Listen up! The US copyright office has published a report that proposes major changes to US copyright law which, should it become a bill and pass, could effectively strip all copyright protection from every artist, author, or other content creator. This would theoretically apply to every US citizen, AND would have a profound impact on international content creators whose work is used in the US.

We have until THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2015 to submit letters of opposition to the US Copyright Office.

Watch THIS VIDEO to hear about the report, and scenarios that could arise if this became law. It’s very long, but this is super important!

Read This, plus some of the sample letters on that page, and find the link on that page to submit your own letters. 

Heavy response from artists worked when they tried to pass the Orphaned Works bill in the past, so don’t think your voice doesn’t matter! Please write a letter to the copyright office telling them about why this is a terrible idea!

Performing Rights Organizations - PROs

I’ve seen some misinformation floating about and want to clarify something. The PRO that licenses songs for an artist does NOT have control over merchandising or media where that song is used, they simply issue licenses and collect and distribute royalties. If the business using a song doesn’t have the proper licensing, the PRO will lower the hammer, but if the use is approved by the artist, the PRO will comply with a license.

If 1DHQ wants “Story of My Life” to be used for a kiddie video game, GMR will license the music to the creator - they are the accountants, not the gatekeepers of good taste.

It wasn’t ASCAP or BMI that agreed to allow Nike to use The Beatle’s song “Revolution” in a commercial. It was Michael Jackson, the owner of the publishing rights.

Hirunaka no Ryuusei has a chance of becoming officially published in English!

Hi all, Charlotte here. Viz Media is currently asking people to fill out their Fall Anime and Manga Survey. It has three sections: the first is related to anime and the second to manga; the third is about general information and the part where our interest lies, because Viz is asking us if we have any anime and manga licensing wishes.

Before you rush over to complete it, I’m going to caution everyone against cheating, such as taking the survey multiple times. This is really important because not only does this give a negative impression of the sort of people HnR fans are, it also creates a negative impression for HnR that is likely to spread to other publishers.

This is bad because if Viz doesn’t publish HnR, other publishers who would otherwise considering publishing will avoid it because of the bad impression of the fandom and the negativity surrounding HnR itself.

tl;dr Take the survey, by all means, but please don’t cheat.
Marvel Unveils 'Captain America: Civil War' Licensees (EXCLUSIVE)
Marvel has unveiled a dozen of the licensees for next year’s “Captain America: Civil War”
By Dave McNary

Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety that the overall campaign will build on the success of licensed products for “Age of Ultron.”

“We’ll see an extension mixing in new characters with new skills,” he added. “There will also be a big focus on adult female apparel.”

[…] The campaign will feature a celebration of Captain America’s 75th anniversary that will be limited to higher-end retailers. There will also be focus on newer characters War Machine, Falcon, Vision, Black Widow and Black Panther; and an expansion into healthy living and travel.

While none of the above means we will actually see an increase in Black Widow merchandise (who is apparently a “newer” character… c’mon Variety, get your shit together) we can still hope that this is the start of an (extremely overdue) attempt to avoid previous merchandising asshattery where both the character and the female demographic are concerned. 

“One common trope, lately, has been to suggest that fanwork creators can, or should, obtain licenses before creating fanworks. After all, the argument goes, many authors and other media creators now recognize the positive value of fanworks, and would be delighted to give permission for fans to make fanworks. So why not have more licensing regimes for fanworks, where copyright holders give fans permission to make fanworks, probably in exchange for a fee or a share of the fan’s proceeds if they want to commercialize their fanworks?

Here’s why not — licensing is neither legally necessary nor is it favorable to fans or fan culture for a number of reasons.”

Bahasa IndonesiacatalàDeutschEnglishespañolfrançaisitalianomagyarNederlandspolskiportuguêsРусскийsvenska中文

Seven Seas Entertainment Envisions a Brighter Future with License of orange Manga Series

Seven Seas Entertainment is pleased to announce their acquisition of Ichigo Takano’s romantic time-travel manga series, orange.

Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn’t take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru’s as well.

“We’re always excited to expand our shojo catalog and orange is another big part of that,” said Seven Seas publisher Jason DeAngelis. “With orange, I was impressed by its touching story, but also intrigued by the time-travel aspect. It’s both heartwarming and suspenseful. I think it will really move our readers.“

orange was originally published by Futabasha in Japan, and has since sold over 1 520 000 copies. The series is currently being adapted into a live-action film.­

Seven Seas will release the critically-lauded orange for the first time in print in North America as two complete omnibus editions. Each book will contain over 380 pages, wrap-around covers, and color inserts. The first omnibus will be released on January 26, 2016 for $18.99 US / $21.99 CAN, with the second omnibus following in May.

