3 Count: Mega Cancel

3 Count: Mega Cancel Image

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1: Does Spotify’s New Lyrics Feature Violate U.S. Copyright Law?

First off today, Hypebot is reporting that the music streaming service Spotify has launched a new “Lyrics” feature that will display the lyrics line by line on the screen as the song plays. However, one leader in the karaoke business is crying foul, saying that the new system is an infringement.

The feature, which is rolling out to desktop spotify users over the next few weeks, works by timing the lyrics up with the song so they appear in time with the music. However, Joseph Vangieri, the CEO of DigiTrax, a company that licenses music for karaoke, feels that this is the same as synchronizing the music to a video, which requires a “synchronization” license, something Spotify doesn’t have.

Vangieri accused Spotify of unfair competition and noted that many musicians will not allow their music to be used for karaoke. However, it’s unclear if the act of displaying lyrics to the music as it progresses requires synchronization license.

2: Under U.S. Pressure, PayPal Nukes Mega for Encrypting Files

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that payment processor PayPal has severed ties with the cyberlocker site Mega, leaving it without a means to receive payments from users.

Mega is site that was Kim Dotcom’s follow up to Megaupload, which was shuttered in January 2012. Mega works by not only storing the files on the server, but by encrypting them before upload. However, that encryption may have played a role in PayPal withdrawing as PayPal said the site complied with all of the requirements it places on such services but the encryption made it so that PayPal could not to work with them.

The announcement comes some five months after PayPal was heavily criticized by NetNames in their report about the cyberlocker industry. Referring to Mega as a piracy-enabling service, the report prompted Senator Patrick Leahy to personally reach out to Visa and MasterCard to stop working with Mega and other companies in the report. Visa and MasterCard, in turn, applied pressure to PayPal, who has now backed away from the site.

3: Friday is the New Music Tuesday, Thanks to Piracy

Finally today, Mariella Moon at Engadget reports that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has announced that the organization has moved global album release day from Tuesday to exactly 12:01 AM Friday.

The move is aimed at capitalizing on consumers social media and shopping habits, hoping to capture more bricks and mortar sales and more buzz. However, the move is also an attempt to blunt piracy by aligning the date and time internationally, preventing some countries from getting a song or album before others.

Traditionally, new music in the U.S. has been released on Tuesdays but the surprise 2013 release of a Beyonce album help sparked the movement to change and harmonize the global release schedule. That schedule will start this summer.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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