A businessman wants to launch a new website. Like a Christian Mingle or a JDate, its purpose is to let members of a particular religion find love with one another. In this case, the target is members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better known as Mormons. But he’s running into a snag with the name. When is a Mormon not a Mormon? When he’s a “Mormon®.”
Since the Beatles are notorious for refusing to release their music online, the mere fact that BlueBeat.com was selling them was kind of strange, which probably explains why EMI just sued them for copyright infringement. But BlueBeat has come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation. The songs aren’t really Beatles songs, you see, but “psycho-acoustic simulations” and therefore original works.
Assuming negotiations succeed, you’ll have your Pandora to listen to after all. On Tuesday, Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act, which gives Internet radio stations like Pandora until February 2009 to reach a new royalty agreement with copyright holders; if they meet the deadline, the government will not interfere, which is great news since it was the gov’s Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) that set the current market-killing fees in the first place.