Music

News & Analysis as of

Gilkyson v Disney Enterprises, Inc. - Calif. Appeal Court, 2nd App. District, Div. 7, January 27, 2016

Appellate court finds that claim for breach of contract for contractual royalties brought against Disney by heirs of Terry Gilkyson, songwriter for “The Jungle Book” film, are not time-barred, based on application of...more

Copyright Case Against Famed Hip Hop Artist “50 Cent” Isn’t Worth Two Bits

In the summer of 2007, hip-hop artist Curtis Jackson—who performs under the stage name “50 Cent”—rapped his way to fame and riches with the smash hit “I Get Money.” After 50 Cent made a mint on this work (he sold more than 2...more

Simmons v. Stanberry - USCA, Second Circuit, January 15, 2016

Second Circuit affirms dismissal of infringement suit over hip-hop beat in 50 Cent song "I Get Money" after holding plaintiff's claim constituted dispute over ownership of copyright that was time-barred by Copyright Act's...more

Don’t Get On the Wrong Side of Taylor Swift in a Copyright Case!

Taylor Swift has been in the news a lot over the last year or so. She is phenomenally successful. Her hit album “1989” concert tour was the highest grossing tour in the world in 2015 (over $250 million) and the highest...more

Did the Federal Circuit Just Save the Redskins’ trademark registrations?

Yesterday the Federal Circuit issued its decision in In re Tam, an appeal filed by a musician whose application to register the mark THE SLANTS had been refused registration on the ground that it was disparaging to Asian...more

Have Yourself a Merry 12 Days of SWIFTMAS

Even amid the December hustle and bustle of the holidays, my mind is never very far from trademark and patent issues – especially when getting Christmas songs stuck in my head while shopping for friends and family. I’m prone...more

Happy Birthday To You: Blow the Candles Out

On two previous occasions, I wrote about the court battle and decision regarding the copyright status of the lyrics to the song, Happy Birthday to You. As noted in my September 2015 post, the U.S. District Court in California...more

Spooky Songs Done Wrong: Copyright Consequences for Unlicensed Haunted Houses

It’s that time of year: costumes and candy, haunted houses and hayrides. And all those tricks and treats add up to a $7.4 billion commercial industry around the holiday, a figure that exceeds the annual revenue of the...more

Music rights management in the Digital Single Market

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a technical review consultation on how effectively the draft Collective Management of Copyright (EU Directive) Regulations 2016 (the Draft Regulations) implement EU...more

Is There Hope for the Washington Redskins' Trademarks After All?

We’ve been following the Washington Redskins’ trademark battle pretty closely, writing about it several times already. You may remember that the team had its federal trademark registrations cancelled last summer under Section...more

The Board Lends a Blow to Celebrities

The celebrity known as will.i.am from the musical group the Black Eyed Peas sought to register three marks for “I AM” in connection with cosmetics, cell phones, artificial eyelashes, sunglasses, and brass wrist cuff...more

Unhappy Birthday

About a month ago, the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a summary judgment ruling putting a nail in the coffin of one of the most tragically comical copyright claims of all time. ...more

Happy Birthday to All

On September 22, 2015, a California district court issued an opinion that may change birthday celebrations forever. In Rupa Marya v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., the court held that Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. does not own a...more

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: USPTO Pilot Program on Changing Technology

As you may have heard, the USPTO has commenced a pilot program to allow, under limited circumstances, amendments to identifications of goods/services in trademark registrations to account for evolving technology. Amendments...more

Intellectual Property: Happy Birthday to You (10/15)

If you have ever been to a Chili’s restaurant, odds are you have heard this birthday jingle. Perhaps you have also heard different birthday greetings at other chain restaurants. More likely than not, you have not heard any...more

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US: Court Rules That Happy Birthday to You is In the Public Domain

In a prior blawg post, I wrote about the then-recently filed case of Good Morning To You Productions Corp. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., in which the issue was whether or not the song, Happy Birthday To You, is still...more

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For A Little Respect From Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

On September 4, 2015, a long running legal battle over the right to use footage from a 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin took a twist right out of a Hollywood movie when the Queen of Soul sought, and was granted, a temporary...more

9th Circuit Confirms Duties for Posting DMCA Takedown Complaints

As Canada begins to settle in with the new “notice and notice” provisions under the Copyright Act (Canada) which came into force January 2, 2015, copyright owners in Canada still need to address infringing content posted on...more

Alert: Ninth Circuit: Copyright Owners Must Consider Fair Use Defense Before Sending Takedown Notices

On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that parties who send "takedown notices" under the authority of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") must consider whether the subject work constitutes a...more

Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notice, Copyright Owners Face Duty to Consider Fair Use, Says Appeals Court

On September 14, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that copyright owners have a “duty to consider—in good faith and prior to sending a [DMCA] takedown notification—whether allegedly...more

Intellectual Property Alert: DMCA Takedowns Require Consideration of Fair Use

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that copyright holders must at least consider fair use before issuing a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The decision, in Lenz v....more

Ninth Circuit Shreds Guitar Price-Fixing Action

In a humbucker of a decision issued August 25, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a price-fixing case brought against five guitar and amplifier makers, their industry trade association, and retailer...more

Manatt Digital Media - August 2015

So You Want Music in Your Video: 5 Things to Remember so You Don't Get Sued - Last month we received a call from a woman who made an unassuming video of her daughter's wedding and added her favorite song as the musical...more

It’s Illegal to Sing Happy Birthday?

Some years ago, Aaron Sorkin (bar none the greatest television writer of all time) spent a few minutes of an episode of Sports Night making light of the fact that the song “Happy Birthday” is outside the public domain....more

ROYAL PAIN: Brits Can’t Even Copy Their OWN Music

This blawg focuses on US law as it pertains to technology and entertainment, but a recent decision of the High Court of the United Kingdom just caught my interest. The High Court of the United Kingdom held that certain...more

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