What Blurred Lines Decision Means for Musicians & Industry

Remember this song?

What about this one?

Yup. One copied the other.  This morning an American court of appeals upheld a verdict that the 2013 chart-topper “Blurred Lines” infringed the copyright to Marvin Gaye’s iconic “Got To Give It Up.”

J. Michael Keyes is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

“In the closely watched music copyright infringement case, a panel of the 9th circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, upheld a jury verdict that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (the world’s best-selling single from 2013) infringed the copyright in Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” from the 1970s.  The Court’s decision is noteworthy in a couple of respects.”

“Upholding the jury’s verdict (and the ultimate damage award) could very well mean we see a new wave of additional music infringement lawsuits and claims.  The 9th Circuit majority decision was quite explicit in opining that musical works receive broad protection and that “there is no one magical combination of factors that will automatically substantiate a musical infringement suit.”   That standard is rather noteworthy and leaves quite a bit of play in the joints for future litigants to cobble together a music infringement claim.  In fact, as the dissenting opinion points out, the majority decision seems to give copyright protection to a “musical style” as the two works “differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm,” Keyes says.

“One important but rather technical issue that the court did not decide (and that is directly relevant in the Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven appeal pending before the 9th Circuit) was whether the “scope” of copyright protection is dictated by the notes on the printed page (the sheet music) or whether the sound recording can be considered as defining the scope of protection  The trial court ruled that the scope of Gaye’s copyright protection was limited to the sheet music because that is what was submitted to the Copyright Office and what was ultimately registered.  The 9th Circuit assumed, without deciding the issue, that the trial court made the correct decision.  We will need to wait and see how the court deals with this same theme in the Stairway to Heaven case,” Keyes says.

Keyes is an intellectual property attorney with extensive trial and litigation experience in cases involving trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition and false advertising. He has tried several cases in federal courts across the United States. Keyes has a piano performance degree and has written on the issue of music copyright. One of his law review articles was cited extensively in a case in Chicago federal court in a music copyright case brought against Lady Gaga. Before going to law school to work with copyright law, he studied piano and composition at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Image: https://beardedgentlemenmusic.com/2015/03/17/where-do-the-blurred-lines-get-drawn/ 

Episode #114: Our Lady Peace

For upwards of 25 years, Our Lady Peace has been one of Canada’s pre-eminent rock bands. Fronted by lead singer and main songwriter, Raine Maida, OLP has sold millions of albums worldwide. They’re still touring and making new music after all these years.

Our Lady Peace is currently on a cross-Canada tour with Matthew Good. I sat down with lead guitarist Steve Mazur and drummer Jason Pierce in between Toronto shows to talk about recording new music and their current tour.

Listen below:

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our lady peace

Recorded live at Girth Radio.

If you enjoyed this episode you’ll also like:

Episode #51: Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies.

Listen to other Girth Radio podcasts like The Creative Imbalance with Sean Sirianni.

WireIE Partners with W Dusk Group to Enhance Broadband Services for Underserved Canadians

Toronto, Canada – March 16, 2018 – WireIE, a Canadian wholesale network operator specialized in the deployment of MEF-Certified Carrier Ethernet networks to Canada’s underserved markets, is partnering with W Dusk Group, an Indigenous-owned technology company, to deliver environmentally-friendly, enhanced fiber network solutions to underserved Canadian enterprises and communities.

Underserved communities in Canada often face a situation of poor (or no) Internet coverage, which is exacerbated by a lack of reliable electrical energy. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership in Canada, the two companies will work with these communities, including Indigenous Peoples, to mesh alternative energy technology with WireIE’s high-availability network solutions. The goal is to ensure individuals living and working in underserved areas avoid unplanned, costly downtime.

“For over 10 years, WireIE has been connecting Canada’s underserved markets with high-quality, robust, secure networks,” says Rob Barlow, CEO of WireIE. “By partnering with W Dusk Group, we are ensuring that we can deliver green broadband, increased uptime and enhanced service assurance to our partners in underserved areas. We are proud to be leaders in meeting Canadians’ demands for renewably-powered digital infrastructure.”

“Our core passion is providing our underserved partners with the energy solutions and connectivity they need to take full advantage of our digital age,” says David Isaac, CEO of W Dusk Energy Group. “As a Canadian Indigenous-owned firm, we employ local community resources wherever possible to undertake the last-mile management, planning and technology integration services needed for our clients to enjoy broadband access in a sustainable way.”

Broadband access has been formally recognized by the Canadian Radio and Television Corporation (CRTC) as an important tool for fostering economic development in areas that are not served by Canada’s major telecom carriers. WireIE is strengthening its legacy of providing the low latency and reliability needed to support the socio-economic development of businesses and communities in remote environments.





