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Artists, Warner Music settle 'Happy Birthday' copyright case

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Entertainment | Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:05am IST


NEW YORK The artists and filmmakers who sued Warner/Chappell Music over the copyright to the one of the world’s most recognizable songs, “Happy Birthday to You,” have settled with the company, according to court papers released on Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge George King in Los Angeles said in the papers that a trial scheduled for next week would not go ahead after the parties had agreed to settle. In September, King ruled that Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of privately owned Warner Music Group, did not own a copyright to the Happy Birthday lyrics.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: R-HMovies


Transgender Venezuelan lawmaker vows to fight for gay rights

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CARACAS Venezuela’s first transgender lawmaker says she will fight for gay rights and gender equality, drawing inspiration from a flurry of new laws on marriage and civil unions in the rest of traditionally Roman Catholic Latin America.

After her historic election to the National Assembly as part of an opposition triumph, lawyer and activist Tamara Adrian told Reuters she would seek to change Venezuela’s often “macho” society.

“In Venezuela we don’t have any rights,” Adrian, 61, said of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement.

The lawmaker-elect had to register under her given name Thomas Adrian despite a 2002 sex change, for instance, because Venezuelan law does not allow anyone born male to legally become female or take a woman’s name.

“There are some precarious and isolated rules on the issue of non-discrimination and in the labour sector, but nothing more. We hope to have a law on marriage equality very soon,” she said in her book-filled Caracas office on Tuesday.

Argentina in 2010 became the first Latin American country to allow gay couples to marry and adopt children.

Several other countries have since legalized gay marriage or civil partnerships, defying opposition from the traditionally strong Catholic Church and the increasingly influential Evangelical lobby.

“We have to talk about what countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador have, and what they’re discussing now in Bolivia,” she said.

“In each of these there is the right to maternity, adoption, rights for couples, marriage, protection against discrimination, (or) recognition of transgender identity,” added Adrian.

She also stressed the need for better sexual education and use of contraceptives in Venezuela, which has one of the region’s highest rates of teenage pregnancy, especially in poor sectors.

But Adrian, who ran with the opposition party Popular Will, which includes some of the most outspoken critics of President Nicolas Maduro, stresses she is not a one-issue candidate.

“I have a lot to say in the economic area, about how to get Venezuela out of this deep crisis,” said Adrian, who helped draw up economic laws in the 1990s and also worked as a Central Bank adviser.

Venezuelans are suffering severe shortages of goods ranging from rice to vaccines, income-destroying inflation, and a profound recession.

Long lines for scarce food and medicines have turned many against the ruling Socialist Party, and candidates like Adrian capitalized on the discontent.

The real “urgency” now is fixing the economy, Adrian said.

(Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Tom Brown)

Source: R-Entertainment

Opera director Kasper Holten to leave Royal Opera in 2017

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LONDON Danish stage director Kasper Holten will step down as director of opera at the Royal Opera House at the end of March 2017 to spend more time with his family in Copenhagen, the ROH said on Wednesday.

Holten, 42, became director of Britain’s premiere opera company in 2011 and made his directorial debut with the house with Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” in February 2013.

He developed a reputation for bringing riskier stagings to the ROH, but some, like the Onegin, met with mixed critical reception.

In a letter to staff, Holten said he had agreed to stay on an extra seven months while a successor is found.

“I love working at ROH – and with all the amazing colleagues here – and it feels very painful to let go of that in 2017. But when I moved to London, my partner and I didn’t have children,” Holten said in the letter contained in a statement from the ROH.

“Now we do, and after much soul searching we have decided that we want to be closer to our families and inevitably that means we make Copenhagen our home where the children will grow up and go to school.”

He said he had timed his departure to allow him to work with music director Antonio Pappano on a new production of Wagner’s “Meistersinger”.

(Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Source: R-HMovies

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