor Not Safe Harbor?

Law bloggers Thomas J Kowalski and Alain Villeneuve (writing for Vedder Price PC) pen a heartening and useful article about five occasions when a bad actor cannot claim immunity from prosecution for copyright infringement under "Safe Harbor".

The article starts off discussing a case where a popular real estate related website that displays user-uploaded content was sued for copyright infringement and waited over a year to inform its insurance provider, thus forfeiting its insurance coverage!

Then, it turns to circumstances where Safe Harbor does not apply.  At least two (#2 and #4) of those circumstances would appear to me to be of interest to Warner Music.

Sympathy For A "Bad Actor"

Finally, and perhaps this author should add as a disclaimer that the only "reality" shows she watches are "Survivorman" and "The Weather Channel"... a reality show celebrity found herself in legal jeopardy (financially speaking) for posting a photograph of herself for her tens of thousands of fans to admire.  That hardly seems fair, does it?

Thanks to Jaimie Wolbers of law firm K&L Gates for the legal cautionary tale.

Whether the photo is of oneself, one's house, one's garden, one's cat or dog, one's book... if someone else took the photo, the rights belong to the photographer, and one must have the photographer's permission to use it.

Even a paparazzo has rights!  That is a useful lesson to us all.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

No comments:

Post a Comment