3 Count: RIAA Warfare

Warfare on two fronts...

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1: RIAA Sued By YouTube-Ripping Site Over DMCA Anti-Circumvention Notices

First off today, Andy Maxwell at Torrentfreak writes that the company Yout LLC has filed a lawsuit against the Recording Industry Association of America (RiAA) over allegations the RIAA filed false Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices against their site.

According to the lawsuit, the RIAA has filed a series of DMCA notices with Google to get their site dropped from the search results. The RIAA claims that the site enables users to break copy-protection schemes on YouTube, something that is a violation of the DMCA. However, Yout claims that it doesn’t break any encryption at all and instead is just “time-shifting” downloaded videos. As such, they contend that their service is completely legal.

As such, Yout is asking the court to determine that their service is legal, order the RIAA to pay compensation for the allegedly false DMCA notices and have the notices themselves rescinded.

2: Twitch, Amazon Slammed by RIAA and Major Industry Groups for Using Unlicensed Music; Twitch Disputes Claim

Next up today, Jem Aswad at Variety reports that the live streaming platform Twitch, as well as its parent company Amazon, have received a letter from the RIAA, the National Music Publishers Association, the Music Managers Forum, the American Association of Independent Music, SAG-AFTRA and many others. According to the letter, Twitch has failed to secure proper synch and mechanical licenses for its recently launched “Soundtrack” tool and has also not done enough to stop other unlincensed music from being played on its platform.

Earlier this month, Twitch launched Soundtrack, which provides streamers a library of independent music, mostly from independent labels. However, there are concerns that Twitch doesn’t have all of the needed rights to stream those songs, in particular synch and mechanical licenses. The letter also accused Twitch of not taking adequate action DMCA takedown notices and generally not taking the issue of music licensing seriously.

Twitch, however, has already hit back saying that they are committed to supporting the music industry and currently license their tracks through a variety of partners. This move by the RIAA comes just after the music industry sent a large number of DMCA takedowns to Twitch, which resulted in the removal of 1000s of videos from the service.

3: UPI Looks at Copyright Issues with McCloskey Cards

Finally today, Joe Holleman at the St. Louis Dispatch reports that The United Press International (UPI) is considering whether to send a “cease and desist” letter to Mark and Patricia McCloskey after the couple had greeting cards made up featuring a UPI-owned image of them.

The couple rose to fame amidst the racial justice protests over the summer when they were photographed on their lawn carrying firearms and pointing them at passing protestors. Since then, they have become highly divisive public figures. While at a print shop, they were confronted by another set of protestors and the couple gave them a greeting card featuring a photo of them during the original incident.

However, that photo was taken by a UPI photographer and, according to the UPI’s director of photography, they’ve sent the matter over to their legal department for examination.

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