3 Count: Scrapped Plans

So much for that...

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1: FCC Chairman Scraps Plan To Promote Set-Top Box Competition

First off today, David Lieberman at Deadline Hollywood reports that the new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has removed from consideration an agenda that would have made it possible for third parties to make cable and satellite set-top boxes.

The proposal, which was opposed by cable and satellite companies, would have required providers to offer their channels in a format that would have been compatible with third-party boxes. The aim was to improve competition in the set-top box space and lower costs by not requiring consumers to lease/rent them from their cable company.

However, with the new administration, the policy has been set aside and is not part of the organization’s agenda moving forward.

2: Swedish Govt. Mulls Tougher Punishments to Tackle Pirate Sites

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the government in Sweden is undertaking a legislative review that aims to give create new punishments and tools for fighting piracy.

One key element is raising the maximum penalty for severe piracy, such as running a major piracy website. Currently in the country the maximum penalty is two years but Sweden is looking to make it a felony and drastically increasing the maximum time in prison.

The country is also looking at other tools for enforcement including domain seizures, site blocking and more. While many of these tools have been available in other countries for years, in particular the UK, this will be the first time they’ve been available in Swden if they become law.

3: ESPN Reaches Settlement in Music Licensing Dispute

Finally today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that ESPN has reached a settlement with performing rights organization BMI in a year-long dispute over fees for broadcasting ambient music.

At issue was not music that ESPN placed into its program, but rather, noise played over the loudspeakers of stadiums that are often picked up by ESPN’s cameras. According to calculations from court papers, ESPN spends approximately $15 million per year on ambient music licensing but, in February of 2016, sued BMI saying that the organization was not being reasonable in negotiating a new deal.

BMI, on the other hand, alleged that ESPN used far more music than it claimed, including on mobile and website platforms, and was not being reasonable itself, only wanting to pay a small fraction of what it had previously agreed to.  However, the two sides have now reached an agreement and a judge has ordered that lawsuit dismissed.


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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