Disney Continues To Dominate The Licensing Game

Ben Patton
Staff Writer

Disney’s purchase of Marvel and also Lucasfilm, the latter of which was home to the Star Wars franchize, has greatly impacted the Disney Corporation, making it the heavy-weight champion in licensing. According to Comic Book Resources, “Last year, the media conglomerate generated $39.4 billion in retail licensing, and claimed a staggering 80 percent market share.

Once again the world’s largest licensor, Disney now boasts six of the Top 10 franchises, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association: Disney Princess (No. 1), Star Wars (No. 2), Winnie the Pooh (No. 3), Cars (No. 4), Mickey & Friends (No. 6) and Toy Story (No. 8). Disney Fairies comes in at No. 11, trailed at No. 16 by Spider-Man.”

With new movies already in theaters and more in production from these franchises, Disney is well on its way to making a few more dollars from consumers this year- but just a few.

Which new franchise film are you most excited about: The Amazing Spiderman 2? Star Wars: Episode VII? Frozen?
Madman Entertainment licenses 'Hetalia: The Beautiful World' in Australia

Australian licensing company Madman Entertainment announced at the Supanova Sydney convention that it has licensed Hetalia: The Beautiful World.

via the Madman Entertainment website:

HETALIA Beautiful World (Season 5)

The Allied guys and Axis boys are back in HETALIA: THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD! It’s Season 5. As in high-five! And when we high-five, a tiny kitten appears with a wee banjo! And he’s playing a song about a cupcake and it’s freaking adorable! But then Prussia shows up and yells at the kitten. But the kitten doesn’t get sad, because, dude… Claaaassic Prussia.

HETALIA: THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD will be coming to DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms from September

Madman has also released previous seasons of the anime as well as the film in the region.
Occupational Licensing Hurts Just About Everyone, Says White House
Licensing restrictions cost millions of American jobs and raise consumer costs by billions say federal officials in new report.

Horse masseurs. Hair braiders. Funeral attendants. Florists. All are subject, at least in some states, to “occupational licensing,” defined by the Treasury Department as “as a government permit allowing workers to legally practice.” Since the 1950s, the number of U.S. jobs where workers are required to be licensed by the state has increased five-fold, now encompassing about a quarter of our working population. Far from being merely a minor inconvenience for workers, this excessive licensing regime “creates substantial costs, and often the requirements for obtaining a license are not in sync with the skills needed for the job,” according to a new report from the Treasury, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the Department of Labor.

Libertarians have been objecting to occupational licensing on these grounds for decades, of course; the free-market friendly Institute for Justice has even been systematically suing to bring about their demise. But it’s rare to see federal agencies recommend against more economic regulation, so let’s all just savor this small victory a moment. The scathing report paints occupational licensing as a regulatory scheme that serves almost no one any good—raising consumer costs while failing to deliver improved quality; reducing employment opportunities, especially among the most economically vulnerable; and hampering state-to-state mobility and market innovation.

“By one estimate, licensing restrictions cost millions of jobs nationwide and raise consumer expenses by over one hundred billion dollars,” the report authors write.

“Consumers are likely most familiar with licensing requirements for professionals like dentists, lawyers, and physicians,” they point out, “but today licensing requirements extend to a very broad set of workers,” including auctioneers, scrap metal recyclers, barbers, manicurists, eyebrow threaders, and tour guides. This means that an ever-growing share of jobs “are only accessible to those with the time and means to complete what are often lengthy"—not to mention expensive—licensing requirements, while the penalties for working without a license can include job loss, fines, and even incarceration.

Yet stringent occupational licensing seldom delivers improved services or safety to consumers. In 10 out of the 12 empirical studies reviewed by the report authors, stricter licensing was not associated with quality improvements.

Your Low Cost, No Cost & Creative Commons Guide to Licensing Music

Andreas Silenzi, Managing Director of the Free Music Archive, has a very handy Google spreadsheet that lists sound sources you can explore for your next media project.

These range from those with Creative Commons licenses to ones that are simply free to use to others that have rather nominal charges but are generally royalty free.

Check it: Free Music Archive Guide to Online Audio Resources.