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Week in Review

By Ben Natter

Judge Rejects Justice Department Ruling on Music Licensing

Judge Louis L. Stanton (SDNY) last week rejected the Justice Department's recent interpretation of the consent decree governing royalties for songwriters represented by BMI. BMI is governed by a consent decree dating back to 1941, and compliance of the consent decree is monitored by separate SDNY judges.

The Department of Justice interpretation would have required BMI (and ASCAP) to offer 100% licenses, even if only a portion of a song is in their repertoire and the song has multiple copyright owners that belong to different Performance Rights Organizations.

The Department of Justice can appeal the decision.


Bill to Shield International Art Loans Gains in Senate

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act. The bill furthers extends existing protection from seizure for artwork on loan for exhibitions in the United States. The bill is designed to encourage foreign governments to permit loaning of artwork for exhibitions in the U.S. It carves out exemptions for works looted between 1933 and 1945 by Germany and its allies and also includes an exemption for works seized after 1900 by a foreign government from members of a "targeted group."

Opponents of the bill argue that looting committed by the Russian government falls outside the scope of these two exemptions.


Who's Too Young for an App? Musical.ly Tests the Limits

Musical.ly, a video/lip syncing app growing in popularity, is pushing the limits of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule's (COPPA) strict compliance requirements for software users under the age of 13. The industry standard for COPPA compliance by social networks is willful ignorance. Social networking companies require their users to be above the age of 13, and thus exempt from COPPA.

Musical.ly has a particularly young user base that industry experts say is sometimes as young as first or second grade. As the company, which acknowledges a target user age of between 13 and 20, continues to gain steam it will be interesting to see if it triggers a change to COPPA, which was enacted in 1998, long before apps existed on mobile phones.


After Quake, an Italian Crisis Unit Races to Rescue a Region's Heritage

The Italian crisis unit of the Culture Ministry is currently in Amatrice, Italy. Amatrice was hit by an earthquake on August 24th, and, in addition to killing almost 300 people, put at risk of destruction thousands of treasured dossiers and other artifacts in churches and museums across earthquake zone, which extends through four regions of Italy. Some of the pieces date back to the 1600s, when another earthquake hit the area.

The crisis unit was created after a 1997 earthquake in Italy that severely damaged a number of monuments, including the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. It is now regularly deployed in both natural and man-made disasters in Italy and abroad. The project is very risky, as many of the buildings are unstable.

The crisis unit is working simultaneously with restorers attempting to salvage historic buildings.


Felon is Nominated by Public to the Football Hall of Fame

Darren Sharper was included in the list of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame released last week. Sharper is currently serving 20 years in prison for drugging and raping women.

Sharper was an excellent football player (a five-time Pro Bowl safety in a 14-year career). However, his nomination caused outrage because of his criminal past. Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Football Hall of Fame does not have a character clause. The only requirement is that a nominee played for five seasons and made one All-Pro team or Pro Bowl and has been retired for five seasons. Additionally, the Hall of Fame does not nominate players -- this is left up to the public. Sharper was also nominated last year.


Varvara Lepchenko Is Cleared in Meldonium Inquiry

Several months after reports of meldonium doping first surfaced, Varvara Lepchenko was cleared of all wrongdoing. Lepchenko, a U.S. tennis player born in Uzbekistan, was declared to bear "no fault or negligence" for her violation by the International Tennis Federation. Lepchenko originally tested positive for meldonium in January at a WTA tournament in Brisbane, Australia. The substance was banned beginning on January 1st, and later conducted testing confirmed Lepchenko's assertion that she had not taken the drug since approximately December 20th.

Lepchenko repeatedly declined to discuss the case.


Eisenhower Family Drops Objections to Memorial

The $150 million memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower was given new life earlier this week after the Eisenhower family reached a compromise on the Frank Gehry design. The Eisenhower family had opposed many aspects of the proposed design. Among the changes, the memorial will now feature a representation of the D-Day landing in Normandy and pay homage to Eisenhower's Kansas roots. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission was originally created by Congress in 1999 and the project has been consistently delayed.


Museum Officials and Archaeologists Sign Petition Against North Dakota Pipeline

1,281 people have signed on to a petition asking for further study of land involved in the pipeline project around the Missouri River.
The pipeline has been opposed by Native American tribes that argue that the land and water are sacred and serve a number of tribal purposes.
The new petition against the pipeline was originated by New York Natural History Museum.


Rome Mayor Nixes 2024 Olympic Bid

Mayor Virginia Raggi rejected Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympics on Wednesday. "This city is unlivable," Raggi stated, and further added that she has a larger plan for Rome beyond the 2024 Olympics. Raggi's decision needs to be approved by Rome's City Assembly. Once approved, the remaining contenders for 2024 would be Los Angeles, Paris and Budapest. The International Olympic Committee will decide on the host city in September 2017.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 24, 2016 2:40 PM.

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