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Litigation

Appeals court rules that Sean Hall and Nathan Butler’s copyright infringement case against Taylor Swift can go to trial

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A US appeals judge in California has granted two songwriters the right to a trial in the copyright infringement case they brought against Taylor Swift.

In the filing with the District Court in the Central District of California, songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler accused Swift of copying lyrics to their 2001 song 'Playas Gon' Play', penned for girl band 3LW, in her song 'Shake It Off' from 2014.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing (now Sony Music Publishing), Kobalt, Big Machine Label Group, ...

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Emmanuel is a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist, blogger and media consultant, specialising in the entertainment business and cultural trends. He was the US editor for British music industry trade publication Music Week. Previously, he was the editor of Impact, a magazine for the music publishing community (2007-2009), the global editor of US trade publication Billboard (2003-2006), and the editor in chief of Billboard’s sister publication Music & Media (1997-2003).

Collective Management Organisations

SoundExchange files a lawsuit against Slacker for failing to pay statutory royalties

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US music rights society SoundExchange has filed suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against digital media company Slacker, Inc. and its parent company LiveOne, Inc. "to recover unpaid royalties owed to performers and rights owners."

SoundExchange said Slacker operates under the statutory license for the use of sound recordings on digital radio but the service stopped paying statutory royalties in 2017.

"SoundExchange has been in negotiations wi...

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Copyright & Regulation

US Department of Justice seizes six domain names; Brazil takes down 461 music streaming apps as part of Operation 404

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The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has seized six domain names of websites "used to distribute copyrighted material without the authorization of the copyright holders."

According to the DoJ, law enforcement investigation from the Eastern District of Virginia confirmed that copyright-protected music content was "present and available" for streaming or downloading on each of these six websites.

The crackdown was part of ongoing efforts by the DoJ and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) t...

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Copyright & Regulation

British court sentences individual to four-and-a-half years imprisonment for selling and advertising unauthorised TV decoders

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The Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, England has sentenced Michael Hornung to four years and six months imprisonment following conviction by a jury for selling and advertising unauthorised decoders.

Hornung was found to have operated his illegal business for over a three-year period between 2014 and 2017. The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) alongside the Greater Manchester Police investigated in 2014 the activities of an online supplier of television set-top boxes which e...

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