About WireIE:

WireIE is a Canadian telecommunications carrier, specialized in the deployment of MEF Certified Carrier Ethernet 2.0 networks to underserved markets. WireIE’s proven network performance, backed by industry-leading SLAs, has been established as the provider of choice for mission critical network requirements, across all industry verticals. Believing in a strong partnership model allows WireIE to focus on building missing components of broadband network solutions while keeping the costs down and dramatically reducing delivery times.

sales@WireIE.com          WireIE.com           Twitter.com/WireIE            LinkedIn.com/WireIE

About W Dusk Energy Group:

W Dusk Energy Group Inc. is an Indigenous owned firm that has the privilege to work in beautiful communities throughout Canada and soon Internationally.   We are a team of like-minded professionals operating in tandem to strengthen community development initiatives such as planning, local economic growth, policy, food systems and infrastructure development. Our core passion and focus is assisting communities to become self-reliant through renewable energy empowerment with a systems based, community-driven approach. We provide project management, planning and technology integration services. W Dusk can assist in most, if not all stages of projects through its trusted and expansive partnership network. ​W Dusk is actively developing large and small-scale projects throughout Canada involving solar, wind, hydrokinetic and newer, harmonic energy solutions.  We source, design, build and develop our projects with the community. ​We believe that the built environment and physical infrastructure should reflect the values, culture and natural beauty of community. All of our work aligns with an agreement to honour and respect Nature. It is all connected.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Jaymie Scotto & Associates (JSA)

Ronda Rousey: 2018 Wrestlemania Impact

Has Ronda Rousey made a real impact on WWE? What about Rousey’s impact on WWE’s flagship pay-per-view, Wrestlemania?

One of the ways to understand this is by looking at Rousey’s impact on betting. I asked international betting expert, Jim Murphy, if Rousey has had an impact on betting for this year’s Wrestlemania.

Negligible if any.  The WWE might be trying to change course on how they’re promoting her midstream.  She cut a promo last week that wasn’t really good.  They had originally scheduled her for every RAW until Wrestlemania but that plan has changed.  She was originally announced for last night’s RAW but wasn’t there and they showed a video of her instead. Meanwhile, she was on the ‘Ellen’ show this morning.

Here’s what I’m thinking–they’re going to keep her out of situations where she has to ‘cut a promo’.  They can show her training in the gym and she looks like a badass.  I’ve always thought she does well in the talk show format but doing a scripted pro wrestling promo is a different deal entirely.  Besides, she can open up promotional channels that no one else on the roster is able to (eg: talk shows like ‘Ellen’).  They’ll likely have Stephanie McMahon bury her in promos on RAW for the next two weeks.  She’s scheduled for the final pre-Wrestlemania episode of RAW.

Otherwise–it’s still a little early for significant betting on Wrestlemania 3 1/2 weeks out and it’ll definitely be an afterthought until after the first weekend of ‘March Madness’.  The WWE hasn’t really gone into top gear promotionally for Wrestlemania and it might end up being that Rousey doesn’t draw the mainstream interest they thought she would.  She hasn’t produced any ratings bump in her TV appearances so far.  There’s not really a ‘buzzworthy’ match on the card so far.  AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is a big deal among hardcore fans but not really in the mainstream.  They’ve been teasing a John Cena vs. Undertaker matchup and that might end up being the biggest match on the card.

For more information on this year’s Wrestlemania betting visit Sports Betting Experts. 

HashChain Technology Enhances Cryptocurrency Tax Software with Support for the Gemini Exchange and for Cross-wallet Transactions

VANCOUVER, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ – HashChain Technology Inc. (TSXV: KASH; OTCQB: HSSHF) (“HashChain” or the “Company”) today announced that its Balance cryptocurrency accounting software, adds support for  Gemini, a New York State licensed and regulated digital asset exchange, and provides additional support for transactions that span multiple wallets of digital currency holders. With these enhancements, HashChain continues to advance the software.

Balance is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering that allows cryptocurrency users to meet tax requirements in their respective countries by analyzing the blockchain to report capital gains and losses for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and DASH. For tracking activity from exchanges, users can directly integrate their Coinbase accounts with Balance and can now upload their transactions from Gemini. Balance also supports blockchain transactions created with software wallets where it calculates exact values of each transaction, and tracks the cost basis and days carried. Once the gains and losses are calculated, the software automatically details the information on a worksheet that can be shared with a CPA to file with other tax items. Whilst there is no formal agreement between HashChain and Gemini, the Balance addition means Gemini account holders can easily import their own transaction history onto a compatible piece of software.

