American stand-up comedian and actor Lewis Black is the latest in a string of celebrities suing audio streamer Pandora for copyright infringement.
Pandora is facing allegations of copyright infringement by other celebrities including Bill Engvall, Andrew Dice Clay and the estates of Robin Williams and George Carlin (“et all”). The claims are all on the same grounds; that Pandora failed to obtain a licence to stream their work. Although the claims were filed independently, they have since been consolidated into one, although Black is not a party to the suit.
The claim is based on the idea that comedy albums have two sets of copyright in which streamers should pay royalties – like music. The two sets of copyright, argues Black, are the recording and the publishing (or written work of the recorded material).
If Black et all succeed in their respective claim, it could have major consequences for Pandora and other audio streaming services alike. Pandora maintains its current compensation regime in line with copyright law.
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