3 Count: Copyrighted Law

When a code becomes a law...

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1: Songwriters of North America File Motion to Proceed in DOJ Consent Decree Lawsuit

First off today, Robert Levine at Billboard reports that the Songwriters of North America (SONA), a group of about 200 creators, have filed an appeal of the dismissal of their lawsuit against the Department of Justice over the DOJs 100% licensing decree.

ASCAP and BMI are the two largest performing rights organizations (PROs) and they license compositions for public performances in places such as restaurants and bars. However, they operate under a consent decree from the Department of Justice that sets the process through which they license the songs they control.

However, recently the DOJ ruled that both ASCAP and BMI would need to provide 100% licensing of songs, even if they only represent a fraction of it (for example, if there are multiple authors and only one is with that PRO). ASCAP and BMI are both fighting this but SONA also filed a lawsuit. That lawsuit was dismissed due to lack of standing, which is what SONA is appealing now.

2: Rojadirecta Ordered to Shut Down By Spanish Court

Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that Rojadirecta, the popular sports streaming site that operates out of Spain, has been ordered to shut down by a Spanish court and to pay damages to local broadcaster Movistar+.

Rojadirecta is owned by a Puerto 80 and has the site has faced multiple legal challenges in the past, even being declared legal after a pair of courtroom victories. However, now a local court has ruled that Rojadirecta has violated the rights of Telefónica-owned Movistar+ when it streamed sports content from the service without permission.

The order required Rojadirecta to shut down on February 1 but the order was just published. The order also requires the site to pay damages pending any appeal.

3: Can You Hold Copyright in Federal Law?

Finally today, David Post at The Washington Post reports that a recent decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia finds that it is possible for certain areas of the legal code in the U.S. to be copyright protected.

Typically work by federal employees as part of their duties is public domain, this includes the writing of laws. However, sometimes laws include previously-voluntary standards, codifying them into legal requirements. When that happens, the court ruled that the body that wrote the standards does not lose copyright protection in it.

As such, there are times when a private organization can enforce the copyright of a code standard that is a legal requirement.


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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