Gemini Exchange

Gemini is a licensed digital asset exchange that allows customers to buy, sell, and trade both Bitcoin and Ether digital currencies. As a New York trust company, Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards set forth by the NYSDFS and the New York Banking Law. With this new support, users will now be able to easily download raw transaction data from their Gemini account as a spreadsheet and upload the file directly into HashChain’s Balance software. Balance will identify which currencies the user traded and generate comprehensive ledgers for each including gains and losses. The integration is designed to support any digital currency Gemini might add in the future.

Support for Cross-wallet Transactions

Balance is also adding support for cross-wallet transactions, offering customers who use third-party tools to generate raw blockchain transactions that span one or more wallets a simple solution to track their trade history for accurate tax reporting. Most hardware wallets allow owners to maintain multiple cryptocurrency accounts, and while many holders choose to keep accounts isolated, others treat several accounts as a single collection of digital currency. Balance can retroactively track the transactions that drew inputs from multiple accounts, which have been incredibly challenging for software and for digital currency holders until now.

“As digital currency continues to push its way into mainstream financial sectors and individual adoption continues to explode, we expect to see more coin holders using third party software to manage their digital investments,” said Patrick Gray, CEO of HashChain. “Consequently, we expect complex trades will become commonplace and we are dedicated to ensuring that our cryptocurrency tax software meets customer needs now and in the future.”

On March 5th, 2018, HashChain announced that Balance expanded services globally to meet the needs of cryptocurrency investors, as many countries tighten their tax laws around cryptocurrency transactions. On February 7, 2018, Balance activated support of the Coinbase exchange.

About HashChain Technology Inc.

HashChain is a blockchain company, and the first publicly traded (TSXV:KASH: OTCQB: HSSHF) Canadian cryptocurrency mining company to file a final prospectus supporting highly scalable and flexible mining operations across all major cryptocurrencies. HashChain taps low-cost North American power, cool climate and high-speed Internet: the trifecta most critical to mining success, to create a competitive position for maximizing the number of mining ‘wins.’ HashChain currently operates 100 Dash mining Rigs, 770 Bitcoin Rigs, and has purchased an additional 3,000 Rigs. Once all Rigs are operational HashChain will be consuming approximately 5.8 megawatts of power.  HashChain also acquired a Dash Masternode for approximately USD $280,000 which requires a collateral investment of 1,000 Dash coins.  Diversifying its business strategy beyond crypto mining, the Company recently acquired assets of NODE40, a blockchain technology company that developed NODE40 Balance, a new SaaS product making cryptocurrency tax reporting simpler and more accurate. The solution allows cryptocurrency users and traders to accurately report their capital gains and losses. NODE40 is also one of the leading masternode server-hosting providers for the Dash network and is seeking additional alternate coin masternode hosting.

HashChain Mining is a wholly owned subsidiary of HashChain Technology Inc. based out of Albany, New York, with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia.

On Behalf of the Board,
Patrick Gray
CEO & Director

For Further information please contact:
HashChain Technology Inc.
Larry Heinzlmeir
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements: Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the performance of the Company’s operating and purchased Rigs, and expectations regarding future operations may constitute forward-looking statements. In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that are based on the Company’s current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company, including that the 3,000 Rigs will be successfully delivered, the 3,000 Rigs will perform as expected by management. Although the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect, and the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such risk factors may include, among others, the risk that the 3,000 Rigs will not be successfully delivered to the Company when expected by management or at all, the risk that the Company’s current and ordered Rigs will not perform as expected by management.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE HashChain Technology Inc.

Episode #113: Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis is an award-winning Canadian author of six best sellers and co-founder of PR company, Thornley Fallis.

We spoke about his time in politics, how he became an author, and how his books reflect the various conversations we are having in today’s political discourse.

Listen below:

Girth Radio
Apple Podcasts
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You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Recorded live at Girth Radio.
Music by Afraaz Mulji.

If you enjoyed this episode you’ll also like:

Ep106: Ed Keenan, Toronto Star
Ep104: MP Arif Virani
Ep99: Richard Peddie, MLSE

Listen to other Girth Radio podcasts like The Freeze with Brian and Tyler.

Book Report: Poles Apart

I can get used to this. It’s early March 2018 and I’ve already read three Terry Fallis books. This last one, Poles Apart (2015), is another tale written in the humourous style Canadians have come to know and love about Fallis’ books.

