Showbiz Sandbox 251: In the Digital Age, Content Rights Are King

Whether an illustrator creating legendary comic book characters for Marvel or a 1960’s pop group that hasn’t had a hit in decades, owning the rights to the content one produces has never been more important thanks to emerging digital distribution platforms. Unfortunately, determining who owns the rights for specific content is becoming increasingly more difficult.

For example, last week’s landmark court ruling against satellite radio provider Sirius XM could mean the company has to start paying public performance royalties on pre-1972 sound recordings. The case has huge copyright implications not just for Sirius XM, but also to streaming radio services like Pandora.

Access to content is likely the reason Softbank is making a play to acquire DreamWorks Animation. Should a deal be struck then only time will tell whether there is actually any synergy between the animation studio and the Japanese conglomerate.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including the approval of drones for film production, new stars for the upcoming season of “True Detective” and remixing actor Stephen Fry’s new memoir.

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Release of Nicolas Cage’s ‘Outcast’ Halted in China Hours Before Scheduled Opening
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/release-of-nicolas-cages-outcast-halted-in-china-1201314409/

Russia Mulls Boycott of Hollywood Movies Amid U.S. Sanctions, Negative Portrayals
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/russia-mulls-boycott-hollywood-movies-735044

Source: DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (Exclusive)
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/source-dreamworks-animation-sale-talks-736164

Analysts: What SoftBank’s Takeover Would Mean for DreamWorks Animation
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/analysts-what-softbanks-takeover-would-736203

Drone Exemptions for Hollywood Pave the Way for Widespread Use
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/business/media/drone-exemptions-for-hollywood-pave-the-way-for-widespread-use.html

FAA Approves Exemption Allowing Drones to Fly on Movie Sets
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/faa-approves-exemption-allowing-drones-735629

With Stephen Fry, Penguin Crowdsources Future of the Book
http://publishingperspectives.com/2014/09/with-stephen-fry-penguin-crowdsources-future-of-the-book/

‘True Detective’: HBO Confirms Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn to Star in Season 2
https://variety.com/2014/tv/news/true-detective-hbo-confirms-colin-farrell-vince-vaughn-to-star-in-season-2-1201312038/

The Lion King Musical Breaks Global Box Office Record
http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/sep/22/the-lion-king-musical-breaks-global-box-office-record

Thom Yorke, Radiohead Artist, Releases Album via BitTorrent
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/business/media/radiohead-artist-releases-album-via-bittorrent.html

‘X-Men’ Spinoff ‘Deadpool’ Gets Winter 2016 Release Date
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/x-men-spin-deadpool-gets-734172

ABC Adapting Hot Korean Drama ‘My Love From Another Star’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/my-love-star-abc-remake-733887

A&E Adapting Mexican Drama ‘Nino Santo’ With ‘Fringe’ Producer
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/a-e-adapting-mexican-drama-734127

Media Tie-Ins Power Half the Week’s Best-Selling Ebooks
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2014/media-tie-ins-power-half-the-weeks-best-selling-ebooks/

‘Gotham’ Leads Premiere Week DVR Race, Reality Returns to Friday
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-ratings-gotham-leads-premiere-736118

BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Beats ITV’s ‘X Factor’ in U.K. Ratings Battle
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bbcs-strictly-come-dancing-beats-736190

Marvel Settles With Family of Comics Artist Jack Kirby
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/business/media/marvel-settles-with-family-of-comic-book-artist-jack-kirby.html

University of Baltimore Announces Course Based Around Marvel Movies
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/university-baltimore-announces-course-based-735126

SiriusXM Suffers Crushing Loss in High-Stakes Courtroom Battle
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/siriusxm-suffers-crushing-loss-high-734981