Keynote on Legal Issues

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From Christianity Today …

Bob Smietana in a January 8 article in Christianity Today addresses copyright & the pastor’s sermon.  His article is entitled:

  • Who Owns the Pastor’s Sermon?  Church or pastor? When sermons become books that make millions in royalties, the answer is important
  • You can access the article online at Christianity Today.

At the XP-Seminar in Dallas on February 19-20, we are having Matt Anthony & David Middlebrook of The Church Law Group address this topic.  Talk about great timing!

Bob’s article is a good and balanced presentation of the issues.  I’ve spoken with Curtis Yates and Frank Sommerville, as well as David Middlebrook and Matt Anthony on this issue.  Bob’s article delves into the issues and represents the positions quite well.

From the New York Times … about your music listening

Royalties are a current issue in the music industry.  Intellectual Property is in the courts:

As the music industry races toward a future of digital streams and smartphone apps, its latest crisis centers on a regulatory plan that has been in place since “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was a hit.

Since 1941, Ascap and BMI, the two giant licensing organizations that dominate music publishing, have been governed by consent decrees with the Justice Department. These agreements were made to guarantee fair royalty rates for songwriters and for the radio stations, television networks and even restaurants and retail shops that play their music.

Read the Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan

A copyright fight that will impact your television viewing …

“Last year, the rhetoric surrounding the battle between television networks and TV-over-Internet company Aereo escalated to a point that would have been alarming if it weren’t so ridiculous. First the COO of News Corp. said that if Aereo were allowed to exist, it might go ahead and take the “broadcasting” out of “Fox Broadcasting,” converting to a cable channel. Weeks later, CBS CEO Les Moonves suggested his company might pursue the same strategy.

Aereo uses a scheme where it catches free over-the-air TV with tiny antennas, renting one to each user, and then transmits the TV shows over the Internet. In Aereo’s view, that allows the company to avoid paying the “retransmission fees” that cable companies pay to TV networks. The major TV networks say it’s an illegal dodge around copyright rules, and their fight is scheduled to be argued in the Supreme Court in April. It will be the biggest copyright fight in 2014, without a doubt.”

Read more: Amid threats to decamp to cable, CBS chief admits: Aereo doesn’t hurt us