Just before I started reading this book, I reached out to Fallis to ask him on my podcast. I sat down with him early this week and will be releasing that episode this weekend. So I don’t want to spoil some of the insights that Fallis shared.

However, what I will say, is that Fallis does not disappoint in Poles Apart. It’s both a funny and insightful read. We know the funny. Insightful because Terry explores the feminist movement from the standpoint of a feminist who happens to be a man.

Pick up this book from Amazon, your public library or listen to it on Terry Fallis’ website.


ShareTheMeal App Links Monthly Givers to the Families they Support

BERLIN – Starting on International Women’s Day, ShareTheMeal, the app from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), will enable monthly givers to follow their donation and see exactly how it is helping families in need. Monthly givers will automatically join The Table – a new feature within the app –  which connects members with the family they are supporting through personalised updates and exclusive stories. Using data from WFP’s beneficiary data management platform, SCOPE, monthly givers will learn when a family has purchased food thanks to their donation.

The Table brings together vested givers and empowered recipients, who will be connected virtually through this new feature of ShareTheMeal. Each month, members of The Table will be connected to a different family to learn more about how their support is helping them. For example, givers will receive personalised in-app content on the impact of their donation, such as videos and stories. By fundraising for some of WFP’s most critical operations including Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Bangladesh, users will be directly helping the most vulnerable families.

Over the past decade, WFP  has increased the use of cash-based transfers alongside food deliveries to provide assistance to people in need. In 2017, WFP provided US$ 1.3 billion in cash transfers. Cash transfers allow WFP to reduce delivery costs, which means that for every dollar saved, is one additional dollar that can be spent helping the people it serves. Through The Table, monthly donors directly support families with cash assistance, so that they can purchase the food that best suits their family’s needs.

“The digital revolution is enabling WFP to create online platforms, such as SCOPE, which help us to enhance the use of digital identities for people in need, so that we can know and serve them better. Digital identities allow WFP to rapidly and effectively provide food and cash assistance, especially in emergency situations,” says Kenn Crossley, Global Coordinator of Cash Transfers at WFP. “With the launch of The Table, we are leveraging this data to show donors their tangible impact.”

Through The Table, WFP is able to respond to the desire of donors, especially millennials, to give to transparent and efficient charities. It is clear that this tech-savvy generation wants to follow their impact and be connected to those they are helping. Addressing this mindset, ShareTheMeal will provide personalized stories and video to donors, paving the way for long-term engagement in philanthropy and social good.

“We believe this generation is not only eager to change the world, but feels strongly about transparency and proven impact. By providing real-life data on the impact of a shared meal through The Table, we will demonstrate how – with a tap on the app – this generation can lead the way to a zero hunger future,” says Massimiliano Costa, Head of ShareTheMeal.


Cybersecurity Trends 2018: The costs of connection

After a highly eventful 2017, when an increasing number of cybersecurity incidents grabbed headlines in the mainstream media, we’re now looking ahead to the coming year, which will no doubt generate further vibrant discussions about the threat landscape.

One refrain is likely to be heard time and time again. Cyberthreats and attacks are here to stay. Indeed, they will continue to expand in scope and volume next year. They may evolve and diversify, but a common underlying thread will persist – an effective cybersecurity posture pivots on knowledge of the value of information, coupled with insight into and an understanding of the threatscape. In a way, when all is said and done, plus ça change.

Arming ourselves with facts and experience, better enables us to control the criminal hive mind swarming online. To help the reader navigate through the maze of such threats, ESET’s thought leaders have zeroed in on several areas that top the priority list in our exercise in looking forward.

Criminals following the money

With data being the most valuable asset (so much so that many have called data ‘the new oil‘), ransomware is poised to remain in great demand among cybercriminals. With an eye to slashing the risk that your data may end up mangled, we offer take-home lessons and observations gleaned from the recent evolution of ransomware.

Cautiously, we extrapolate from recent trends to the foreseeable future. We note the largely indiscriminate nature of ransomware campaigns and highlight the perils of paying up in exchange for (by no means guaranteed) restoration of access to data held ransom. Organizations seen as willing to pay up in lieu of hardening their defenses may run the risk of finding themselves a target of choice, yet with no certainty of getting their data back.

In a world of smartphones and other mobile devices, attackers are more focused on denying the use of devices themselves than on data stored therein.

The generally perilous state of affairs in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) arena presents a host of challenges of its own, as the dramatic increase in the number of smart devices shows no signs of stopping. By contrast, the addressing of security concerns is often an afterthought.

