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RAIN 8/24: Victory for LAUNCHcast as Appeals Court says service not interactive

Posted on: 08/24/2009

SERVICE REMAINS ELIGIBLE FOR STANDARD WEBCASTING LICENSE

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Yahoo’s LAUNCHcast service (run by CBS), which streams music to users based on their previous ratings, is not “interactive” and therefore need only pay a statutory royalty to SoundExchange. If the Court had determined LAUNCHcast to be interactive, the service would be required to negotiate a license for each and every song with its respective copyright holder.

The Court, using the DMCA’s definition of an interactive service, determined that LAUNCHcast was not interactive because the service does not allow users to pick what songs to listen to, thus the service is not a substitute for actually purchasing music. A federal jury reached the same conclusion in 2007 (RAIN coverage here) after record labels sued LAUNCHcast in 2001 (here). Sony appealed the 2007 decision, resulting in the Court of Appeals’ decision. Industry attorney David Oxenford has detailed coverage and analysis of the decision at his Broadcast Law Blog here. The Wall Street Journal also has coverage of the ruling, found here.

WI-FI BECOMING AN EXPECTED SERVICE FOR CONSUMERS

Consumers are not only using Wi-Fi more — and on the go — but also expect the wireless service to be in more places and to be free, reports GigaOm in The New York Times. The data comes from a survey conducted on the behalf of Devicescape and shows that nearly 98% of Wi-Fi users use the service daily, while 25% of Wi-Fi use comes from smartphones. Additionally, 90% make travel decisions based on where they can access Wi-Fi and 96% expect it to be free. All in all, the results of the survey are “a good sign-post of the reality of Wi-Fi and its ubiquitous nature,” writes GigaOM (here).

GOOGLE LAUNCHESAUDIO MAGAZINEPODCAST APP FOR ANDROID DEVICES

Google has debuted a new app for their Android mobile devices that downloads and plays podcasts. The “audio magazine,” called Listen, lets users search for and subscribe to multiple podcasts. The app then automatically downloads new episodes. Though Listen only includes English audio podcasts, Google reportedly plans to expand the service to video and non-English podcasts as well. For more, read Read Write Web’s coverage here.

DIGITAL MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESSES OUTPACES TRADITIONAL

The use of digital platforms for marketing among small and medium-sized businesses has overtaken that of traditional media, says BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Monitor study. Among small and medium-sized businesses, 77% are marketing in some way on digital platforms while only 69% are using traditional media. The Kelsey Group said this is “indicator of the broad shift to online platforms,” and points out that 4 out of 10 advertising and promotional dollars goes to digital — double that of last year. For more on the story, check out Inside Radio’s coverage here.

REVO IKON RADIO BOASTS COLOR TOUCH-SCREEN, LAST.FM, iPOD DOCK

Is it a digital radio? A tabletop Internet radio receiver? Or an iPod dock? The Revo IKON packs all three: DAB radio, Internet radio streaming (with Last.fm, Pandora, Sirius and Rhapsody supported) an iPod dock and a 3.5 inch color touch-screen to top it all off. Wi-Fi, an aux-in line, RCA outputs and a class D amp are also included. The Revo IKON is available for pre-order now for £279.95 ($461). It’s expected to start shipping on October 21. For more, check out Slash Gear’s coverage here.



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