Attorneys representing David Lowery in his lawsuit against Spotify want to know what the music streaming service has been telling songwriters. In a motion filed this week in the Central District Court of California, Lowery and the other three plaintiffs have asked the judge for “corrective action to prevent misrepresentations to putative class members” in pitches to songwriters by Spotify and the National Music Publishers’ Association related to their settlement agreement.’
The new filing comes down to the plaintiffs’ lack of access to settlement agreement between Spotify and the NMPA. Lowery’s attorneys state that their requests to see the reported agreement have been rebuffed, leading to concerns the eventual class members are being given false statements about their litigation rights.
They believe the court has “both the authority and the duty to review and impose reasonable restrictions” on communications with potential class members to prevent Spotify from making misleading or inaccurate statements that would inform the songwriters about the nature of the litigation and their options for protecting their rights.
Over the last year, the concept of a “smart contract” has received renewed attention in legal and business circles.
Advancements in blockchain technology have led some to believe that smart contracts could soon offer alternatives to traditional commercial and financial agreements, with dire results for the legal and financial sectors.
While the internet has changed the world in more ways than one could easily list, that doesn’t mean that all of those changes have been good for everyone.
One of the areas where digital technology and the internet haven’t paired well has been with intellectual property.
There has always been a thriving black market, or secondary market, for products that have been made without the consent of the copyright or trademark holder’s permission. However before the internet they rarely had any significant impact on businesses based simply on reach and scale. But with the relative anonymity and global access of the internet, the unauthorized use, reproduction or distribution of media like music, television, movies and artwork has made it easy to illegally trade and sell.
For those who have amassed an extensive iTunes collection of songs and movies, is there any hope of reselling these works?
Back in 2011, a company called ReDigi attempted to give consumers just such a pipe dream. The idea was to take advantage of the “first sale” doctrine, which gives those who purchase copies of copyrighted work the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular copy notwithstanding the interests of the copyright holder. ReDigi provided cloud storage and a market for “used” songs bought off of iTunes. Naturally, the record industry wasn’t happy, which led to a lawsuit and a big ruling in April 2013.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Blockchain technology opens up the possibility for a provider to offer an immutable registry of transactions, held on a decentralized network of computers.
While financial applications continue to dominate the blockchain development landscape, as we’ve detailed in prior posts there are a growing number of companies offering registries for digital content, including Monegraph, ConSensys, Stem, Mediachain, ascribe and others.
A content registry, for the most part, is a registry of the ownership of intellectual property, most prominently copyright. Ideally, such a registry would accurately record original ownership of a work, and then also record all subsequent transactions involving that work. Since copyright interests are divisible, this can become an extremely complicated tree of transactions, very rapidly.