Where cyber meets physical

“Arming ourselves with facts and experience, better enables us to control the criminal hive mind swarming online”

On a different note, we cannot help echoing our past – and prescient – sentiment that attacks aimed at critical infrastructure are set to continue to generate headlines. Worryingly, industrial equipment targeted by malware known as Industroyer – the biggest threat to industrial control systems (ICS) since Stuxnet – is in wide use, while much equipment in ICS was not designed with internet connectivity in mind.

Making things worse, prompt upgrades, though important in striving for a secure environment, are not always a panacea: the drive towards a cheap generic architecture for industrial devices may introduce additional weaknesses into the supply chain, ultimately endangering our physical safety.

Democracy in peril?

Electronic voting systems – another obvious area where security is playing catch-up with technological advancements – are grappling with vulnerabilities of their own. The preponderance of evidence that such systems can be manipulated highlights the risks of over-reliance on technology for something as significant for our societies as elections.

This brings us to the overarching question: can a cyberattack rig the results of a nation’s election and, thereby, subvert democracy? We note the use of social media for undermining election campaigns by spreading faux news reports or launching ad hominem attacks.

Admittedly, such attacks may not signal doomsday for democracy, yet technological interference poses critical challenges in opposition to the need to ensure the legitimacy of future elections. To this end, all aspects of an electoral system must be regarded as part of every country’s critical infrastructure, and be safeguarded accordingly.

Privacy and data bonanza

“In a world of smartphones and other mobile devices, attackers are more focused on denying the use of devices themselves than on data stored therein”

The apparent appetite among some trusted security vendors for the monetization of user data in exchange for free antimalware software is set to persist into the next year. This will add to risks associated with data privacy, which is already under fierce attack given the endless trail of digital exhaust left behind by a plethora of (notably IoT) devices.

Such digital breadcrumbs can be collected to tell a story about us and, coupled with machine learning and artificial intelligence, that story could be used as a basis for manipulating our thoughts and actions. The data detritus should raise concerns of users as to what ‘free’ products or services actually entail and how the data being slurped are used.

While we hope for greater user awareness, we suspect that the stockpiles of data will expand dramatically next year with little awareness on the user’s part. We may not be able to put the toothpaste back in the tube, but we need to make informed decisions and choices lest our privacy be eroded further.

Safer for all

This year has seen ESET’s malware analysts continue to help law enforcement crack down on malicious campaigns and, by extension, the criminals spewing them. We are confident that 2018 will bring further successful investigations as we will continue to lend a hand to authorities so that, ultimately, the internet can become a safer place for everyone – except cybercriminals.

We also believe that the increasing general awareness of cyberthreats and our preparedness to cooperate in tackling any and all manner of felonious wares served up by attackers will accrue to our shared benefit, particularly as technology is now woven through the entire fabric of our societies and we face a host of internet-borne threats.

The collected reflections of our experts are available in Cybersecurity trends 2018: The cost of our connected world.


Etymotic’s new earphones

For more than two decades, the ER-4S has been the world’s most accurate high-fidelity, noise-isolating earphone. Because of this, and its 30-40 dB noise isolation, the ER-4S has remained largely unchanged until now.  The new models meet three design goals: 1) to provide greater accuracy in sound reproduction in the ER4SR Studio Reference earphone, 2) to offer consumers a choice with the ER4XR Extended Response option that delivers a little more bass without sacrificing the overall quality of the listening experience, and 3) a durable cable that is user replaceable.

The ER4SR Studio Reference earphone improves the accuracy of the previous ER-4S model, while providing a significant improvement in sensitivity, making it more compatible with the portable media players on the market today.  The ER4SR offers audio professionals and those wanting the ultimate in sound accuracy a new level of performance.

The ER4XR Extended Response earphone offers a modest bass boost, building on the original ER-4’s neutral sound, while providing a sound signature that some ER-4 fans have been asking for.

“Etymotic invented the noise-excluding in-ear earphone, giving consumers an unparalleled listening experience with noise isolation superior to other in-ears as well as headphones with ‘active noise-cancellation’ options,” says Etymotic VP of Sales and Marketing Al Arends. “For 25 years, the state-of-the-art insert earphone has been the ER-4. Now, with the arrival of the ER4SR and ER4XR, the world’s most accurate earphone just got better.  Then or now, we have found no multiple-driver design that can match the accuracy of the ER4.”

About Etymotic

Etymotic is a research, development and manufacturing company that designs high-fidelity personal audio products and hearing wellness solutions to assess enhance and protect hearing. For over 30 years, innovation and education have been central to Etymotic’s mission. Etymotic is one of the most respected leaders in high-fidelity audio and hearing conservation. For more information about Etymotic, its hearing wellness mission and its products, please visit www.etymotic.com.