@katenash: Royalty Deadbeat Snapchat Gets big billions for valuation, but has no licenses?
Kate Nash leads the way for songwriters and artists who are wondering when the income transfer to Big Tech in the collaborative “sharing” economy is going to start getting shared the other direction by these royalty deadbeats.
Snapchat joins the leading Silicon Valley royalty deadbeats like Facebook with a big IPO filing but relying entirely on losing legal theories like the faux “DMCA license” that was a big loser for Cox Communications. (Ironically, Cox was just ordered to pay BMG’s $8 million and change in legal fees from Cox’s $25 million jury verdict in their losing DMCA defense.)
And how do we know this? Because Snapchat tells us they do in the risk factors of their IPO filing:
We rely on a variety of statutory and common-law frameworks for the content we provide our users, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA, the Communications Decency Act, or CDA, and the fair-use doctrine. The DMCA limits, but does not necessarily eliminate, our potential liability for caching, hosting, listing, or linking to third-party content that may include materials that infringe copyrights or other rights. The CDA further limits our potential liability for content uploaded onto Snapchat by third parties. And the fair-use doctrine (and related doctrines in other countries) limits our potential liability for featuring third-party intellectual property content produced by Snap Inc. for purposes such as reporting, commentary, and parody. However, each of these statutes and doctrines is subject to uncertain judicial interpretation and regulatory and legislative amendments. Moreover, some of them provide protection only or primarily in the United States. If the rules around these doctrines change, if international jurisdictions refuse to apply similar protections, or if a court were to disagree with our application of those rules to our service, we could incur liability and our business could be seriously harmed.