News & Analysis as of

Music

Coachella Sues “Filmchella” for Trademark Infringement

by Reed Smith on

Coachella Music Festival LLC, the organization behind the popular desert-based Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit earlier this month against the organizers of “Filmchella” arguing...more

The Broad Umbrella Covering Joint Authors Also Protects Collaborators

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent decision from the federal court of the Southern District of New York serves as a reminder of the broad rights enjoyed by a joint author under the Copyright Act, including the right to create and license derivative...more

Bringing Back the Oldies – Legislation for Equal Treatment in the Music Industry

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On July 19, 2017, the CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301 – Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act) was introduced into the House, the purpose of which is to provide copyright...more

Court Rejects Infringement Claim Against Alan Jackson

by Brooks Pierce on

On October 27, 2016, North Carolina songwriter Timothy Arnett sued the legendary country star Alan Jackson in the Eastern District of North Carolina for alleged copyright infringement. Arnett claimed that Jackson’s song...more

“Thinking Out Loud” About Copyright Infringement (Again)

by Brooks Pierce on

Ed Sheeran has had plenty of court troubles recently. After reportedly reaching a settlement over his song “Photograph” earlier this year, he was recently sued (a second time) for his song “Thinking Out Loud.”...more

Music Licensing Databases? The Transparency in Music Licensing Ownership Act and ASCAP/BMI

by Brooks Pierce on

On July 20, US Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the Transparency in Music Licensing Ownership Act. The legislation would create a database of music copyright ownership and licensing information. ...more

Music Licensing Basics: How to Legally Use Someone’s Music in Your Business

by Knobbe Martens on

Introduction - •Music copyrights: –Musical works – sheet music and lyrics •Author is generally composer/lyricist and controls •Can be administered through a music publisher - Please see full Presentation below...more

Did U2’s Bono And The Edge Copy Their Song The Fly From Another Artist?

This is the question being presented in a lawsuit pending in the Southern District of New York against the iconic band U2 and a majority of its band mates. Paul David Hewson (more well known as lead singer Bono), David...more

The Right Rights For Your Broadway Jukebox

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

The Jukebox musical is alive and well and living on Broadway. From the songs of Gloria Estefan to Carole King, from Frankie Valli to Abba, we are amidst a 20-year old trend to present pop music’s biggest hits on the live...more

Media Law Bulletin: To Sample or Not to Sample?

by Sedgwick LLP on

Conflict is brewing among the United States Courts of Appeals as to when a musical artist’s use of a sample from another artist’s musical work is non-infringing. Three key opinions analyzing this issue were decided by the...more

Spotify settles mechanical rights spat for $43.5M

Spotify will pay up to $43.5 million to end a lawsuit filed by a class of song owners who claimed the music streaming giant failed to pay the mechanical rights for songs offered through its service....more

Best Practices for Using Third-Party Content on Your Company’s Website

Does your company’s website include or link to third-party content? If so, there are potential legal issues that may arise under copyright law and website terms of use that can be minimized or avoided by implementing some...more

Music Performing Rights Organizations and the “Full-Work” vs. “Fractional” Licensing Dispute: Government Seeks to Overturn...

by Brooks Pierce on

On Thursday, the United States filed its brief (link is external)in its appeal of a decision by the district court for the Southern District of New York (link is external), which rejected the US Department of Justice’s...more

Manatt Digital - April 2017

We at Manatt Digital are not only die hard music fans, we put our passions in our business and are invested and advocates of the ever evolving and seriously complicated business of music. This month’s newsletter is dedicated...more

Michael Jackson Estate Tax Case Moving Forward

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Most estate tax practitioners will tell you estate tax it is all about valuation when assets are other than cash and marketable securities. The estate tax case of the Michael Jackson estate is an ideal demonstration. Tax...more

Paul McCartney chants 'Get Back' again – The Future of Copyright Termination

by Hogan Lovells on

The US Copyright Act of 1976 allows artists, writers, and musicians to “get back” grants of copyrights that had been previously licensed or assigned away. Specifically, artists can “terminate” their copyright arrangements...more

The Power of the Melody Pushes Fashion Forward

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

The many genres of music – particularly, rock, pop, hip-hop and country – have always pushed the needle forward in fashion. Musical icons from today and yesteryear have given a voice to fashion by creating a kinetic...more

NY Common Law Does Not Provide Creators With Control Over Public Performances of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

On December 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) issued a landmark state copyright law decision, holding in response to a certified question from the Second Circuit in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius...more

Privacy Tip #63 – NYC Concertgoers—You May Need to Check Your Bank Records

Madison Square Garden has announced that it has suffered a year-long data breach of debit and credit cards used at concession stands at Madison Square Garden, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, ...more

DJ Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars Get “Funked” With New Copyright Suit Over “Uptown Funk”

On Friday, October 28, 2016, musicians Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars were hit with a copyright infringement suit based on their wildly popular hit “Uptown Funk.” The plaintiffs, consisting of one living member and the estates...more

Absent Nexus, Radio Station Play and Intermediaries Are Insufficient to Prove Access **WEB ONLY**

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the standard for proving “access” to a copyrighted work, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment due to a lack of admissible evidence showing sufficient...more

“I’m With the Band”: Boston Guitarist Can Call Himself “Former Original Member” Without Infringing Trademark

Last week, a federal jury in Boston found that Barry Goudreau, a guitarist who played in an early incarnation of the rock band Boston, did not infringe trademark rights in the band’s name by allowing himself to be identified...more

Iron Man Composer Battles Tech Giant Sony and Ghostface Killah

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the composer of the 1960s Iron Man theme song, finding material facts in dispute as to whether the song was commissioned as a work for hire. Jack Urbont v. Sony...more

Music Played by Karaoke Machine Is Not “Tangible Good” for Purpose of Trademark Infringement **WEB ONLY**

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Addressing the “tangible good” requirement of trademark infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the district court’s decision to dismiss a case because defendants’ playing of unauthorized copies...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

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