Reposted from Sports, Media and Entertainment Online

By Keitaro Uzawa and Ann Cheung

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (“METI“) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (“Guidelines“), which apply to all online business operations in Japan and clarify how the Civil Code, which governs Japanese commercial contracts, and other relevant laws, such as the Act on Special Provisions to the Civil Code Concerning Electronic Consumer Contracts and Electronic Acceptance Notice (Act No. 95 of 2001) (“Electronic Contract Act“) and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976), are applied to various legal issues relating to electronic commerce and information property trading.


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Reposted from DLA Piper’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Blog

By Matt Ganas and Sam Churney

As part of a concerted effort to assess the effectiveness of existing methods of licensing music, the US Copyright Office has published a request in the Federal Register for public comment on a number of copyright issues. This request relates to an ongoing congressional review and a potential overhaul of the US Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101, et. seq. (the “Act”),  in view of technological developments that continue to shape music industry practices in the digital age.  According to the Copyright Office, information gathered during the public comment period will be reported to Congress for consideration of possible revisions to the Act.


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By John Wilks and Ruth Hoy

A UK High Court claim filed this week by the Ministry of Sound record label against music streaming site Spotify raises some interesting issues around the originality threshold for copyright works.

The claim, which was reported in the Guardian, alleges that the Ministry’s track listings (each a compilation of tracks by different artists) are copyright works in their own right. The Ministry allege that such copyright is infringed by playlists made available by Spotify which reproduce their compilation track listings.


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By James Stewart

Madonna is the center of attention again regarding alleged misappropriation (remember the “Express Yourself” debate?).  The “Material Girl” is once again en vogue on the copyright docket in the Ninth Circuit.  According to IPLaw360, record label VMG Saloul LLC has sued Madonna, her record label, and a co-composer (collectively, “Madonna”) with whom she worked to compose and produce the smash-hit “Vogue” for copyright infringement.

VMG alleges that Madonna covertly incorporated pieces of their late-seventies disco track “Love Break” into the infamous 1990 hit single “Vogue”.  In an attempt to bypass the Copyright Act’s statute of limitations, VMG argues that it was unable to detect such copying until new technology was developed in 2011.

Madonna quickly denied that any copying took place.  However, most interesting about the Material Girl’s motion is her observation that VMG’s “new technology” argument effectively wipes out any chances of success in this infringement suit.


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Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media Intelligence Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

Peter Frampton has filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group (“Universal Music”) in respect of unpaid music royalties.

Peter Frampton filed a suit on 23 December 2011 against record label Universal Music for half a million pounds worth of unpaid music royalties and unspecified damages, making him the latest artist to make a claim against a record label in respect of digital royalties.


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